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THE CAT'S MEOW

Germany / UK, 2001 (MIFF 2002, International Panorama)

Director: Peter Bogdanovich

A stellar Hollywood cast rise to the challenge of reconstructing one of La La Land's biggest 'true story' scandals. In 1924 producer Thomas Ince died aboard a luxury yacht owned by media mogul William Randolph Hearst - on whom Orson Welles based Citizen Kane. Aboard were starlet Marion Davies (Kirsten Dunst), Charlie Chaplin (Eddie Izzard), novelist Elinor Glyn (Joanna Lumley), gossip columnist Louella Parsons (Jennifer Tilly), young flappers and wanna-be industry men. Hollywood Babylon author Kenneth Anger surmised that Ince died from bootleg booze, and Hearst "made the bad mistake of trying to hush up the whole affair". Historian and filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich - who knows his Hollywood history probably better than any other American director - tells a different tale: Hearst was convinced Marion was having an affair with Chaplin, and in taking a jealous pot-shot mistakenly killed the wrong man.

"Bogdanovich tells the popular version of the legend in clever and entertaining fashion, loaded with authentic and convincing details " - LA Times

Cinephile Peter Bogdanovich (born in New York, 1939), has written books on Fritz Lang, Orson Welles and John Ford. His films include Targets (1968), The Last Picture Show (1971), Mask (1985) and Texasville (1990). Bogdanovich has a cameo in Henry Jaglom's Festival in Cannes, also screening in MIFF 2002.

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