An Evening With Allison Anders (feat. Grace of My Heart)

In the world of American cinema, few voices are as heartfelt and singular as Allison Anders. She has an absolute need to tell stories in a character-driven way; her films seem genuinely felt and real, due in no small part to a list of her life experiences that are as rich and fascinating as her films. Raised in rural Kentucky, Allison spent her teens hitch-hiking across America, and going on adventures that landed her in jails, foster homes, London, and eventually UCLA Film School — after which she went on to make her first feature at the age of 33, and as a single mother. Her knowledge of film is perhaps only exceeded by her knowledge of music, so expect a fun, nerdy and lively conversation with this powerhouse of indie film! After the Q&A, the second half of the program features 1996’s Grace of My Heart, Allison’s love letter to the pop sounds of yesteryear!

Grace Of My Heart – 7:30pm

“Loosely modeled on the life of pioneering singer-songwriter Carole King — with elements of Phil Spector, Lesley Gore and the Beach Boys thrown in for good measure — Grace of My Heart lovingly revisits a time when women either wrote the hits or sang them, but rarely were allowed to do both.” — Barry Walters, San Francisco Chronicle

In one of her first starring roles, Illeana Douglas plays Denise Waverly, a Philidelphia heiress who starts a new life as a Brill Building songwriter in the early ‘60s. As she navigates the difficult music business world, a quartet of men affect her work and life throughout the tumultuous decade: John Tuturro as an idiosyncratic manager/publisher, Eric Stoltz as her husband/writing partner, Bruce Davison as a Murray The K-style DJ, and Matt Dillon as a Brian Wilson-esque damaged West Coast pop star.

“With an original soundtrack written by Gerry Goffin, Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello, the music does not disappoint, providing an extra layer of meaning and emotional resonance to the film. In this, her third film…Anders provides a convincing and stylish updating of the classic Hollywood “women’s picture” melodrama. Grace of my Heart is what Allison Anders does best – scene after scene of lively, funny and surprising woman-to-woman moments.” — Geof Jarvis, Edinburgh Film Society. Schedule permitting, Illeana Douglas and Eric Stoltz will also be here for a Q&A before the film!

Dir. Allison Anders, 1996, 35mm, 116 min. (Archival 35mm print courtest of the George Eastman House)

Watch a fan-edited trailer for “Grace of My Heart”!

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