Saturday, July 10, 2010

It Don't Pay To Be An Honest Citizen' screens in the Hamptons

Hamptons.com

Southampton - At a time when "independent" films often feature well-known actors and high production values, the Parrish Art Museum is presenting "It Don't Pay to be an Honest Citizen," a 1984 film by New York filmmaker Jacob Burckhardt that brings back the freewheeling, low-budget days of early independent filmmaking. Called by the Village Voice "a remarkable first feature," the 78-minute film will screen Friday, July 16, at 8 p.m. Director Burckhardt will be present to introduce the program.

"It Don't Pay to be an Honest Citizen" is based on a true story - the mugging of the filmmaker in Red Hook in 1978. "There were few people in the movie who were 'professional' actors," according to Burckhardt. "William (Burroughs) and Allen (Ginsburg) weren't trained at all, but had incredible presence....A lot of the small roles were guys I knew from around the neighborhood or friends who I thought looked good in the part."

"The ferocious greasy spoon counterman is Rackstraw Downes, a well known painter," notes Burckhardt. Downes is currently the focus of three art exhibitions in the tri-state area, including the Parrish's current exhibition Rackstraw Downes: Onsite Paintings, 1972-2008. One professional actor, then unknown, was Vincent D'Onofrio, a bartender in the neighborhood at the time. D'Onofrio didn't get the lead because "he was too big and tough looking - but he was a good actor so I asked him to play one of the muggers."

Burckhardt has been called "a second generation observer of New York life." His father Rudy Burckhardt was a filmmaker and photographer who took as his subject New York City and his New York School artist friends. When asked if he was influenced by his father, Jacob said, "I would say my filmmaking style was influenced by his filmmaking style. Work fast, don't let your collaborators get bored. All you need to make a movie is a camera and some film. There's a lot of inspiration in what's happening in the streets around you."

"It Don't Pay to be an Honest Citizen" captures the Red Hook community in transition, after containerization had brought an end to the longshoreman culture and weakened local gangs like the Gallos, but before gentrification took over. Filmed along the waterfront, it showcases now defunct bars and luncheonettes, familiar landmarks, and vanished buildings. One scene was shot inside an abandoned church once famous as a Gallo hangout but since destroyed.

Tickets for "It Don't Pay to be an Honest Citizen" are $5 for Parrish members, $7 for non-members.

Thanks Linda!

2 comments:

val said...

Funny little piece. Vincent looked so young! (I know, he was, but you know what I mean.)

judith said...

I bought my copy of the film from Mr.Burckhardt a couple of years ago.

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[CURRENT PROJECTS]

List of films in production.

"In Dubious Battle" [2016]

"In Dubious Battle" [2016]
An activist gets caught up in the labor movement for farm workers in California during the 1930s. Vincent....Al Anderson

"TENN" [TBA]

A story about the early life of Tennessee Williams

Directed by James Franco
Vincent D'Onofrio, Jacob Loeb

"American Falls" - [TBA]

In a rural town in Southern Idaho, the Suzukis, a Japanese American family, run a small motel. One night they get a strange visitor who sports ‘city’ clothes who turns out to be the first African-American man that Toru Suzuki’s children have ever seen. Yoshiko takes it upon herself to solve the mystery about this man, especially when 2 police officers come knocking on their door.

Short film produced by Erika Hampson.
Vincent D'Onofrio as Detective Foster.

'Purgatory' [TBA]

'Purgatory' [TBA]
Tagline: In the Wild West a lot of blood was spilled... but it didn't go to waste. Vincent....Dallas Stoudenmire

"A Fall From Grace" [TBA]

Detective Michael Tabb knows the city of St. Louis inside and out. He has felt its true heart, as much as its dark underbelly: but he does not know who, in both the dark and light - is taking the lives of young girls.

Director: Jennifer Lynch
Producer/Writer ...Eric Wilkinson

Vincent D'Onofrio ....George Lawson (GRACE's father)
Tim Roth.......Detective Tabb

Filming in St Louis - TBA

"Supreme Ruler" [TBA]

A man campaigns to become the leader of the Buffalo lodge.

Vincent D'Onofrio as Hank Dory
Ron Livingston as Steve
Marcia Gay Harden as Nancy

"The Monster Next Door" [TBA]

"The Monster Next Door" - Comedy Horror

Executive Produced by Dennis Johnson, Melanie Mohlman Produced by Eric Wilkinson, David Michaels
Written by Jim Robbins
Directed by Jennifer Lynch

Cast: Vincent D'Onofrio, Bill Pullman, French Stewart, Bill Moseley

'Down & Dirty Pictures' - [in Production - Filming TBA]

'Down & Dirty Pictures' - [in Production - Filming TBA]
Vincent......Harvey Weinstein

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