June 15, 2024

SEARCHING FOR MR. RUGOFF, streaming from 1/21 through 1/25

Showing: Streamng from January 21 through 25
Title: Searching for Mr. Rugoff
Year: 2019
Country: USA
Genre: ,

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Searching for Mr. Rugoff is the story of Donald Rugoff, the crazy genius behind Cinema 5, the mid-century theater chain and film distribution company. Rugoff was a difficult (some would say impossible) person but was also the man who kicked art films into the mainstream with outrageous marketing schemes and pure bluster. Rugoff’s impact on cinema culture in the United States is inestimable, and his influence on the art film business—from the studio classics divisions to the independent film movement to the rise of the Weinsteins—is undeniable. Yet, mysteriously, Rugoff has become a virtually forgotten figure. The story is told through the eyes of former employee Ira Deutchman, who sets out to find the truth about the man who had such a major impact on his life, and to understand how such an important figure could have disappeared so completely. Ira Deutchman followed in his one time employer’s footsteps to have his own inestimable impact on cinema – independent film making, distribution, and exhibition. Meet Ira Deutchman on Zoom, on Monday, January 24. USA, 2019, 94 minutes.

Meet the Filmmaker: Ira Deutchman will discuss his film on Zoom, Monday, January 24, at 6:00 PM, with two of the founders of Rivertown Film, director Nancy Savoca and Producer Richard Guay. Bio’s follow.
Register for the discussion HERE.

All tickets are $12 and are available now.

About Ira Deutchman: “Ira Deutchman loves movies. He has spent the better part of the last 45 years watching, studying, teaching, distributing, marketing, and producing them. As a film marketer, he has half-jokingly said that his job is to get butts into seats, and he is a master of doing just that. Since the mid-1970s, when he joined influential indie and foreign film distributor Cinema 5, his impact on shaping and influencing the taste of American filmgoers interested in specialty films has been enormous.” – From Columbia University School of the Arts website (where Deutchman has taught since 1987 and was department chair from 2001 to 2015). And from the Ira Deutchman Company website: Deutchman has been making, marketing and distributing films since 1975, having worked on more than 150 films, including some of the most successful independent films of all time. He was one of the founders of Cinecom and later created Fine Line Features—two companies that were created from scratch and, in their respective times, helped define the independent film business. He was also a co-founder of Emerging Pictures, the first digital projection network in the United States and a pioneer in delivering live cultural events into movie theaters.”

About Donald Rugoff: If you lived in New York City in the 1960s and 1970s you likely visited one of his theaters, which included Cinema I and II, Beekman, Sutton, Plaza, Paris, and 8th Street Playhouse. Here’s a full list, on the film’s website. The films he distributed included The Endless Summer, The Fireman’s Ball, Putney Swope, Sorrow and the Pity, Z, Gimme Shelter, WR: Mysteries of the Organism, State of Siege, Scenes From a Marriage, Swept Away and many more. Here’s a full list.

Ira Deutchman will discuss Searching for Mr. Rugoff with Nancy Savoca and Richard Guay: Nancy Savoca and Richard Guay were among the founders of Rivertown Film Society. Along with her numerous festival screenings and honors, Nancy Savoca’s films, Household Saints and True Love, are listed in The New York Times Guide to the Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made, and True Love was named one of the “50 Greatest Independent Films of All Time” by Entertainment Weekly. Richard Guay has produced two dozen films, beginning his career as a production auditor for such filmmakers as John Sayles, Woody Allen, Mike Nichols, and Jonathan Demme.

“An essential history of film culture. I got the warm-and-fuzzies from seeing the love here for moviegoing.”
–Nicolas Rapold, New York Times

“An enthralling documentary that film buffs everywhere will want to see.”
–Owen Gleiberman, Variety

“A beautifully structured tale of movie love. “Searching for Mr. Rugoff” is both dramatic and enlightening, a moving document of an American life that has a bit of “Citizen Kane” to it.”
Godfrey Cheshire, RogerEbert.com

Searching for Mr. Rugoff is an entertaining and instructive jaunt, and it bristles with small shocks”
Anthony Lane, The New Yorker

“Equal parts documentary, investigation, and film history feature, and all three are compelling in different ways…You’ll be charmed by it.”  –Kristen Lopez, Indiewire