New York State Writers Institute - Classic Film Series


September 26, 1997 at 7:30 p.m.

Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue
(Free and Open to the Public)

(German, 1994, 36 minutes, color, 35 mm)
Directed and written by, Mark Rappaport

A young man, trying to find out about his once famous grandfather, time-travels back to the 60s to confront his father and then, further back into the 40s to meet up with the grandfather he never met, a Philip Marlowe-type detective. The already existing, by now almost-historical footage of times gone by, is the backdrop for the young man's quest for his film noir past. By re-examining various significant places and locations in his own life, he is able to find his way back into the past where the same spaces were once inhabited by his father and his father's father before him. The young man, his father, and his grandfather get to know each other for the first time, in the spaces that all three of them have lived in or passed through. The journey helps the young man come to terms with the present -- as well as acquainting him with his family members and their cumulative past.

EXTERIOR NIGHT is in the unique position of having had access to background scenes and rear screen process plates from Warner Brothers films from the 30s to the early 50s. The actors, in an original story written in the knowledge that this footage would be available, act in and interact with sets and backgrounds that were originally used in THE BIG SLEEP, MILDRED PIERCE, THE MALTESE FALCON, and STRANGERS ON A TRAIN, among other movies from the Warners' library.

Producer: Martin Papirowski
Executive Producer: Werner DUtsch
Associate producer: Coleen Fitzgibbon
Line Producer: Petra Bodenbach
Camera: Serge Roman
Music: Jorge Arriagada
Technical Director: Norbert Dziambor
Editor: Andrea Schumacher

Johnny Mez. . . . . Steve
Victoria Bastel. . . . . Mona/Sylvie/Mom
David Patrick Kelly. . . . . Biff
Mark Arnott. . . . . Dad

First Screening: New York Film Festival