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American Seagull


American Seagull is the explosive movie story of a Russian girl and an American boy, brought together by love, ambition, brilliance and then torn apart by jealousy and suicidal insanity. A lush, romantic, intense, sexy, tragic-comic exploration of the naked human soul, based on the classic play by Anton Chekhov.
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AMERICAN SEAGULL

Film
Film
Language: 
English
Running time (In minutes): 
94 MIN
Theme: 
Romance
Category/Format: 
Independant
Poster: 
The Cold War is over. Let the Hot War begin!"
Production year: 
June, 2011
Film Credits
About the Director: 

Michael Guinzburg -- Writer, Director, Producer
Michael Guinzburg is a native New Yorker and the author of such high-octane novels as Beam Me Up, Scotty, The Plumber Of Souls, and Top of The World, Ma! which have been published around the world to critical acclaim. New York Newsday said of Guinzburg's work, "Welcome to the writing of the future." The late Terry Southern called Beam Me Up, Scotty "A great book. The hardest, purest American prose since Faulkner's Sanctuary." Paris Match wrote: "Michael Guinzburg's work comes like a bolt of lightning!" Influenced by the the diverse likes of Jim Thompson, EM Cioran, Fellini, Bulgakov, Truffaut, Kerouac and Chester Himes, Michael strives to fuse film and literature by writing cinematic books and literary films. American Seagull is his directing debut.

Film director: 
Michael Guinzburg
Producer: 
Michal Guinzburg
About the Producer: 
Michael Guinzburg -- Writer, Director, Producer Michael Guinzburg is a native New Yorker and the author of such high-octane novels as Beam Me Up, Scotty, The Plumber Of Souls, and Top of The World, Ma! which have been published around the world to critical acclaim. New York Newsday said of Guinzburg's work, "Welcome to the writing of the future." The late Terry Southern called Beam Me Up, Scotty "A great book. The hardest, purest American prose since Faulkner's Sanctuary." Paris Match wrote: "Michael Guinzburg's work comes like a bolt of lightning!" Influenced by the the diverse likes of Jim Thompson, EM Cioran, Fellini, Bulgakov, Truffaut, Kerouac and Chester Himes, Michael strives to fuse film and literature by writing cinematic books and literary films. American Seagull is his directing debut.
Screenplay: 
Michael Guinzburg
Editing: 
Scott Conrad
Film photographer: 
Don E FauntLeRoy
Sound: 
Monkeyland
Music: 
Schukin, White, Vysotsky
Art Director: 
Guillermo Minguet
Costume: 
Stefanie Lange
Decor: 
Francesca Harrison
Cast 1: 
Lara Romanoff
Cast 2: 
WIlliam Biff McGuire
Cast 3: 
Barbara Williams
Cast 4: 
Oleg Vidov
Cast 5: 
Sal Viscuso
Film synopsis: 
Travis is crazy in love with Nina, a beautiful Russian actress. He’s almost got it all -- he lives with his grandfather Bruce on a gorgeous Malibu estate above the crashing Pacific and has just completed a short film of great mystical beauty. But instead of confident and joyful, Travis is depressed and alcoholic. His mother, the movie star Irene Del Mar, is visiting from New York with her younger boyfriend, the film director Trigger. The screening of Travis’ film in front of family and friends is a disaster: Irene interrupts the film and Travis storms off. At the party afterward, Nina meets Trigger -- sparks. Travis becomes more despondent and neurotic. Moping on the beach, he throws a rock and kills a seagull. Like a crazy man, he presents the dead bird to Nina. The gift does not please her, and when Travis witnesses Trigger and Nina kissing he loses it and grabs a gun. Boom! Thankfully it is just a flesh wound but Nina is freaked and runs off with Trigger. Two years later, Trigger dumps Nina and goes back to Irene. Nina becomes a drug addict and Travis, whose film ironically has become a great success, rescues Nina from a dive bar in Texas and gets her into a Malibu rehab. Grandpa Bruce has a stroke and Irene and Trigger wing back to California to visit. Nina escapes rehab and returns to the estate for one final date with destiny. And yes, the gun is involved.  
Budget
Budget Range: 
Between $100 000 and $1 Million
Actual Budget: 
200 000 $
Technical infos
Technical infos
Original Film Format: 
35 mm
Format Ratio: 
1.85
Film Sound: 
Dolby SR
Video master available ?: 
Yes
Video Type: 
NTSC
Number of reels: 
0
Festival Selection, Awards...
Festival selection, awards or citation already received and other comments... :
Already selected in a Festival?: 
No
Film reviews: 
"Indie filmmaker Michael confounds experts with a visionary rethinking of Anton Chekhov's most explosive play. Anyone who thinks of the Russian master as polite will have their cages rattled by Lara Romanoff's Nina who shows a Dietrich-esque absorption of the light of liberation. The cast is casually littered with performances that would have made Olivier proud, Biff McGuire and Oleg Vidov to name just two; there is no doubt that director Guinzburg has caught the unique Chekhovian ambiance of men and women in dachas gone mad with love and lust, just as Bergman and Allen would do after him." Huffington Post By DAN SIDMAN dsidman@capecodonline.com August 20, 2011 COTUIT — The silver screen arrives at Cotuit Center for the Arts with the recent installation of a new projection system and film screen in the center's long-standing theater space. The center will celebrate the unveiling of the new equipment Wednesday night with the East Coast premiere of "American Seagull," a modernized adaptation of Anton Chekhov's play "The Seagull," written, directed and co-produced by novelist and first-time filmmaker Michael Guinzburg. Now Showing What: East Coast debut of "American Seagull," followed by Q&A with filmmaker Michael Guinzburg When: 7 p.m. Wednesday Where: Cotuit Center for the Arts, 4404 Falmouth Road (Route 28) Tickets: $10, $5 for students Information: 508-428-0669 or www.cotuitarts.org. Guinzburg's film adheres fairly faithfully to Chekhov's plot but moves the action from a country estate in 19th-century Russia to a picturesque villa on the sunny shores of modern-day Malibu. The character-driven story, shot on location at the Villa Francesca, follows the relationships of the complex individuals collected at the villa and offers meditations on life, death, art and love. To convert the play to film format required some condensing of Chekhov's script. "Chekhov sometimes writes three-page speeches," Guinzburg says. "It's beautiful, but I just didn't think that it would translate. You can't do it. That's not a film. So the idea was to sort of shorten it up and get to the meat of the matter, the essence of each scene, to boil it down." Guinzburg got the idea to adapt Chekhov's play from Tajikistan-born actress Lara Romanoff, starring in the film as the enchanting Russian actress Nina Danilov. "She had a wonderful inspiration," he says. "I read the play and thought it would be hard to do, but I finally sat down and I did it and I wrote it really quickly because it turned out that the characters came alive in English. They just were so real to me and they translated perfectly into these American types. It was almost like the politics of the time where Russian aristocracy was falling apart really translated to our time where our own sort of aristocracy seems to be similarly falling apart." Some of the "American types" gathered at the villa include aging and conceited movie actress and proprietor of the seaside estate Irene Del Mar (Barbara Williams); her brooding, aspiring filmmaker son and Nina's boyfriend, Travis (William Poston); Irene's big-shot director boyfriend, Barry Allen Trigger (Jay Laisne); Travis' ailing but insatiable grandfather, Bruce Sorensen (William Biff McGuire); as well as the wait staff at the Del Mar estate. Driven by desires in turns requited and unrequited, these characters become embroiled in a great interlocking romantic web marked by jealousy, sadness and even violence. Despite the tragedy involved, the filmmaker finds something beautiful in the story's convoluted and sometimes desperate characters. "I think there's something very noble about the way that they're all chasing their ideals," Guinzburg says. "As screwed up and as misdirected as they are, I feel that there's something noble about the way that they all have hope, down to the very end." In his ability to capture the idiosyncrasies and nuances of human nature, Guinzburg puts Chekhov on par with Shakespeare: "That's why Chekhov is so brilliant; he's a great psychologist." Although some violence is involved, in keeping with Chekhov's version the film keeps the action off screen and prefers to dwell on the subtle details: a prolonged glance, the subtext of a certain word or phrase. Also in keeping with the original source material, the film never loses its sense of humor. "Remember, this is a comedy," Guinzburg says. "Chekhov wrote a comedy that was tragic. I tried to do the same thing. There are meant to be a bunch of jokes, which are (of course) different than Chekhov's jokes; those wouldn't play." Great Russian Cinematographer Michael Suslov talkes about the film http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lurF5Jr1UhE&feature=related
Film distribution
Address: 
1441 Veteran Ave #225, Los Angeles, CA 90024
Publicity Infos
Publicity contact: 
Marina Belokamenskaya
Publicity contact email: 
Trailer availble: 
yes
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Your rating: None

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About American Seagull

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