The Dog + Dog Day Afternoon

THE DOG – 7:30pm
This riotously entertaining new doc highlights one of those master outside-the-box thinkers that make an era like the Seventies still so wonderfully alluring: the vivacious John Wojtowicz, the bank robber who was the inspiration for Pacino’s character in the film classic Dog Day Afternoon. Way more than just a rundown of the real-life heist, this is an intimate portrait of Wojtowicz’s intense psychological makeup: coming of age in the ‘60s, “The Dog” took pride in being a pervert, displaying a bisexual libido excessive even by the libertine standards of the era. Amongst the tumult of the early gay liberation movement, one of his lovers needed to finance their sex-reassignment surgery — and Wojtowicz had what he thought was the quick solution. Filmed over the course of a decade, Wojtowicz lets loose with a torrent of incredible, quotable quips (pretty much everything he’s ever said on-camera is pure gold), amongst extraordinary archival footage and interviews capturing the many sides of this larger-than-life persona: lover, husband, soldier, activist, mama’s boy and uniquely American character. Our opening night includes a double feature with Dog Day Afternoon!
Dirs. Allison Berg & Frank Keraudren, 2013, DCP, 100 min.

DOG DAY AFTERNOON – approx. 9:30pm
“When I made those films, I wasn’t allowed to make a normal picture. Every picture I made had to have this thing in it. There was a kind of unconscious pressure I felt.” — Al Pacino, speaking in 2004

“After Serpico, Pacino’s second collaboration with [director Sidney] Lumet gave the actor another opportunity to serve as kind of a mouthpiece for the angst of the American male in a period of transition. Dog Day Afternoon may not present [The Dog’s John] Wojtowicz’s reality to the letter, but given the period and the circumstances of its production, it’s a fairly radical work, concerned with “reality” in ways that were both daringly topical at the time of its release and prescient, particularly in regards to its depiction of stardom in an always-on media age. [For Serpico], the actor relied heavily on the time he spent with the inspiration for the character. Not so [here] the second time. Working without referencing the primary source, Pacino built his character the Actors Studio way. Lumet estimated that 60 percent of the dialogue was improvised. While they followed the structure of [Frank] Pierson’s Oscar-winning screenplay, within that structure, improvising the actual spoken language fit with Pacino’s version of the Method, his process of becoming another person by drawing on his own personal thoughts, feelings and experiences.” — Karina Longworth, Al Pacino: Anatomy of an Actor
Dir. Sidney Lumet, 1975, 35mm, 125 min.

Watch the trailer for “The Dog”!

Watch the trailer for “Dog Day Afternoon”!
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