PREMIERES MONDAY MAY 9, 2005
At 9pm ET/10pm PT
IFZ Weekend May 14 & 15 includes:
Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate
Oliver Stone’s Salvador
Nicolas Roeg’s Bad Timing: A Sensual Obsession
Andrzej Zulawski’s The Important Thing is to Love
Stuart Cooper’s Overlord
Francois Truffaut’s The 400 Blows
Orson Welles’ F is for Fake
Ingmar Bergman’s Wild Strawberries
Robert Bresson’s Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne
Robert Altman’s McCabe and Mrs Miller
An original IFC TV Production and first feature-length documentary from Xan Cassavetes, Z CHANNEL: A MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION [120 mins] had its world premiere at 2004 Cannes Film Festival, and was named as one of 2004’s Top Five Documentaries by the National Board of Review. Z CHANNEL premieres on IFC Monday May 9, at 9pm (& 1am) ET.
Saturday & Sunday May 14 & 15, program your TiVos for the long, wild ride, as IFC presents “IFZ Weekend”: IFC heads back in time and takes on the ‘look’ of 70s/80s Z Channel! All uncut, uncensored and commercial-free, IFZ weekend features:
– Oliver Stone’s SALVADOR (James Woods attributes his 1986 Best Actor Oscar? nomination to Z Channel’s airing of SALVADOR: Voters saw his breakthrough performance, following a limited theatrical run.)
– Michael Cimino’s HEAVEN’S GATE (1980; 219 mins), starring Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Walken, John Hurt, Isabelle Huppert and Jeff Bridges (Jerry Harvey hunted down and restored the film to its directors cut)
– Nicolas Roeg’s BAD TIMING: A SENSUAL OBSESSION, (1980; 129 mins) starring Art Garfunkel, Theresa Russell and Harvey Keitel
Whether a director’s reputation was restored; an overlooked performance suddenly honored; or a tragically butchered film finally shown the way the director had intended – Z Channel single-handedly changed the destinies of these films and of those who lovingly made them.
MONDAY, MAY 9
9pmET/ 10pmPT: Premiere of “Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession”
11pmET/ 12pmPT: Salvador
IFZ WEEKEND (all times are Eastern)
|?||Saturday May 14||?||Sunday May 15|
|6:15a||Ingmar Bergman’s Wild Strawberries||5:45a||Francois Truffaut’s The 400 Blows|
|7:45a||Francois Truffaut’s The 400 Blows||7:45a||Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate|
|9:30a||Oliver Stone’s Salvador||11:30a||Ingmar Bergman’s Wild Strawberries|
|11:35p||Bresson’s Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne||1:05a||Bresson’s Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne|
|1:00p||Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate||2:30p||Orson Welles’ F is for Fake|
|4:45p||Luchino Visconti’s White Nights||4:00p||Robert Altman’s McCabe and Mrs Miller|
|6:30p||Stuart Cooper’s Overlord||6:00p||Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession|
|8:00p||Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession||8:00p||Oliver Stone’s Salvador|
|10:00p||Zulawski’s Important Thing is to Love||10:00p||Roeg’s Bad Timing: A Sensual Obsession|
|11:50p||Roeg’s Bad Timing: A Sensual Obsession||12:15p||Stuart Cooper’s Overlord|
|2:00a||Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession||2:00a||Andrzej Zulawskis’ Important Thing is to Love|
|4:05a||Orson Welles’ F is for Fake||4:00a||Luchino Visconti’s White Nights|
Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession takes an unprecedented look at the groundbreaking and controversial film channel of the 1970s and 1980s. Xan Cassavetes explores the historic influence of Z Channel; the invaluable voice the Los Angeles-based channel gave to filmmakers; and the tremendous impact the station had on modern cinema, independent filmmaking and the development of cable television. This acclaimed documentary also chronicles the brilliant, but troubled life of Z Channel’s visionary programmer Jerry Harvey, whose emotional and psychological descent resulted in a controversial murder/suicide, and the eventual demise of Z Channel itself.
Those sharing their thoughts and memories include Robert Altman, Jacqueline Bisset, James Woods, Quentin Tarantino, Jim Jarmusch, Alexander Payne, Paul Verhoeven, Theresa Russell, Penelope Spheeris, Henry Jaglom, Alan Rudolph, cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond and film critics F.X. Feeney and Kevin Thomas.
Launched in 1974 in Los Angeles, Z Channel was one of the country’s first pay cable stations. Z Channel’s prominence was solidified in 1980 when maverick programmer Jerry Harvey took over as head of programming. Z’s uniqueness was attributed to Harvey and his staff’s determination, diverse taste and encyclopedic knowledge of cinema. Harvey’s programming showcased a combination of classic, international, independent and Hollywood films. Z was the first to develop programming innovations such as ‘director’s cuts’ and uniquely themed on-air festivals, while also airing many rare and never-before-seen exclusives and critically acclaimed films not in the mainstream.
“When Z Channel existed, it was possible in LA to get into a discussion with the gas station attendant about a Bergman film. It was also possible to be at a dinner party and laugh about a teen comedy with a film snob. Z was a democracy of film and people loved it,” said Xan Cassavetes, director.
Quotes from Z CHANNEL: A MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION
“[Z Channel] was like a film festival in your house every single night. And the programming was eccentric and odd and mixed.”
– Henry Jaglom, Filmmaker
“I knew Jerry personally so well, he’d say ‘I want to sneak your film on my channel.’ And I’d say “Oh that’s good.” Because otherwise they didn’t play anywhere.”
– Robert Altman, Filmmaker
“It was really appropriate that [Z Channel] was in L.A. in a way, because in New York we did have a lot of venues to see those kinds of movies.”
– Jim Jarmusch, Filmmaker
“I would ask, ‘Hey, do you have this movie, do you have that movie?’ And he’d pull them out. And as I’d watch them, I’d realize that these were the old Z Channel tapes.”
– Quentin Tarantino, Filmmaker
“Personally, I always felt that particular day with Chuck Champlin and Jerry Harvey, and what came of it was the turning point in my career. Without a doubt.”
– James Woods, Actor
“He [Jerry Harvey] was manic. He was an obsessive programmer. I want to say that’s not a bad thing, by the way.”
– Ned Nalle, Universal Pictures
“With Jerry [Harvey] you always talked about movies. His entire frame of reference was films.”
– Doug Venturelli, Friend
“Jerry insisted to the Grimaldis for five years that they had an uncut 1900, a five hour version of 1900. They just said, “No, no, it no longer exists. Maybe it existed once, but it no longer exists.” And Jerry pressed them and pressed them, and eventually, managed to get it released. And so we showed it on Z Channel. And there you could see in all its splendor what Bertolucci had intended.”
– F.X. Feeney – Friend, Film Critic
“If you couldn’t get a studio to release your picture, your picture did not get seen. One of the big things to change that was the Z Channel.”
– Henry Jaglom, Filmmaker
“So many of my students, when they’re interested in movies, are only interested in the art movies, the Indies. Jerry loved them all. And hated them all when they were bad.”
– C.L. Batten, English Professor U.C.L.A
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
For many years, musician-turned-filmmaker Xan Cassavetes was obsessed with the Z Channel. This once renowned, now forgotten Pay TV station — based entirely in Los Angeles — operated from 1974 until 1989 and was legendary for its innovative programming.
Xan had discovered Z in her teens. The dazzling collection of European and Asian classics offered there, interwoven with recent American hits and buried treasures (including a number of restored director’s cuts) were unlike anything on TV anywhere in the United States. She was a teenager in the 1980s, one who loved sneaking out at night to punk rock clubs. Her Greek-American father (film legend John Cassavetes) took a dim view of this, and for her own good would ground her for three months at a time.
These stretches of confinement paradoxically gave her the world, as she recalls it: She would spend months cooped in her room watching TV, blissfully communing with classic films from Europe and America, then on Z. “Those movies became my friends,” she now recalls. The feminine might of such European actresses as Jeanne Moreau, Isabelle Adjani and Romy Schneider showcased on Z formed an essential part of her self-education as a woman, and the wealth of expressive styles demonstrated in Z’s wide variety of offerings remain today an important gift to her.
After directing two acclaimed short films (Salmon For Three and Dust), Xan was discussing possibilities for a feature film with producers Rick Ross and Marshall Persinger (Twin Falls Idaho, Still Breathing, Wild Iris.) One night at Hollywood’s Cafe des Artistes, the conversation turned to Xan’s obsession with Z Channel. Jason Resnick of Focus Features, also at the table, asked her, “Since you’re so passionate, why don’t you make a documentary?”
That night, she went home and worked up a treatment. “I was so clueless,” she laughs now. “I didn’t really know Z’s history. I knew there’d been a genius programmer who died under mysterious circumstances, and that the channel folded after he died. I never imagined where that mystery would take me.”
Xan’s passion nevertheless persuaded Alison Bourke, vice president of original programming at the Independent Film Channel (IFC), as well as IFC’s then executive vice president and general manager, Ed Carroll. Z Channel: The Magnificent Obsession was green lit within a matter of weeks. And though it is the custom for documentaries to take years, Xan, Marshall and Rick found they’d struck gold when they began to make inquiries among the many coworkers and loved ones who’d been involved with Z’s programmer, Jerry Harvey — an overwhelming number wanted to share their memories of Z, and of Jerry.
Jerry Harvey died shockingly, in a murder/suicide. Close friends knew he’d battled deep depression, but none (apart from previous women in his life) had any inkling that he was capable of shooting his wife Deri Rudulph to death, before turning the gun on himself. It was a catastrophe that came out of the blue, even for intimate friends — most of whom have found themselves wrestling in the dark ever since with the mystery of it. “When we would contact people, and invite them in for a first meeting,” Marshall Persinger recalls, “The conversation would never go less than eight hours.”
Vera Anderson, Jerry Harvey’s first wife, was a particularly poignant example, as was Harvey’s longtime girlfriend Doreen Ringer-Ross. “What a godsend, that Vera also happens to be such a gifted photographer,” says Xan Cassavetes. For Anderson’s photos of Jerry Harvey, dating from the 1970s through the early ’80s, catch him at his most unguarded and vulnerable. “They’re so luminous and personal that they allow us to see Jerry and that was vital.”
Another wealth of assets came from the archives of screenwriter and critic F.X. Feeney, who had been one of Jerry Harvey’s closest friends for the last six years of his life, as well as his consultant at the Z Channel. “I’d been wary of taking part in any documentary about Z or Jerry, until I met Xan,” he recalls. “The shame of Jerry’s murder of Deri can’t be sugar-coated, yet it can be too easily served up as scandal and exploitation, too. In Xan, I felt Jerry had found his ideal interpreter — someone who didn’t know him, but loved what he was about in the creative and heroic part of his life, which involved saving movies. Yet she so immediately communicated a deep, complex view of human nature, not to mention a sense of humor, that I quickly had faith that Xan would be able to illuminate the killing darkness that was also in Jerry, without romanticizing it or coming up with ‘easy’ answers.”
A key item in Feeney’s archive was a tape of Jerry Harvey’s voice from the mid-1980s, speaking on a late-night radio show. This became the spine of the film’s narration — Jerry reflecting on his own life, in concert with the aggrieved loved ones, friends and colleagues (some 40 in all) who candidly discuss not just Jerry’s death, but what he meant to them in life. The sequences involving Jerry’s own voice are distinguished by soft-edged views of Los Angeles, filmed on the 16 millimeter Bolex of cinematographer, John Pirozzi (best known for his work with director Matt Dillon on City of Ghosts).
Xan Cassavetes viewed over 200 films from the library of Z’s triumphs, from which she selected 52 film clips. Securing the rights to such clips was a logistical nightmare to which Xan, Marshall and Rick applied themselves round the clock, in concert with their small but tireless staff, particularly Gabriel Reed, Jon Montepare and Leslie Lowell.
After completing 40 painstakingly prepped and organized interviews over the course of several months in Los Angeles and New York, Xan sat down to work with editor Iain Kennedy (himself an established director of short films and documentaries), and between October, 2003 and March, 2004 distilled this wealth of mystery and emotionally charged information into Z Channel: The Magnificent Obsession.
THE HISTORY OF Z CHANNEL
April 26, 1974. Z Channel, whose symbol is “Theta, the Goddess of Television,” is launched in Los Angeles, and so becomes California’s first Pay TV service. Originally, Z only shows two films per week. Its openers are Save the Tiger, starring Jack Lemmon, and Play It Again, Sam, starring Woody Allen.
March, 1978. Z Channel’s repeated broadcasts of Annie Hall, directed by Woody Allen, are discovered to have had a decisive impact on that film’s many Oscar wins — for the majority of voters (75%) in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences are subscribers to Z.
April, 1978. Los Angeles Times critic Charles Champlin and publicist Jerry Pam create a popular interview series for Z — On the Film Scene. Over the next eleven years, guests including James Stewart, Steven Spielberg, David Lean, John Huston, Barbra Streisand, Clint Eastwood and Jessica Lange will appear and discuss their crafts in depth.
December, 1980. Jerry Harvey joins Z Channel as director of programming — and in 1982 transforms the station into a 24-hour per day service, showing upwards of 20 films per week.
June, 1982. Three films by Stu Cooper, an American filmmaker then working in London, are given their U.S. Premieres on Z Channel — Overlord, The Disappearance, and Little Malcolm. That a film should premiere on Pay TV is a remarkable first.
December, 1982. Jerry Harvey discovers a single print of the director’s cut of Heaven’s Gate (the only copy of Michael Cimino’s version then known to exist), languishing in a London warehouse. He immediately makes arrangements to show it on Z, and gives it the cover of the program guide. This bold celebration of a much attacked film provoked industry-wide attention for Z, for Harvey, as well as for Cimino’s film, which has since enjoyed a positive critical reappraisal. As with subsequent Z “rescues,” the director’s cut now prevails on video.
March, 1983. F.X. Feeney joins the staff of Z Channel as a consultant, commencing a long and close friendship with Jerry Harvey.
June, 1984. Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s magnum opus Berlin Alexanderplatz, which he originally made for television, receives its U.S. television premiere on Z Channel. It has never appeared on American television since.
October, 1984. The five and a half hour “miniseries version” of Ingmar Bergman’s Fanny & Alexander receives its American premiere on Z, as does the original, five and a quarter hour 1900, by Bernardo Bertolucci.
August, 1985. Sergio Leone’s original cut of Once Upon a Time in America is aired on Z, side-by-side with the studio’s radically butchered version — and viewers overwhelmingly respond in favor of Leone’s cut. Also: the original five and a half hour miniseries version of Das Boot airs.
April, 1986. Z celebrates its 12th anniversary by commencing a three-month retrospective of the entire body of work of Charlie Chaplin — the first time his work (then not available on video) has been so fully made available to the public, on television.
September, 1986. Z recovers an early John Ford talkie that had been thought lost: Up the River (1930), which pairs Humphrey Bogart and Spencer Tracy.
January, 1987. With the cooperation of director Karel Reisz, Z restores the original three hour cut of his 1968 Isadora, starring Vanessa Redgrave. Later in the month, the American Film Institute sponsors a daylong tribute to Z Channel, emceed by Stu Cooper, whose guests include Richard Brooks, Oliver Stone, Henry Jaglom, Kris Kristofferson, James Woods, James B. Harris, and many more.
May, 1987. Z premieres the British miniseries Wagner, photographed by Vittorio Storaro and built upon a superb lead performance by Richard Burton.
July, August, September, 1987. Z devotes a large portion of its schedule to the bodies of work of three master-directors — Stanley Kubrick, Akira Kurosawa, and Sam Peckinpah (the latter as part of a three month festival of rare but classic westerns).
October, 1987. After a half decade of changing hands (Westinghouse having sold it in 1983 to a consortium of owners), Z had nevertheless enjoyed years of sustained growth owing to Jerry Harvey’s innovative programming, and is bought by Gordon Rock and associates of Seattle. This is a happy union — Rock has detailed plans to make Z available throughout the United States. (Astonishingly, it had achieved its already national reputation despite being available only in Los Angeles.) These hopes crash with the 1987 stock market. Jerry, who loves sports almost as much he loves movies, attempts to save Z’s prospects by accepting a proposed merger with Spectacore, a sports channel. The merger and launch are set for Z’s 14th anniversary in April.
October, 1987 — March, 1988. Still more body-of-work festivals, focusing on such master-directors as Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini, Buster Keaton, Richard Brooks and Roman Polanski (including his original cuts of Cul de Sac and Dance of the Vampires), as well as a three month tribute to the films of John Ford.
April 1, 1988. Sports channel officially takes over Z Channel, and “Z plus Sports” is launched. With this, comes a variety of extraordinary pressures — since February, with news of the merger, Z has been entangled in a complicated lawsuit against its biggest rivals over an issue of “restraint of trade.” Jerry Harvey finds himself in court, giving lengthy depositions against colleagues (even rivals) with whom he’d formerly enjoyed good relations. After the launch, he stays home sick for a week.
April 9, 1988. Jerry Harvey shoots his wife to death and turns the gun on himself.
April 10, 1988 — June 30, 1989. The merger with sports had already caused Z to lose subscribers in droves. Jerry Harvey’s death ultimately sealed the company’s fate. His logical successor, Tim Ryerson, whom he’d groomed for such an ascent, was made head of programming, and energetically carried out two of Jerry’s still outstanding dreams — to air the director’s cuts of Visconti’s Ludwig, and to show the restored cut of Sam Peckinpah’s Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid. Beyond these triumphs, Tim could only put into effect the remainder of Jerry’s other detailed plans, which at his death extended to June 1989.
June 30, 1989. Z Channel goes off the air forever.
THE INFLUENCE OF Z CHANNEL
Z Channel, and Jerry Harvey, inspired a profound gratitude in the creative community. To reveal Z Channel’s impact on the lives of individual artists, Xan Cassavetes interviews Quentin Tarantino, who as a teenager took a petition door-to-door for Z Channel to be brought to his community; director Paul Verhoeven, whose Dutch films (Turkish Delight, The Fourth Man, etc.) showed so often on Z that they launched his American career; actress Theresa Russell, whose performance in Nicolas Roeg’s otherwise neglected Bad Timing was given a second life on Z, where it won her a continued cult; and actor James Woods, who says frankly, “I wouldn’t have a career if it wasn’t for Z.” Woods directly attributes his Oscar nomination for Salvador to Z Channel, which loudly championed that film, himself, and director Oliver Stone. Alexander Payne, the future director of Election and About Schmidt, was a Z subscriber given to writing letters to the station with requests. Director Jim Jarmusch (Stranger Than Paradise, Dead Man) was based in New York and couldn’t subscribe, but asked friends to send him copies of cinema rarities they’d taped from Z broadcasts. Actress Jacqueline Bisset, directors Robert Altman and Stewart Cooper, producer James B. Harris and filmmaker Henry Jaglom all knew Jerry personally, and share their insights. According to Jaglom, Orson Welles watched Z with him several days before his own death in 1985, marveling at the pains Jerry had taken with “A Touch of Welles,” a Z tribute which presented the great director’s films as nearly as possible in their optimal condition. “We’re becoming collectible,” Welles observed, tickled. Most of his work was nowhere to be found on video in 1985, but after Z made everything available, a “Welles Revival” was sparked, which continues to this day.
Z CHANNEL’S CHIEF PROGRAMMER, JERRY HARVEY
“Think of Z Channel,” Jerry Harvey loved to say, “as the Museum of Modern Art, but with a sense of humor.”
Jerry Harvey was only 32 years old in 1981, when he suddenly found himself head of programming at Z Channel — a small, pioneering Pay TV station (founded in 1974), devoted to movies and based in Los Angeles. Within six meteoric years, he transformed “Z” (as its fans knew it) into a major force in the film industry. He created a highly public showcase for films in their original forms — badgering studios and enlisting the help of the filmmakers themselves to restore buried or butchered works to the lengths they intended. Among the films he rescued were Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate, Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1900, Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America, and Sam Peckinpah’s Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid — to name but a few. Before he took over Z, “the director’s cut” was unheard of as a commercial idea. After Jerry, it became the basis of a revitalized afterlife for classic films.
Even now, 16 years after Jerry’s death in 1988, his vision and methodology continue to influence, for the better, the ways in which movies are loved and cherished throughout the United States.
Born in 1949 in Bakersfield, California, descended from the early settlers who came west in covered wagons, Jerry developed from early life a hard, American westerner’s manner of speaking his mind, leavened with laconic humor. Even so, his was a childhood afflicted by demons. There was a strong trait of violent, mental instability in his family, passed down through his father, a local judge who prided himself on the high number of men he’d sent to the electric chair. As adults, Jerry’s two devoted elder sisters committed suicide.
Cinema had long been his best weapon, for surviving such sorrow. He had a long, deep emotional relationship with the healing force all good movies can have, every kind of good movie, be it a Hollywood blockbuster or the most refined and independent work of art. Jerry was so energetically open-minded that his freewheeling tastes won Z Channel a broad audience. Mainstream audiences who had tuned in to simply see a popular hit would often stay to catch an obscure rarity that, to their surprise, they would enjoy even more. Jerry knew firsthand what great pleasures were to be had in discovering movies — and so he consciously appealed to this sense of curiosity in others. Z Channel provoked such fierce loyalty among its subscribers that it became legend within the television industry. Once people paid their monthly fee to receive Z, they never, ever canceled the arrangement. Executives at such rival companies (corporate giants for whom cancellations are routine) expressed envy and amazement at these statistics. Clearly, something other than brute commerce was at work. Jerry was able to make his love and curiosity about movies contagious — and this is a phenomenon upon which no one can put a price.
In the end, Jerry’s demons overwhelmed him. His first wife, Vera Anderson, and longtime girlfriend, Doreen Ringer-Ross, both give painful accounts of what it took to live with him when the tragedies of his life (especially the suicides of his sisters) backed up and blackened his moods. Male friends, such as writer Douglas Venturelli, colleagues Tim Ryerson, Jeff Schwager, and film critics Charles Champlin, Kevin Thomas and F.X. Feeney illuminate what they knew of Jerry’s heart, and sufferings. And they recall Jerry’s angelic, dynamic second wife Deri (1949 –1988), who loved him and tried to save him from himself, but to no avail. That final Saturday in April, 1988, a week after Z Channel had transformed into a compromised version of itself (“Z plus Sports”), Jerry suffered the catastrophic breakdown he had fought off for most of his life, shot Deri to death and then turned the gun on himself.
The shocking, shameful nature of Jerry Harvey’s death has eclipsed for over 16 years the great honors that might have been accorded his passing, had he been hit by lightning, or died in a car crash. And yet — 16 years later — those who loved him still love him, those for whom love either burnt out or capsized can’t forget him, and those who owe him for their increased bounty as artists are all still deeply grateful.
XAN CASSAVETES, director
Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession marks the feature-length directorial debut of musician-turned-filmmaker Xan Cassavetes. Her career as a musician in the late 80s/early 90s led her towards a career as a music video director. During this time, in addition to music videos, she also directed a series of short films, which aired extensively on IFC. More recently, Ms. Cassavetes shot second unit on her brother Nick Cassavetes’ feature film Alpha Dog (2005; New Line Cinema) and has completed a feature-length screenplay, Mexico City. Xan Cassavetes is the daughter of filmmakers John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands.
MARSHALL PERSINGER, producer
Named one of Variety’s Top Ten International Producers To Watch at 1999/2000 Festival du Cannes, Ms. Persinger has been president of The Fresh Produce Company since 1996. In 2002, Persinger formed an alliance with the Florida-based Innovative Film Associates to launch Fresh Produce Films. Past projects include: Showtime’s Wild Iris, starring Gena Rowlands and Laura Linney (both nominated for Best Actress Emmys with Linney winning the award in 2002), Cherry Falls, starring Brittany Murphy and Jay Mohr, Twin Falls Idaho, Kill the Man, starring Luke Wilson, Still Breathing, starring Brendan Fraser, Amos & Andrew starring Nicolas Cage and Samuel L. Jackson and a CBS pilot Expert Witness, starring Matthew Modine. Persinger is currently in production on a psychological thriller entitled Prisoner, and among other things, is developing the feature film Mexico City with Xan Cassavetes.
From 1986, under the mentorship of Academy award-winning producer/director Jonathan Demme, Persinger worked as a production and post-production supervisor on films including Married to The Mob, Miami Blues, and The Silence of the Lambs. Ms. Persinger graduated with a B.A. in Rhetoric and Communications from the University of Virginia.
RICK ROSS, producer
Rick Ross began his career in film production as managing director of Los Angeles-based record label, Delicious Vinyl. Working with acts such as Tone Loc, The Pharcyde, Masters of Reality and The Brand New Heavies, he was in charge of music video production, and executive produced over 30 music videos.
In 1999, Ross started a film company, Maja Films, with writer/director Xan Cassavetes. He and Ms. Cassavetes completed a series of short films, which aired on the IFC. Ross recently completed production on a feature-length documentary about The Ramones, and is currently producing a documentary about legendary Gypsy Jazz guitarist, Django Reinhardt. Ross is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley.
ALISON BOURKE, executive producer
As Vice President of IFC Original Programming, Alison Bourke oversees the development and production of original series and specials airing on IFC and serves as Executive Producer on key programs. In 2004, IFC marked its tenth anniversary with the most ambitious slate of original programming in the network’s history.
Bourke’s projects include A Decade Under the Influence, directed by Richard LaGravenese and Ted Demme which was nominated for an Emmy and won the 2003 National Board of Review William K. Everson Award for Film History; BaadAsssss Cinema; With the Filmmaker: Portraits by Albert Maysles (from the acclaimed director of Gimme Shelter); Errol Morris’ First Person; Adam Goldberg’s Running with the Bulls; Beyond Borders: John Sayles in Mexico; Indie Sex: Taboos; Crossover and Independent Focus, hosted by New York Times Film Critic Elvis Mitchell. Ms. Bourke also executive produces the critically acclaimed IFC signature series Dinner for Five, created and hosted by Jon Favreau, which enters its fourth season April 1 2005. She is Executive Producer of Slasher, a John Landis documentary that looks at the strange world of used car ‘slasher’ sales and In the Company of Women, which explores the role of women in independent film and screened at 2004 Sundance Film Festival.
Prior to becoming Executive Producer for IFC Original Productions, Ms. Bourke’s credits on IFC’s original programming included Supervising Producer on The American Nightmare and Associate Producer on In Bad Taste: The John Waters Story and Delroy Lindo on Spike Lee. Alison Bourke produced numerous behind-the-scenes featurettes for IFC Productions’ feature films including Boys Don’t Cry and Monsoon Wedding.
Ms. Bourke joined Bravo Networks in 1996 as part of the scheduling and acquisitions department where she acquired short films and developed interstitial segments for IFC including Greg The Bunny, which went on to become a series on Fox. She served as Manager of Production for IFC, as well as Director of Original Programming, a position she held for 2 years before a promotion to Vice President of Original Programming in 2004.
ABOUT IFC TELEVISION
The Independent Film Channel (IFC) is the first and most widely distributed network dedicated to independent film 24 hours a day, uncut and commercial free.
IFC celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2004 with its most extensive original programming line-up ever, which included Henry’s Film Corner, Nanette Burstein’s Film School, Ultimate Film Fanatic, Rocked With Gina Gershon, In the Company of Women, the third season of Dinner For Five and John Landis’ Slasher. In the past, IFC has made its mark with originals including BaaadAsssss Cinema, The American Nightmare, Indie Sex: Taboos and A Decade Under the Influence.
The Independent Film Channel is a part of IFC Companies, which has established itself as the future of independent film. With the television network, as well as a film distribution and production unit and a VOD service, IFC Companies has created over the course of the past decade a revolutionary end-to-end business model and brand that focuses on developing and nurturing talent and maximizing the value of independent film. IFC Companies uses its unique cross-platform position to broaden the audience of independent film and to provide independent filmmakers with a strong voice. IFC Companies is a division of Rainbow Media Holdings, LLC.
Z CHANNEL: A MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION CREDITS
THE INDEPENDENT FILM CHANNEL PRESENTS
a MAJA FILMS and FRESH PRODUCE FILMS production
Z CHANNEL: A Magnificent Obsession
Directed by Xan Cassavetes
Produced, by Rick Ross & Marshall Persinger
Executive Producers, Alison Palmer Bourke & Ed Carroll
Supervising Producer, Susan Heimbinder
Co-Producer, F.X. Feeney
Associate Producers, Leslie Lowell & Jonathan Montepare
Director of Photography, John Pirozzi
Edited, Iain Kennedy
Assistant Editor and Graphic Design, Gabriel Reed
Music, Steven Hufsteter
Featured in Z CHANNEL: A Magnificent Obsession
Robert Altman, Filmmaker
Vera Anderson, Jerry Harvey’s First Wife, Photojournalist
Charles Lynn Batten, English Professor, UCLA
Jacqueline Bisset, Actress
Charles Champlin, Film Critic
David Chasman, Film Executive
Stuart Cooper, Filmmaker
F.X. Feeney, Film Critic
Andrea Grossman, Z Channel Programming Assistant
James B. Harris, Filmmaker
Don Hyde, Friend Of Jerry Harvey
Henry Jaglom, Filmmaker
Jim Jarmusch, Filmmaker
Charles Joffe, Producer
Bill Mechanic, Former Programmer, Select TV
Edwin Michaelove, Founding Z Channel Programmer
Ned Nalle, Film Executive, Universal
Jerry Pam, Z Channel Producer
Alexander Payne, Filmmaker
Chuck Ross, Z Channel’s Top Door-To-Door Salesman
Doreen Ringer Ross, Jerry Harvey’s Longtime Girlfriend
Alan Rudolph, Filmmaker
Theresa Russell, Actress
Tim Ryerson, Z Channel Assistant Programmer
Jeff Schwager, Z Channel Assistant Programmer
Penelope Spheeris, Director
Bob Strock, Z Marketing Executive
Quentin Tarantino, Filmmaker
Kevin Thomas, Film Critic
Jonathan Turell, Janus Films/Criterion Collection
Douglas Venturelli, Friend And Writing Partner Of Jerry Harvey
Paul Verhoeven, Filmmaker
James Woods, Actor
Vilmos Zsigmond, Cinematographer
Films featured in Z CHANNEL: A Magnificent Obsession
8 1/2, Federico Fellini (1963)
1900, Bernardo Bertolucci (1976)
The 400 Blows, Francois Truffaut (1959)
A Safe Place, Henry Jaglom (1971)
Andrei Rublev, Andrei Tarkovsky (1969)
Attilas ’74, Michael Cacoyannis (1975)
Bad Timing, Nicolas Roeg (1980)
Berlin Alexanderplatz, Rainer Werner Fassbinder (1980)
Black Orpheus, Marcel Camus (1959)
Children of Paradise, Marcel Carne (1945)
China 9, Liberty 37, Monte Hellman/Tony Brandt (1978)
College, James W. Horne (1927)
Das Boot, Wolfgang Petersen (1981)
Decline of Western Civilization Part I, Penelope Spheeris (1981)
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Stanley Kubrick (1964)
The Empire Strikes Back, Irvin Kershner (1980)
Fingers, James Toback (1978)
Fitzcarraldo, Werner Herzog (1982)
Heaven’s Gate, Michael Cimino (1981)
Images, Robert Altman (1972)
The Important Thing is to Love, Andrzej Zulawski (1975)
In a Lonely Place, Nicholas Ray (1950)
Juliet of the Spirits, Federico Fellini (1965)
La Cicala, Alberto Lattuada (1980)
La Notte, Michelangelo Antonioni (1961)
La Strada, Federico Fellini (1954)
Lady on the Bus, Neville De Almeida (1978)
L’Avventura, Michelangelo Antonioni (1960)
Le Magnifique, Philippe de Broca (1973)
The Leopard, Luchino Visconti (1963)
Madchen in Uniform, Leontine Sagan (1931)
Malizia, Salvatore Samperi (1973)
McCabe and Mrs. Miller, Robert Altman (1972)
The Moon’s Our Home, William Seiter (1936)
My Darling Clementine, John Ford (1946)
Once Upon A Time In America, Sergio Leone (1984)
One Deadly Summer, Jean Becker (1983)
Overlord, Stuart Cooper (1975)
Pandora’s Box, G.W. Pabst (1929)
The Passenger, Michelangelo Antonioni (1975)
Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, Sam Peckinpah (1973)
Paths of Glory, Stanley Kubrick (1957)
The Red Desert, Michelangelo Antonioni (1964)
Ride the High Country, Sam Peckinpah (1962)
Salvador, Oliver Stone (1986)
The Sicilian, Michael Cimino (1987)
Silver Streak, Arthur Hiller (1976)
Something of Value, Richard Brooks (1957)
Turkish Delight, Paul Verhoeven (1973)
Welcome to L.A., Alan Rudolph (1976)
Wifemistress, Marco Vicario (1977)
The Wild Bunch, Sam Peckinpah (1969)