By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com
Foxy, The Complete Pam Grier at FSLC
In-person at THE BIG BIRD CAGE; COFFY; GREASED LIGHTNING; JACKIE BROWN; SHEBA, BABY and SCREAM BLACULA SCREAM
New York, NY, February 12, 2013 — The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced details today for the upcoming film series, Foxy, The Complete Pam Grier (March 15-17). Screening at the Walter Reade Theater (165 West 65th Street) and the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center (144 West 65th Street), and highlighted by the attendance of Grier at several screenings, the film series includes such fan favorites and notable classics as THE BIG BIRD CAGE (1972), COFFY (1973), ESCAPE FROM LA (1996), FOXY BROWN (1974), and GREASED LIGHTNING (1977), as well as JACKIE BROWN (1997) featuring her Golden Globe and SAG Award nominated performance in the title role.
Programing Associate Josh Strauss said, “An icon and fiercely spirited screen presence who was the feminine face of urban cinema in the 70s, Pam Grier inspired that genre’s mainstream success. She has continued to serve as a muse and inspiration for many filmmakers since, culminating in her critically lauded turn in Quentin Tarantino’s classic noir, JACKIE BROWN. It will be a thrill to offer a comprehensive look at her work as well as have Pam herself, at Film Society to talk about and reflect upon many of those films and her experiences making them.”
Born on May 26, 1949 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and raised in Denver, Colorado, Pam Grier was spotted by an agent at a beauty contest in Colorado Springs, who invited her to come to Hollywood and try her hand at acting. She subsequently moved to Los Angeles and began taking acting classes while she worked as a switchboard operator for American International Pictures. Soon after, she had made it onto the big screen in BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS (1970) and BIG DOLL HOUSE (1971).
Following appearances in HIT MAN (1972) and BLACK MAMA, WHITE MAMA (1973), Grier gained notice in Jack Hill’s COFFY (1973) as the title character, “the baddest one-chick hit-squad that ever hit town”. The next year, she cemented her status as the undisputed queen of urban cinema as the high-class prostitute out for revenge in Hill’s FOXY BROWN (1974).
Grier solidified her status as a film star throughout the 70s with a string of films including SCREAM BLACULA SCREAM (1973), SHEBA, BABY (1975), BUCKTOWN (1975) with Fred Williamson, FRIDAY FOSTER (1975), and GREASED LIGHTNING (1977) opposite Richard Pryor. The 80s were highlighted by FORT APACHE, THE BRONX (1981) with Paul Newman, the Ray Bradbury classic, SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES (1983), and the Steven Seagal actioner ABOVE THE LAW (1988), as well as regular turns on the television via Michael Mann’s “Crime Story” and “Miami Vice”.
Grier continued to work in both film and television throughout the 90s with memorable appearances in John Carpenter’s ESCAPE FROM LA (1996) and Tim Burton’s MARS ATTACKS (1996). However, it was Quentin Tarantino’s JACKIE BROWN (1997) that offered the actress an opportunity to play a character tailor-made for her unique brand of strength and charisma, resulting in the best critical notices of her career as well as her first Best Actress nominations for both a SAG Award and the Golden Globes. Roles in the thriller IN TOO DEEP (1999) and Jane Campion’s HOLY SMOKE (1999) immediately followed, as well as a reunion with Carpenter on his film GHOSTS OF MARS (2001). Grier became a very familiar sight on television as well, with appearances on several series culminating in a regular stints on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (2002-2003) and Showtime’s “The L Word” (2004-2009). On the big screen, Grier has most recently been seen in Tom Hanks’s LARRY CROWNE (2011) and Rza’s THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS (2012).
Tickets will be on sale both at the box office and on www.FilmLinc.com on Thursday, February 28. Tickets are $13 for General Public, $9 for Student/Senior and $8 for Film Society Members. All screenings will take place at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, 144 West 65th Street (between Broadway and Amsterdam). Visit www.FilmLinc.com for additional information.
Films, Descriptions and Schedule
ABOVE THE LAW (1988) 99min
Director: Andrew Davis
Detective and martial arts pro Nico (Steven Seagal) and his new partner, the soon-to-leave-the-force Delores “Jacks” Jackson (Grier), investigate a Chicago drug ring. They persist even after being told to back off by their superiors, putting themselves and Nico’s family at risk.
March 16 at 4:45pm
THE BIG BIRD CAGE (1972) 88min
Director: Jack Hill
A buxom bad girl named Blossom (Grier) is the rough-and-ready girlfriend of a radical guerrilla leader named Django. But when Django’s mercenary friends itch for some female companionship, they devise a plan to liberate the inmates of a local women’s prison. With the help of another new inmate, Blossom and Django go up against a tyrannical warden to stage an explosive breakout.
March 15 at 6:00pm
BLACK MAMA, WHITE MAMA (1973) 87min
Director: Eddie Romero
Modeled after THE DEFIANT ONES and giving birth to the highly successful AIP women-in-film genre, Grier and Margaret Markov play two escapees from a Manila prison. Disguised as nuns, they encounter dangerous situations under the brutal tropical sun. Jonathan Demme co-wrote the script.
March 15 at 2:00pm
BUCKTOWN (1975) 94min
Director: Arthur Marks
Duke (Fred Williamson) and girlfriend Aretha (Grier) travel to Duke’s brother’s funeral. Problems start after they decide to reopen the dead man’s nightclub. Duke calls in his group of strong men to take on the corrupt local police department who are attempting to shake the couple down for money.
March 17 at 2:00pm
Clips and Conversation
Pam Grier will take the stage to discuss her storied career, illustrated by clips from some of her most audacious and unforgettable performances.
**At the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center
March 17 at 4:30pm
COFFY (1973) 91min
Director: Jack Hill
Nurse “Coffy” Coffin (Grier) takes decisive revenge when her younger sister gets hooked on drugs and put in a rehabilitation home—a victim of the drug underworld, mob bosses and chain of violence that exists in her city. Vigilante style, Coffy takes on the LA thugs responsible for her sister’s downfall, posing as an African American bombshell in need of a fix.
March 16 at 9:30pm
ESCAPE FROM LA (1996) 101min
Director: John Carpenter
In the sequel to ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, a catastrophic earthquake hits Los Angeles, causing the valley to flood and turning a portion of California from Malibu to Anaheim into an island. Now deemed the city of sin, anyone who does not fit the mold of LA’s outspoken Christian theocrat president are imprisoned on the island for good. After being captured again for another series of crimes, Snake Plisskin (Kurt Russell) embarks on a violent, beat-the-clock escapade. A big screen must-see for John Carpenter fans full of great LA clichés.
March 17 at 8:00pm
FOXY BROWN (1974) 94min
Director: Jack Hill
When her government-agent boyfriend is shot down by members of a drug syndicate, Foxy Brown (Grier) seeks revenge. She links her boyfriend’s murderers to a “modeling agency” run by Steve Elias and Miss Katherine. Foxy decides to pose as a prostitute to infiltrate the company, and helps save a fellow black woman from a life of drugs and sexual exploitation.
March 15 at 4:00pm
March 17 at 6:00pm
GREASED LIGHTNING (1977) 96min
Director: Michael Schultz
Loosely based on the life story of Wendell Scott, the first African American stock car racing champ, this seldom seen comedy stars Richard Pryor as Scott, who hones his craft transporting moonshine in the backwoods of Virginia. Grier and Beau Bridges co-star.
March 16 at 7:00pm
JACKIE BROWN (1997) 154min
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Flight Attendant Jackie Brown (Grier) smuggles money from Mexico to the United States for Ordell Robbie, a black market gunrunner, under the A.T.F’s close watch. This rollercoaster ride of twists, turns, comedy, drama, and action is brought to life by a stunning cast that includes Robert Forster, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert DeNiro, Bridget Fonda, and Michael Keaton. Grier was nominated for 15 awards for her performance in this modern classic.
March 15 at 8:15pm
SCREAM BLACULA SCREAM (1973) 96min
Director: Bob Kelljan
Following the wild success of BLACULA, AIP financed the release of this sequel with classically trained actor William Marshall reprising his role as vampire Prince Mamuwalde. Mamuwalde is resurrected by the vengeful son of a dying voodoo queen, angry at being passed over in favor of the queen’s adopted apprentice Lisa Fortier (Grier). The prince recruits Lisa to make him mortal using voodoo magic, but the plan goes awry when her boyfriend’s life is put in jeopardy.
**At the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center
March 15 at 11:59pm
SHEBA, BABY (1975) 90min
Director: William Girdler
In her last role as part of her three-film deal with American International Pictures, Grier’s Sheba returns to her hometown of Louisville, KY to confront thugs who are trying to intimidate her father into dissolving or handing over his family business.
March 17 at 4:00pm
Public Screening Schedule
The Film Society of Lincoln Center – Walter Reade Theater
165 West 65 Street, between Broadway & Amsterdam (upper level)
Friday, March 15
2:00PM BLACK MAMA, WHITE MAMA (87min)
4:00PM FOXY BROWN (94min)
6:00PM THE BIG BIRD CAGE (88min) *Pam Grier in attendance
8:15PM JACKIE BROWN (154min) *Pam Grier in attendance
11:59PM SCREAM, BLACULA, SCREAM (96min) *Pam Grier in attendance **at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center
Saturday, March 16
4:45PM ABOVE THE LAW (99min)
7:00PM GREASED LIGHTNING (96min) *Pam Grier in attendance.
9:30PM COFFY (91min) *Pam Grier in attendance
Sunday, March 17
2:00PM BUCKTOWN (94min)
4:00PM SHEBA, BABY (90min) *Pam Grier in attendance
4:30PM Clips and Conversation *Pam Grier in attendance
** at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center
6:00PM FOXY BROWN (94min)
8:00PM ESCAPE FROM LA (101min)
FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER
Founded in 1969 to celebrate American and international cinema, the Film Society of Lincoln Center, under the leadership of Rose Kuo, Executive Director, and Robert Koehler, Year Round Program Director, works to recognize and support new directors, and to enhance the awareness, accessibility and understanding of film. Among its yearly programming of film festivals, film series and special events, the Film Society presents two film festivals in particular that annually attract global attention: the New York Film Festival, led by Program Director Kent Jones, which just celebrated its 50th edition, and New Directors/New Films which, since its founding in 1972, has been produced in collaboration with MoMA. The Film Society also publishes the award-winning Film Comment Magazine, and for over three decades has given an annual award—now named “The Chaplin Award”—to a major figure in world cinema. Past recipients of this award include Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, and Sidney Poitier. The Film Society presents its year-round calendar of programming, panels, lectures, educational and transmedia programs and specialty film releases at the famous Walter Reade Theater and the new state-of-the-art Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center.
The Film Society receives generous, year-round support from Royal Bank of Canada, American Airlines, The New York Times, Stella Artois, the National Endowment for the Arts and New York State Council on the Arts. For more information, visit www.filmlinc.com and follow #filmlinc on Twitter.