The evening will include a screening of Modine’s award-winning new short film, Jesus Was a Commie. The 15-minute film, which Modine wrote, co-directed (with Terence Ziegler) and stars in, has played at festivals from Italy to Canada, and in August it was awarded the Founders Prize for Best Short Film at the Traverse City Film Festival, founded by Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Michael Moore. Walter, a National Book Award nominee for his 2006 novel “The Zero,” is the author of five novels and one nonfiction book. He’s also written screenplays, most recently adapting his 2009 novel, The Financial Lives of the Poets, for the British director Michael Winterbottom.
To schedule an interview with Matthew Modine, interested media please contact Workhouse, CEO Adam Nelson directly via email firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone +1. 646. 205. 2540
The Spokane International Film Festival began in 1998. Sponsored by the Contemporary Arts Alliance, it began as a few days of programming mostly Northwest and/or film. Over the years, under the direction first of the late Bob Glatzer and current director Pete Porter, the festival has become an 11-day showing of award-winning fare from dozens of countries. SpIFF 2012 venues include The Bing, the Magic Lantern, River Park Square AMC Theatres and The Garland. For schedule and ticket information go to the festival Web site, www.spokanefilmfestival.org
JESUS WAS A COMMIE
Could it be argued that Jesus was a Communist? There’s no question he was a revolutionary. But not with violence. His revolution involved a dramatic change in the way people thought; progressive and liberal thinking in a time of Empire. With no army and no weapons, he led people toward a new, more humane way of thinking; toward a philosophy of love and forgiveness. Jesus Was a Commie elegantly and intelligently captures an audience desperate to understand what is happening across our country. Using unambiguous language that openly presents two swamplands America is presently bogged down in; environmental degradation and partisanship. Modine's words are as plain and simple as a parable from his film's title character. Jesus was a Commie is an avant garde dialectical conversation about the world and the prominent issues of modern society. It recently won the Founders Prize for Best Short Film at Michael Moores Traverse City Film Festival and is currently playing festivals worldwide. For more information visit www.jesuswasacommiefilm.com.
Over the past few years, Actor/ Fimmaker Matthew Modine has directed several distinguished short films including I Think I Thought, To Kill an American and Jesus Was A Commie which won the Founders Prize for Best Short Film at Michael Moores Traverse City Film Festival in 2011. Each has gone on to great critical acclaim and have played in film festivals worldwide including the prestigious Museum of Modern Art's New Directors/New Films.
Modine has worked with many of the film industry’s most respected directors, including, Oliver Stone, Sir Alan Parker, Stanley Kubrick, Robert Altman, Alan J. Pakula, John Schlesinger, Tony Richardson, Robert Falls, Sir Peter Hall, Abel Ferrara, Spike Lee, Tom DiCillo, Mike Figgis, Jonathan Demme, and John Sayles. He’s been nominated for three Golden Globe Awards and is the recipient of one for Robert Altman’s film Short Cuts. Modine is well remembered for the title character in Alan Parker’s film Birdy which won the Cannes Film Festivals Gran Prix Award. His work in Alan Rudolph’s Equinox helped earn the film four Independent Spirit Award nominations including Best Film and Best Actor for Modine. He is the recipient of a Venice Film Festival Volpi Cup and a Golden Lion Award. 2012 films slated for release include the Edward Zwick-produced Family Weekend and Girl in Progress opposite Eva Mendes and the most anticipated movie of the year, Christopher Nolans upcoming Batman epic The Dark Knight Rises.
The youngest of seven children, Modine was born in Loma Linda, California, the son of a bookkeeper, and drive-in theater manager. His first film role was in John Sayles' Baby It's You and his performance caught the eye of director Harold Becker who cast him in Vision Quest (Crazy for You) based on the novel by Terry Davis. He also appeared in the sex comedy Private School, co-starring Phoebe Cates and Betsy Russell. He played Mel Gibson's brother in Mrs. Soffel and starred with Nicholas Cage. But it was the director Robert Altman who propelled Modine to international stardom with his film adaptation of David Rabe's play Streamers. He and his fellow castmates won an unprecedented Best Actor prize from the Venice Film Festival for the tragic story of young American soldiers about to be shipped to Vietnam.
For all of his great roles, Modine might best be known for his role as Private Joker, the central character of Stanley Kubrick's 1987 war movie Full Metal Jacket. The film received critical acclaim. The Chicago Reader labeled it "the most tightly crafted Kubrick film since Dr. Strangelove. Variety referred to the film as an "intense, schematic, superbly made" drama, while Vincent Canby of the New York Times called it "harrowing" and "beautiful” The film received a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Writing for an adapted screenplay and can often be found on lists for the greatest movies of all time.
He played the dangerous young criminal Treat in Alan Pakula's film version of the hugely successful Lyle Kessler stageplay Orphans, and the goofy, earnest FBI agent Mike Downey in Jonathan Demme's screwball comedy Married to the Mob opposite Michelle Pfeiffer. In 1990 he led the cast of Memphis Belle, a fictionalized account of the famous B-17 Flying Fortress. Modine was nominated for an Emmy Award for his performances in And the Band Played On, an HBO TV movie about the early years of the HIV/ AIDS epidemic. He recently appeared in HBO's award-winning docudramaToo Big To Fail.
In 2003, he guest starred on The West Wing in the episode The Long Goodbye. He portrayed the character Marco, who went to high school with Cregg (Allison Janney), and who helped her deal with her father's steady mental decline due to Alzheimer's disease. That same year, he played Fritz Gerlich in the CBS miniseries Hitler: The Rise of Evil. In 2005, he appeared in Abel Ferrara's Mary which won the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival. In the film, Modine portrayed a director recounting the story of Mary Magdalene (Juliette Binoche). Recently, Modine played the corrupt Majestic City developer "Sullivan Groff" throughout Season 3 on Showtime's Weeds. On stage, Modine has appeared in Arthur Miller'sFinishing the Picture at Chicago's Goodman Theatre, Aruthur Miller's Resurrection Blues at London's Old Vic and Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird at Connecticut's Hartford Stage. The production became the most successful play in the theatre's 45-year history. In 2010, he starred in the 50th Anniversary Broadway rival of The Miracle Worker at Circle in the Square theatre to great acclaim. For more information visit www.matthewmodine.com
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