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FLANNEL PAJAMAS is now available for purchase on DVD.
On a rainy April night, two 30-something New Yorkers meet for a blind date at a local diner. It's a magical evening with that so-elusive combination of great chemistry and instant connection. Stuart (Justin Kirk) is a study in contrasts - seemingly confident, with a high-powered Broadway job that makes full use of his fast-talking smarts, yet clearly lonely and desperately eager for love. Younger and still finding her way, Nicole (Julianne Nicholson) is naturally more reticent, coping with city life far from her large and eccentric Montana family.
As Stuart and Nicole progress from love to marriage to discussions about starting a family, their relationship faces the challenges of critical friends, emotionally demanding relatives, time-consuming careers, different religions and the stresses caused by the endless negotiations all couples wage daily. Fearlessly following one couple's descent from the giddy high of new love into the inevitable mire of everyday routine, FLANNEL PAJAMAS is that rare film that dares to feature characters as endearing and messy as those that inhabit our real lives. With no easy answers, no heroes or villains, FLANNEL PAJAMAS is a brave foray into the mysterious but all-too recognizable terrain of the human heart.
FLANNEL PAJAMAS, the new feature from Writer-Director Jeff Lipsky, had its world premiere at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, in the Dramatic Competition. FLANNEL was a success, earning praise from critic Roger Ebert, The Hollywood Reporter, and packed audiences.
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There is a passage in John Irving's novel Until I Find You that reads "An actor's job was not complicated, but it had two parts: Whoever you were you made the audience love you; then you broke their hearts." Though I take issue with the question of how complicated acting is, I believe the latter sentiment defines my intentions in creating the characters in "Flannel Pajamas," and in any screenplay I write.
I love actors. I write dialogue-driven scripts but I strive to achieve as much by the power of reaction shots as I do by the meaning of my words. Just look at the weathered, wizened faces of the barflies who populate one of the most transforming and time-defying scenes in John Cassavetes' "Husbands," the single film that informed and defined my coming-of-age as a young man and as a passionate student of cinema. Those losers and winners react to the language of their sadistic drinking buddies, whose blistering tongue-lashings and exhortations, in fact, enliven their souls; their reactions lend heft to their tormentor's words.
The actors in "Flannel Pajamas" have stated that they were drawn to my script because it allows conversations between the characters to breathe and because the monologues I include are very much part of the lexicon of the sane and the insane. There are passages that I hope shine a light on the characters from our own lives as much as they do in the lives of the fictional characters in my film. (Of course, I hope in the direction of those passages that I haven't let my actors down.) I really feel that in this age of the democratization of filmmaking, the art of screenwriting is all-too often lost. Herman J. Mankiewicz, Paddy Chayefsky, Ernest Lehman, and Penelope Gilliatt are as much my heroes as Cassavetes, Ingmar Bergman, Woody Allen, and Eric Rohmer.
"Flannel Pajamas" is not an autobiographical film as such; it is a movie about contradictions: it's about hope in the face of failure, about second chances when all is deemed lost, it's about loneliness amid the embraces of a large family. It is a film that attempts to explore love, cruelty, egos run amok, selfishness, tenderness, marriage, and religion. It does so, I hope, without excessive melodrama or the easy shock of physical violence. I don't believe such over-the-top contrivances or operatic flourishes are necessary for a film to be familiar or to touch a resonant, emotional chord with audiences - wherever they may be. If one young woman in Hungary sees my film and identifies with my fragile woman from a large Montana family, then in my mind, "Flannel Pajamas" will be a success.
JULIANNE NICHOLSON (Nicole) was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for her work in TULLY; this fall she will be a season regular, as Chris Noth's partner, on the hit series LAW AND ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT. She made her breakthrough as a headstrong young feminist in THE LOVE LETTER with Tom Selleck and Kate Capshaw. Nicholson also starred in Revolution's LITTLE BLACK BOOK opposite Brittany Murphy, Kathy Bates and Holly Hunter and can presently be seen on DVD in Bill Condon's KINSEY opposite Liam Neeson, Laura Linney and Peter Sarsgaard. Among Nicholson's television credits are a starring role in the recent Dick Wolf produced NBC series CONVICTION, as well as roles on ALLY MCBEAL, and the CBS drama PRESIDIO MED. Nicholson also starred in Maria Maggenti's PUCCINI FOR BEGINNERS (with Justin Kirk) and recently completed a co-starring role opposite Sally Field in the feature film TWO WEEKS.
JUSTIN KIRK (Stuart) won an Emmy nomination for his role in Mike Nichols' HBO film adaptation of ANGELS IN AMERICA, opposite Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson and Mary-Louise Parker. He presently co-stars, again with Ms. Parker, in the hit Showtime Original series WEEDS. In 2001, Kirk co-starred with Julianna Margolis and Donald Sutherland in the world premier of Jon Robin Baitz's THE TEN UNKNOWNS at Lincoln Center. The role won him a Drama Desk nomination and a Lucille Lortel Award. Kirk co-starred for two years in the successful WB television series, JACK AND JILL.
REBECCA SCHULL (Nicole's mother, Elizabeth) played Billy Crystal's mother in ANALYZE THIS and ANALYZE THAT, Nicole Kidman's mother-in-law in MY LIFE and the feisty ticket agent ‘Fay,' for eight years, in the hit NBC sitcom WINGS. She was also recently seen alongside an ensemble cast in Paul Greengrass's FLIGHT 93.
JAMIE HARROLD (Stuart's brother, Jordan) will be remembered widely for his indelible performance as the clerk in the water department in ERIN BROCKOVICH; and for supporting roles in such films as 15 MINUTES, opposite Robert DeNiro; as Jackie Curtis, a legendary 'Factory' habitué in I SHOT ANDY WARHOL; and as the co-star in the award-winning independent film SWIMMING.
CHELSEA ALTMAN (Nicole's friend, Tess) has appeared in the films HEARTBREAK HOSPITAL, BUILDING BOMBS, ASTORIA and THE FIRST WIVES CLUB. Her TV credits include LAW AND ORDER.
MICHELLE FEDERER (Nicole's sister, Tara) co-starred for three years on Broadway in the multiple Tony Award-winning musical WICKED, and appeared in Bill Condon's celebrated film biography KINSEY, starring Liam Neeson.
TOM BOWER (Stuart's father, Bill) is one of the most highly regarded character actors working today. Bower's almost 75 screen credits include POLLOCK, NIXON, CLEAR & PRESENT DANGER, TRUE BELIEVER, DIE HARD 2, and THE RIVER'S EDGE. He was recently featured in NORTH COUNTRY, starring Charlize Theron, and in BROTHERS OF THE HEAD.
JAMIE HARRIS (Brad), the son of screen and stage legend Richard Harris, was last seen in Terrence Malick's THE NEW WORLD; his upcoming films include Christopher Nolan's THE PRESTIGE. Harris also co-starred in Amos Kollek's FAST FOOD FAST WOMEN and was featured in the smash film adaptation of LEMONY SNICKET'S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS.
STEPHANIE MARCH (Cathy) is known to television audiences worldwide for her co-starring role as Assistant District Attorney Alex Cabot on both LAW AND ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT and CONVICTION. March also appeared in MR. & MRS. SMITH, starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, and the upcoming EAST BROADWAY. She is married to celebrated chef Bobby Flay.
JEFF LIPSKY (WRITER-DIRECTOR) FLANNEL PAJAMAS is Jeff Lipsky's second feature film. His first directorial effort in 1997, CHILDHOOD'S END, co-starring Tony Award nominee Sam Trammell, was selected for competition by the San Sebastian Film Festival and was presented at the Montreal World Film Festival, the Stockholm Film Festival and the Hamburg Film Festival.
A 30-year veteran in the independent film world, Lipsky is internationally known for his expertise in independent film marketing, acquisition and distribution. Co-founder of two successful film distribution companies, October Films and Lot 47 Films, Lipsky is prominently featured in books about Oscar nominated writer/director Mike Leigh, godfather to the independent American film movement John Cassavetes and filmmaker Spike Lee. He has shepherded over 200 films into the marketplace; the best known titles include MY LIFE AS A DOG, which earned Lasse Hallstrom his first two Academy Award nominations, Jim Jarmusch's feature debut STRANGER THAN PARADISE and the film that introduced actor Gary Oldman to the world, SID & NANCY.
Lipsky's distribution career began at the age of 21 with the literal start of the independent distribution business when he set sail with his mentor actor/writer/director John Cassavetes to distribute A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE, which, in 1974, became the very first specialized film ever to be distributed nationally bypassing the archaic and obsolete sub-distribution network. In 1979 Lipsky became General Sales Manager at New Yorker Films where he distributed Wayne Wang's first film, CHAN IS MISSING; Louis Malle's MY DINNER WITH ANDRE; R.W. Fassbinder's THE MARRIAGE OF MARIA BRAUN; and Jean-Luc Godard's EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF. In 1983, Lipsky became Vice President of Distribution for Samuel Goldwyn Films where he distributed DANCE WITH A STRANGER, THREE MEN AND A CRADLE, GREGORY'S GIRL and STRANGER THAN PARADISE.
In 1987, Tom Skouras hired Lipsky as President of the Motion Pictures Division of Skouras Pictures. While there, Lipsky distributed MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE screenwriter David Koepp's first film, APARTMENT ZERO; MY LIFE AS A DOG; and HIGH HOPES, the movie that introduced Mike Leigh to the U.S. and that forged a second mentor relationship for Lipsky, this time with Leigh's long-time producer Simon Channing-Williams. In 1990 Lipsky co-founded October Films which immediately rose to the ranks of the most highly regarded independents, releasing films such as Leigh's LIFE IS SWEET, Gregg Araki's THE LIVING END, Alain Corneau's TOUS LES MATINS DU MONDE and John Dahl's THE LAST SEDUCTION.
After a two year return to Goldwyn, where he released Adrian Lyne's controversial LOLITA, in 1999 Lipsky co-founded Lot 47 Films. Lot 47's releases included Tim Roth's directorial debut, THE WAR ZONE; VENUS BEAUTY INSTITUTE, Audrey Tautou's debut film and the winner of multiple French academy awards; Im Kwon-Taek's Cannes competition entry CHUNHYANG; Michael Cuesta's debut feature L.I.E.; and the best reviewed live action film of 2002 (source: metacritic.com), Zacharias Kunuk's THE FAST RUNNER (ATANARJUAT).
JONATHAN GRAY (PRODUCER) Jonathan Gray has been practicing law since 1990 and is a founding partner of Spinak & Gray, an entertainment law firm concentrating on independent film development, financing, production and distribution. Gray is also an experienced trial attorney and the former chairperson of the New York State Bar Association Committee on Motion Pictures. His firm has provided production counsel services on numerous films that have premiered at Sundance, including THE STATION AGENT (2003), NEVER DIE ALONE (2004), MYSTERIOUS SKIN (2005) and THE HAWK IS DYING (2006). Gray has produced more than a dozen short films; FLANNEL PAJAMAS is his feature film producing debut.
BRIAN DEVINE (PRODUCER) Brian Devine founded the independent film company
Gigantic Pictures in 1996, with producer Jason Orans. Located in downtown
New York, the company has developed and produced numerous award winning
feature films, PBS programs, short films and music videos. Also a noted music producer and performer, Devine formed Gigantic Music in 1998, a state of the art recording studio and record label. In 2003, he added Gigantic Artspace, a multi-media art gallery, to further explore the nexus between music and film. Currently under construction is Gigantic Studios, a deluxe film post production and sound facility, part of an ongoing effort to empower independent filmmakers and multi-media artists.
JASON ORANS (Producer) For Gigantic Pictures, Jason Orans produced the independent features SATELLITE (2005 Tribeca Film Festival premiere) and YEAR OF THE FISH (co-producer, developed at the Sundance Institute). Orans and Gigantic also produce dramas for PBS, including COSMOPOLITAN (2005 INPUT World Television Conference); THE SUITOR; THE FIRST SEVEN YEARS; and THE KEY. His line producing credits include Youssef Chahine's L'AUTRE and ALEXANDRIA...NEW YORK, Nadir Galal's HELLO AMERICA, as well as numerous documentaries, shorts and music videos for such clients as Bravo, Canal Plus and ITVS. Gigantic's upcoming projects include Emily Hubley's THE TOE TACTIC, developed at the Sundance Institute, and a new feature from writer-director Ramin Bahrani (MAN PUSH CART).
SIMON CHANNING-WILLIAMS (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER) Simon Channing-Williams was nominated for an Academy Award as the producer of the celebrated motion picture SECRETS & LIES. Channing-Williams has, in fact, produced all of Mike Leigh's films including HIGH HOPES, LIFE IS SWEET, VERA DRAKE, NAKED, ALL OR NOTHING, CAREER GIRLS and TOPSY TURVY. He recently produced Fernando Meirelles' THE CONSTANT GARDENER, adapted from the best-selling novel by John Le Carré and starring Ralph Feinnes and Rachel Weisz (Oscar Winner - Best Supporting Actress). The film was also Oscar-nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score and Best Editing. For the Golden Globes, the film was nominated for Best Motion Picture, Best Director and won the Best Supporting Actress Category.
MARTINA RADWAN (DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY) Martina Radwan began working in the film industry in her native Germany in 1987 as an Assistant Camera. In 1995 she moved to New York where she attended the film program at NYU. Since then she has shot numerous features, documentaries and shorts, which have been seen in a variety of major international film festivals, and on PBS and HBO. She also shot FERRY TALES, directed by Katja Esson, which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2004.
SARA CORRIGAN (EDITOR) marks Sara Corrigan's second feature as Film Editor. Her first was FOLLOWING BLISS (2004), written and directed by Cleve Lamison. Corrigan has worked as a First Assistant Editor for Woody Allen on six of his films including SWEET AND LOWDOWN, SMALL TIME CROOKS and MELINDA AND MELINDA. Prior to working with Mr. Allen, her other credits include CARLITO'S WAY, DEAD MAN WALKING, SMOKE, THE MIRROR HAS TWO FACES and MEET JOE BLACK. More recently, she completed her short documentary called A PRAYER FOR PEACE.
PATRICIA DICERTO (CASTING DIRECTOR) most recently served as a casting director on Woody Allen's MATCH POINT and SCOOP. She has also cast such independent features as EULOGY, starring Ray Romano and Debra Winger; MARIE AND BRUCE, starring Julianne Moore and Matthew Broderick; BOUGHT & SOLD; and NO EXIT. In addition, DiCerto has worked alongside a number of the industry's top casting directors, including a longtime association with Juliet Taylor. As a casting associate, DiCerto has been involved in the casting of ten Woody Allen films, as well as such projects as THE INTERPRETER, THE LIFE OF DAVID GALE, ANGELS IN AMERICA, ANGELA'S ASHES, YOU'VE GOT MAIL, MEET JOE BLACK and PRIMARY COLORS and most recently on THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, starring Meryl Streep, and Martin Scorsese's upcoming THE DEPARTED, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon.
PAUL HSU (ORIGINAL SCORE AND SOUND DESIGN) A composer, sound designer and re-recording mixer, Hsu's experience ranges from the narrative and documentary films of the Independent world to Hollywood studio films. Some of the remarkable projects that Paul has toiled on in various sound and music capacities include ANGELS IN AMERICA, THE STATION AGENT, HULK, WILD MAN BLUES, MEN IN BLACK II, TWELVE AND HOLDING and the upcoming MARGARET, directed by Kenneth Lonergan, and HOLLYWOODLAND, starring Adrian Brody, Diane Lane and Ben Affleck. Hsu has a formal education in classical piano and composition, while his tastes in things aural run the gamut from "early music" to modern electronica and experimental genres. When not in the studio, you're most likely to find him enjoying the outdoors and/or exploring the realms of quantum realities and metaphysics.
LEN X. CLAYTON (PRODUCTION DESIGNER) began making short animated films in 1975. He studied film at Brock and York Universities in Ontario, Canada. Clayton wrote, produced and directed the 16mm film SHADOW OF A MAN in 1998. For the last ten years he has been a freelance production designer and art director living in Brooklyn. He has designed many commercials, industrials and music videos. His feature film credits include ADVISING MICHAEL, AMERICAN DESI, THIS THING OF OURS, DORIAN BLUES, THE STATION AGENT and TERRORIST.
AMY C. BRADSHAW (COSTUME DESIGNER)
is a New York-based costume designer whose experience includes a mix of film, theatre, television and commercials. Recent projects include the independent film KETTLE OF FISH starring Matthew Modine and Gina Gershon, and the off-Broadway production of LADIES OF THE CORRIDOR at the 13th Street Theatre. Bradshaw's last feature with Gigantic Pictures, SATELLITE, was seen at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival. For NBC, she designed APOLLO AT 70: A HOT NIGHT IN HARLEM. Her other theatrical designs include the off-Broadway productions of COUNSELOR-AT-LAW at the Theatre at St. Clemens and MISTERMAN for the Irish Arts Center.
Flannel Pajamas is a co-production with Plainview Pictures
ORIGINAL SCORE AND SOUND DESIGN
HAIR AND MAKE-UP DESIGN