by Mark Rabinowitz
Artistic License Films is set for a busy February in New York, with the
release of D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus' latest film, "Moon Over
Broadway" and a two week festival of Merchant Ivory films at the Paris
Theater. Both events will continue playing throughout the U.S. during the
"Moon" is a documentary that traces the genesis of the Broadway hit "Moon
Over Buffalo," taking a cinema-verité look at the staging of a major
theatrical undertaking from casting, through rehearsals, a Boston preview
and right up to the play's Broadway run. The play starred Carol Burnett and
Phillip Bosco and each received a Tony nominations for their performance.
Pennebaker is one of the world's most renowned documentarians, counting
1967's portrait of Bob Dylan, "Don't Look Back," and 1969's "Monterey Pop"
among his works. Pennebaker and Hegedus began working together in 1976, and
together the husband and wife team have directed 1993's Oscar-nominated
documentary "The War Room," "101" (a 1988 film about the band Depeche Mode,
with director David Hawkins) and 1992's "The Music Tells You," among
others. "Moon Over Broadway" opens at Film Forum on February 18th.
Artistic License, in association with Merchant Ivory Productions is also
programming "Views of Merchant Ivory: 3 Continents, 14 Films," set to open
at the Paris theater in New York in mid-February. The festival will offer
the public a unique chance to see the varied work of the prolific
filmmaking team, James Ivory and Ismail Merchant, with films set in Europe,
India and America comprising the program. The films range from 1963's "The
Householder" (their first collaboration with screenwriter Ruth Prawer
Jhabvala) to the multiple Academy Award-nominated "Remains of the Day," and
include praised filmic adaptations of novels by such literary lions as
Henry James and E.M. Forster, including: "Maurice" (1987), "The Bostonians"
(1984) and "Howards End" (1992).
Merchant Ivory are currently in production on their latest feature, "A
Soldier's Daughter Never Cries." Starring Kris Kristofferson, Barbara
Hershey and Jane Birken, the film will be released in September by October
The complete list of films in the festival, grouped by continent, are as
Europe: "Quartet" (1981), "Maurice" (1987), "Howards End" (1992), "Remains
of the Day" (1993) and "Jefferson in Paris" (1995). India: "The
Householder" (1963), "Shakespeare Wallah" (1965), "Heat and Dust" (1983) and
"In Custody" (1994). America: "Roseland" (1977), "The Europeans" (1979),
"The Bostonians" (1984), "Slaves of New York" (1989) and "Mr. and Mrs.