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USA Film Festival to honor Turturro

The USA Film Festival, one of the nation's foremost cultural organizations dedicated to the recognition of excellence in the film and video arts, will present A Tribute to John Turturro in conjunction with a special screening of his film Romance & Cigarettes on Saturday, November 17, at the Angelika Film Center Dallas. The evening will include a screening of Romance & Cigarettes, followed by an on stage Q&A session with John Turturro.

USA FILM FESTIVAL’S MASTER SCREEN ARTISTS TRIBUTE PROGRAM -- Since 1971, the Festival has regularly paid tribute to performing artists who have made enduring contributions to the film arts. Previous honorees include Anthony Hopkins, Gregory Peck, James Stewart, James Earl Jones, Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Gary Oldman, Richard Dreyfuss, Dennis Hopper and many others.

ROMANCE & CIGARETTES -- John Turturro’s third outing as director is a daring, crazy, modern homage to musicals that is not to be missed! Hailed by one critic as "Moulin Rouge! for mooks," and described as "a working class opera" by writer-director-actor Turturro, Romance & Cigarettes features an extraordinary all-star cast that includes James Gandolfini, Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet, Mary-Louise Parker, Bobby Cannavale, Christopher Walken, Mandy Moore, Steve Buscemi, Aida Turturro, Elaine Stritch, Eddie Izzard, and Amy Sedaris – all letting it rip in this deliciously over-the-top, singularly unique and outrageous melodrama.

Nick Murder (Gandolfini) is a New York construction worker who asks little from life -- he just wants to be able to have both his wife, Kitty (Sarandon), and his mistress, a saucy English tart named Tula (Winslet). When Kitty catches him cheating and Tula demands a commitment, poor Nick finds himself in too deep. His daughters turn on him while Kitty and her shady cousin, Bo (Walken), go looking for revenge. A good man at heart, he struggles to find his way back to his family while he still can.

Drawing on inspirations as diverse as Charles Bukowski and The Honeymooners, Romance & Cigarettes is a romantic misadventure and exploration of love set to the tune of some of the greatest “anthems of our time” including songs by James Brown, Janis Joplin, Tom Jones, Bruce Springsteen, and more.

Like no musical you've seen before, Romance & Cigarettes brings new life to the genre with this colorful, crazy romp, and serves to remind us why John Turturro is one of our favorite good guys, geeks, creeps and one of the best all-around screen artists of our time.

Romance & Cigarettes is rated R and opens in select cities on November 30, 2007.


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USA Film Festival to honor John Turturro
November 2, 2007

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JOHN TURTURRO -- One of the leading figures in independent cinema, actor-writer-director John Turturro sits atop the list of artists that world-class filmmakers call on when they need someone to create an indelible, unforgettable character.

Whether working on stage, the small screen or in film, the versatile Turturro has achieved something akin to cult status, thanks largely to regular appearances in the acclaimed and offbeat works of Spike Lee (eight films, including Jungle Fever and He Got Game) and the Coen Brothers (four, including Miller's Crossing and O Brother Where Art Thou?). Skilled in both comedy and drama, Turturro has deftly portrayed characters as varied as a highly agitated racist pizza shop proprietor in Do the Right Thing (1989), the neighborhood nut in Five Corners (1987), a put-upon playwright in Barton Fink (1991, for which he won a Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival), a pedophile bowler in The Big Lebowski (1998), a confused boyfriend in Jungle Fever (1991), the irate game show contestant in Quiz Show and the voice of Harvey the dog in Summer of Sam (1999).

Turturro made his screenwriting and directing debut in 1992 with the drama Mac, for which he received a Camera D'or award from the Cannes Film Festival. He produced and directed (as well as acted in) the film Illuminata (1999), which starred his wife Katherine Borowitz and premiered at Cannes. He won an Emmy award for his portrayal of Adrian Monk's (Tony Shalhoub) brother Ambrose in the USA Network series Monk, and he has received honors from the Screen Actors Guild, Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the Village Voice, the Drama Desk Awards, and many others.

Most recently, he has appeared opposite Matt Damon in Robert De Niro's spy drama The Good Shepherd, as an insidious government agent in Michael Bay's Transformers, and will soon appear opposite Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Jack Black in Noah Baumbach's comedy/drama Margot at the Wedding.

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