Monday, 14 February 2005

special cinema season: you talkin' to me? the screen presence of robert de niro (24 march - 5 april)

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Raging Bull, ACMI celebrates the astonishing talent of Robert De Niro, presenting a special cinema season of classics, rarities and gems.

With an inexplicable ability to embrace numerous genres from comedy in Meet the Fockers (2004) to heartfelt drama in Awakenings (1990) through to gangster classics such as Goodfellas (1990), De Niro is easily regarded as one of the greatest actors of all time. 

Recently ranked as #1 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Greatest Living Actor (Gods Among Us)" list (October 2004), De Niro's career includes a staggering collection of iconic movie performances that have seen his transition from acclaimed actor to being an indelible part of the fabric of pop culture.

He has inspired at least three songs, a cocktail, and - on a more grim note - a presidential assassination attempt (would-be killer John Hinckley cited Travis Bickle, De Niro's character in Taxi Driver as a formative influence on his attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan).

But he will perhaps be best remembered as having uttered some of the most memorable movie lines ever, such as  "I give him an offer he don't refuse," from The Godfather Part II and the perennially quoted and frequently spoofed "You talkin' to me?" monologue from Taxi Driver, the latter pronounced by Entertainment Weekly as "a scrap of pop-culture boilerplate... It's a slogan; you see it on T-shirts. Frat boys blurt it out after too many beers. "

ACMI's special De Niro cinema season is a rare big-screen opportunity to see De Niro's most seminal screen moments, many of which are regular fixtures in critical lists of the top "must-see" movies of all time.

Highlights of the season include The Godfather Part II (1974), the film which netted De Niro his first Academy Award (for Best Actor in a Supporting Role) and which created Oscar history with De Niro and Marlon Brando becoming the first (and only) two actors to win an Oscar for playing the same character; Michael Cimino's post-Vietnam epic The Deer Hunter (1978); as well as several films born from his long-standing creative association with director Martin Scorsese such as Taxi Driver (1976), Mean Streets (1973), Casino (1995), Cape Fear (1991) and Raging Bull (1980), the latter for which De Niro was awarded his second Oscar, this time for Best Actor in a Leading Role.

Among the rarities to be screened will be Greetings (1968), De Niro's first leading film role, made at age 24, and its sequel Hi, Mom! (1970), both directed by Brian De Palma. Also featuring is Bloody Mama (1971), Roger Corman's low budget sensationalist B-pic about a depression-era matron (Shelley Winters) and her gang of thugs, with De Niro for his role reportedly starving himself in his first major foray of "becoming" a character.

Clare Stewart, ACMI's Cinema Programs Manager, said "As part of ACMI's cinema programs in 2005 and beyond we are thrilled to be bringing audiences the work of influential filmmakers. De Niro's contribution to the art of screen performance is immeasurable, his approach has had such an impact on contemporary cinema, making him the ideal choice for our first actor focus program this year. "

The complete program for ACMI's De Niro Focus, with full list of films screened and session times, will be announced shortly.

Further information

Danielle Poulos, Communications Coordinator, ACMI ph 03 8663 2415 m 0417 540 543
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