[Press release from the Cleveland Cinematheque.]
Kernochan won her first Academy Award (for Best Documentary Feature) for MARJOE, a shocking portrait of Southern evangelist and charismatic con man Marjoe Gortner, who became a minor movie star and celebrity because of the film. Her second Oscar was for the 2002 documentary short subject “Thoth,” about a New York street musician. Kernochan is also a screenwriter (NINE ½ WEEKS and SOMMERSBY, in addition to IMPROMPTU), novelist, playwright, and singer-songwriter with two albums for RCA. She is married to Tony Award-winning director James Lapine, a frequent collaborator with Stephen Sondheim. Her website is www.sarahkernochan.com
An Evening with Sarah Kernochan
Saturday, March 23 in Aitken Auditorium, Cleveland Institute of Art, 11141 East Boulevard, telephone (216) 421-7450, www.cia.edu/cinematheque. Free parking for filmgoers in adjacent CIA lot.
5:30 pm - IMPROMPTU
UK/France, 1991, James Lapine
Bohemian, cross-dressing novelist George Sand (Judy Davis) woos frail composer Frédéric Chopin (Hugh Grant) in this fizzy period piece written by Sarah Kernochan and directed by her husband James Lapine. Mandy Patinkin (as Alfred de Musset), Bernadette Peters, Julian Sands (as Franz Liszt), and Emma Thompson co-star. Kernochan will answer questions after the screening. 35mm. 109 min.
8:30 pm - MARJOE (New 35mm Archive Print!)
USA, 1972, Sarah Kernochan, Howard Smith
Winner of the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, this shocking exposé profiles charismatic, twentysomething Southern evangelist Marjoe Gortner. Marjoe began his career as a precocious child preacher but continued holding tent revivals (and milking his followers for money) long after he stopped believing. He comes clean for the cameras. Despite its Oscar, Marjoe was barely released in the American South; the distributor feared it would spark outrage. Co-director Sarah Kernochan will answer questions after the screening. Restored 35mm print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive (Cassie Blake). 88 min.