NYS WRITERS INSTITUTE
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OSCAR-WINNING FILMMAKER OF “ENRON,” “TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE,” AND “GONZO,” TO SPEAK
FILMS TO BE SCREENED, APRIL 22, 23 AND 24, 2009
NYS Writers Institute, April 24, 2009
4:15 p.m. Seminar | Science Library 340
Film Commentary after the filmscreening of "GONZO"
Alex Gibney, Oscar-winning documentary film director, will speak about his work following a screening of his 2008 film, “Gonzo: The Life and Works of Hunter S. Thompson” (2008) on April 24, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. [NOTE EARLY START TIME] in Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, on the University at Albany’s downtown campus. Earlier that same day at 4:15 p.m., Gibney will offer an informal seminar on documentary filmmaking in Science Library 340 on the uptown campus. Earlier that week, the Writers Institute will also screen two critically-acclaimed films by Gibney: “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room” (2005) at 7:30 p.m. in Page Hall on the downtown campus, and “Taxi to the Dark Side” (2007), at 7:30 p.m. in the same location. The events are free and open to the public.
Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney will speak as part of the New York State Writers Institute’s “Alex Gibney Film Festival,” featuring three noteworthy examples of his work: “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room” (2005), “Taxi to the Dark Side” (2007), and “Gonzo: The Life and Works of Hunter S. Thompson” (2008).Gibney will provide commentary and answer questions immediately following the screening of “Gonzo.”
In addition to the films that will be shown (see schedule below), Gibney also directed “The Trials of Henry Kissinger” (2002), and is currently at work on “Freakonomics” (2009), based on the bestseller by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner.
Gibney served as executive producer for the Iraqi war documentary “No End in Sight” (2007), an Academy Award contender.
The event schedule is as follows:
April 22 (Wednesday):
ENRON: THE SMARTEST GUYS IN THE ROOM screening, 7:30 p.m., Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, UAlbany downtown campus
(United States, 2005, 110 minutes, color) Directed and co-written by Alex Gibney, Narrated by Peter Coyote
Based on the book by Fortune reporters Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind, this Oscar-nominated film presents the rapid rise and fall of the fraudulent energy trading company that became America’s seventh largest corporation. Kenneth Turan of the L. A. Times called it, “a chilling, completely fascinating documentary that reveals the face of unregulated greed in a way that’s every bit as terrifying as Lon Chaney’s unmasking in THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. Maybe more so, because everything here is true.”
April 23 (Thursday):
TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE screening, 7:30 p.m., Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, UAlbany downtown campus
(United States, 2007, 106 minutes, color) Directed, written, and narrated by Alex Gibney
A stunning exposé of American torture practices during the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the film follows the plight of Dilawar, a young Afghani cab driver who is tortured and killed after being wrongly identified as a terror operative. The film received the Academy Award for Best Documentary, and a Writers Guild of America award for Best Documentary Screenplay. A. O. Scott, writing in the “New York Times” said, “If recent American history is ever going to be discussed with the necessary clarity and ethical rigor, TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE will be essential.”
April 24 (Friday):
Seminar on documentary filmmaking with Alex Gibney — 4:15 p.m., Science Library 340, UAlbany uptown campus
GONZO: THE LIFE AND WORK OF DR. HUNTER S. THOMPSON screening — 7:00 p.m. [NOTE EARLY START TIME], Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, UAlbany downtown campus
(United States, 2008, 120 minutes, color) Directed and written by Alex Gibney, Narrated by Johnny Depp
Gibney provides a wildly entertaining, warts-and-all portrait of the hard-drinking, substance-abusing, larger-than-life Kentucky journalist who invented a whole new genre of American letters. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reviewer said, “The rare documentary that puts you in a headlock to pin you to your seat, GONZO is a bracing masterpiece.” The film was a finalist for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance.
NOTE: Alex Gibney will answer questions and offer commentary immediately following the screening of GONZO.
For additional information, contact the Writers Institute
at 518-442-5620 or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.