Current & Upcoming Films
THE WOMAN CHASER
Our Featured Premiere Revival!:
THE WOMAN CHASER
Fri, February 25th – Thur, March 3rd
Presented to you by the San Francisco Film Critics Circle’s 2010 Marlon Riggs Award winner, Elliot Lavine! For two decades of film programming, his revival of rare archival and independent titles, and his role in the renewed popularity of film noir and pre-code features.
PATRICK WARBURTON and ROBINSON DEVOR will be IN PERSON at the Roxie on opening night - Friday, February 25!
One of the unexpected surprise sensations of last summer’s Not Necessarily Noir series here at the Roxie was our one-night only screening of Robinson Devor’s amazing 1999 film THE WOMAN CHASER. Fans of both classic and modern noir films were knocked out by this wickedly weird adaptation of Charles Willeford’s 1960 same-titled paperback novel and many expressed their shock at never having heard of it before our screening that night. Little wonder. THE WOMAN CHASER, despite many fine reviews, languished briefly on theater screens in the summer of 2000, only to wind up in the ethers of film obscurity. It has never been available on DVD.
So it is with great pleasure that the Roxie brings back to San Francisco this truly lost cinematic treasure with the full hope that it will finally find its rightful place in recent film history. When audiences arrived at this film back in 2000 they were greeted by a version that had been compromised in order to secure national distribution. A seriously troubling moment (think Killer Inside Me) had been cut from the print in order to soften the deadly satiric impact that was essential to its remaining truthful to Willeford’s literary vision. Audiences at the Sundance and New York film festivals the previous year had seen the full, unexpurgated version and the buzz that had been created around the film should have opened the door to a successful release. But many exhibitors were squeamish and insisted on one significant cut that not only dulled the effect of the film but ultimately extinguished any real spark of interest on the part of critics or audiences. The punch, so to speak, had been lifted from the mix.
This premiere revival engagement will restore THE WOMAN CHASER back to its original, sardonic self, a film which, a decade after its release, is finally ready to do battle with the world.
THE WOMAN CHASER tells the wildly impossible story of Richard Hudson, an ambitious used car salesman in 1960 Los Angeles who comes to believe that the only way he will find fame and fortune is by writing and directing his own low-budget film. With the help of his father-in-law, a washed-up studio director, Hudson embarks on a journey to the very bottom of his own soul. The film manages to somehow be a dead-on replication of the dangerously sleazy world-view projected by lurid paperback novels from the 50s and early 60s while subversively offering a personally subjective example of a film that should have, but never could have been made in that time. The brilliantly conceived soundtrack expertly exploits the likes of Les Baxter, Tito Puente, Martin Denny, Yma Sumac, Cal Tjader and other icons of 50s lounge exotica. PREMIERE REVIVAL! Starring Patrick Warburton, Ron Morgan, Emily Newman, Paul Malevich, Marilyn Rising. Screenplay by Robinson Devor, from the novel by Charles Willeford. Directed by Robinson Devor. In BLACK & WHITE. 35mm. 93 mins. USA, 1999.
SHOWS NIGHTLY at 7:00 and 9:00 with additional 2:00 and 4:30 matinees on Saturday. Sunday the 27th at 2:00 & 9:00 only.
Charles Willeford (1919 - 1988), author of the novel The Woman Chaser, wrote some of the most piercingly original and psychologically twisted novels of the last half of the twentieth century. Pick Up, Wild Wives, Honey Gal, Cockfighter, The Burnt Orange Conspiracy, The High Priest of California, Kiss Your Ass Goodbye, as well as the four Hoke Mosely cop novels, Miami Blues, The Way We Die Now, New Hope For The Dead, and Sideswipe have all contributed to a shockingly vital and important literary career. Everyone is urged to check him out!