By MCN Editor


Venerable Actor Played ‘Fredo’ in THE GODFATHER Parts I and II
DVD release planned before 2010 holiday season
New York, NY (June 22, 2010) – Oscilloscope Laboratories announced today that it has acquired North American rights to Richard Shepard’s (THE MATADOR, Emmy® Award-Winning director of Ugly Betty “Pilot”) documentary I KNEW IT WAS YOU, which explores the life of the exceptional but little-known actor John Cazale. The film premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and aired on HBO June 1, 2010. The film was produced by Brett Ratner and Stacey Reiss. O-Scope will release the DVD in the fall of 2010.

Cazale’s film career consisted of just five movies, but all of them were Academy Award nominees for Best Picture: THE GODFATHER, THE GODFATHER: PART II, THE CONVERSATION, DOG DAY AFTERNOON, and THE DEER HUNTER. He is remembered by his colleagues as one of the brightest talents of his day, but three decades after his promising career ended with his untimely death, Cazale is largely unknown the general public.
Featuring interviews with Hollywood legends such as Al Pacino, Gene Hackman, Robert De Niro, Richard Dreyfuss, Meryl Streep, and Sidney Lumet, as well as actors and filmmakers from a younger generation inspired by Cazale, including Philip Seymour Hoffman, Sam Rockwell, Steve Buscemi, and Brett Ratner, and including clips from Cazale’s movies and rarely seen photos and home video, I KNEW IT WAS YOU seeks to remedy the disparity of Cazale’s success with his relative anonymity.
Richard Shepard said, “It’s a thrill to have Oscilloscope release the DVD of I KNEW IT WAS YOU. Their passion and commitment to quality projects is evident in the care and creativity they put into each of their releases. This documentary was a labor of love for everyone involved, and it’s really nice that it continues with the DVD release. I’m very excited that movie fans everywhere will have a chance to learn about John Cazale, and his incredible craft of acting.”
Adam Yauch, head of Oscilloscope, said, “Oscilloscope is the Fredo of independent film, so it’s an honor to put this film out.”
About Oscilloscope Laboratories:
Oscilloscope Laboratories is a film production and theatrical distribution entity launched in 2008 by Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys. Yauch modeled the company after the indie record labels he grew up around, choosing films and then marketing them with the same artistic integrity with which they were made. The company, which is an extension of Yauch’s recording studio of the same name, has an in-house DVD distribution and production arm, and the paper packaging is reminiscent of the heyday of LP record jackets. All of the company’s DVD packaging is (free of any plastic) printed on FSC Certified 80% post-consumer waste paper and produced in a carbon neutral, hydroelectric plant. Other Oscilloscope theatrical releases include Yauch’s GUNNIN’ FOR THAT #1 SPOT, Irena Salina’s FLOW, Caroline Suh’s FRONTRUNNERS, Kurt Kuenne’s DEAR ZACHARY, Kelly Reichardt’s WENDY AND LUCY starring Michelle Williams, So Yong Kim’s TREELESS MOUNTAIN, Gabriel Medina’s offbeat comedy THE PARANOIDS, the Academy-Award® nominated THE GARDEN from Scott Hamilton Kennedy, Anders Østergaard’s Academy-Award® nominated BURMA VJ, Nati Baratz’s UNMISTAKEN CHILD, and Laura Gabbert and Justin Schein’s NO IMPACT MAN. Recent releases include Oren Moverman’s Academy-Award® nominated THE MESSENGER, starring Woody Harrelson, Ben Foster, and Samantha Morton, Henrik Ruben Genz’s Danish thriller TERRIBLY HAPPY, Bradley Rust Gray’s THE EXPLODING GIRL starring Zoe Kazan, and Michel Gondry’s personal family documentary THE THORN IN THE HEART. Upcoming releases include Lance Daly’s award-winning Irish film KISSES, the re-release of Jules Dassin’s classic THE LAW, Yael Hersonski’s award-winning documentary about a never completed Nazi propaganda film A FILM UNFINISHED, and Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s HOWL starring James Franco as Allen Ginsberg.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon