” Elephant Man” w/ producer Jonathan Sanger & “Freaks” @ the Egyptian!

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16-6:30 pm at the EGYPTIAN THEATRE

THE ELEPHANT MAN / FREAKS

Introduction by THE ELEPHANT MAN producer Jonathan Sanger, who will sign his book Making The Elephant Man: A Producer’s Memoir, in the lobby at 6:30 PM.

The new TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack double album (pressed on 180g cherry pie-colored vinyl) will be available for purchase in the lobby.

35 mm! THE ELEPHANT MAN 1980, Paramount, 124 min, Dir: David Lynch Based on two books about the real-life Elephant Man, John Merrick, director David Lynch recounts this severely deformed man’s perilous life in Victorian England in breathtaking black-and-white. Sir Frederick Treves (Anthony Hopkins) rescues Merrick from a circus freak show where he is assumed to be retarded, takes him to a hospital for tests and discovers that Merrick, in fact, has great intellect and capacity for emotion. John Hurt’s ability to project Merrick’s humanity earned him a Best Actor Oscar nomination, along with the film’s seven other nominations including Best Picture and Best Director. Lynch’s use of costumes, makeup, Freddie Francis’ cinematography and John Morris’ score remain commendably understated, allowing the sadness of the film to avoid sentimentalism. With Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud, Wendy Hiller.

“ELEPHANT MAN has the power and some of the dream logic of a silent film, yet there are also wrenching, pulsating sounds -the hissing steam and the pounding of the start of the industrial age. It’s Dickensian London, with perhaps a glimpse of the process that gave rise to Cubism.” – Pauline Kael.

FREAKS 1932, Warner Bros., 64 min, USA, Dir: Tod Browning- “Gooble gobble, gooble gobble, we accept her, we accept her, one of us, one of us!”

Based on the simple moral that beauty is on the inside comes this inspired, documentary-like tale of circus life. Trapeze artist Cleopatra and strongman Hercules plot to kill the sideshow midget and gain his inheritance. With never-again duplicated eerie performances by real-life siblings Daisy and Harry Earles as Hans and Frieda. Featuring the beautiful conjoined Hilton Twins, Elvira and Jenny Lee Snow as Zip and Pip the pinheads, Johnny Eck as Johnny the half-boy and the unforgettable Prince Randian as the human Torso, with the most amazing cigarette-smoking scene in film history. Drawing from past experience working for the circus, DRACULA director Tod Browning cast actual people with disabilities and deformities instead of using special effects and makeup, something unthinkable for the time. Although banned in the U.K. for 30 years, FREAKS was selected for preservation in 1994 by the United States National Film Registry as one of the greatest films of all time. 

About the Book The true story of John (Joseph) Merrick—a.k.a. the Elephant Man—has captured the imagination of generations of audiences, critics, actors and filmmakers. In 1978, producer Jonathan Sanger received a screenplay from two unknown writers about a hideously disfigured man who refused to fall victim to despair and instead exemplified human dignity. Reading it (twice), Sanger was determined that Merrick’s story would be told. This book is Sanger’s unvarnished first-person account of how The Elephant Man (1980) was made. His adventure in filmmaking—itself a study in triumph over despair—involved special effects nightmares, scheduling conflicts, location issues and many risky decisions. Assembling a team that included Mel Brooks (executive producer), David Lynch (director) and actors John Hurt and Anthony Hopkins, Sanger persevered in making this inspiring, award-winning film.

About the Author- Jonathan Sanger, an Academy Award-winning producer, film, theater and television producer and director, media advisor, and entertainment financial consultant, has lead initiatives in every sector of the entertainment industry. His writing has appeared in magazines, newspapers, encyclopedias and filmmaking handbooks. He lives and works in Los Angeles and New York City.

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