By Ray Pride



New York, NY – July 30, 2015 – Kino Lorber is proud to announce the acquisition of all North American rights to Miguel Gomes’ ARABIAN NIGHTS, a critically acclaimed and visionary six-hour trilogy about social and economic woes in Mr. Gomes’ native Portugal through the perspective of a contemporary Scheherazade figure.

Winner of the top prize at the Sydney Film Festival, Arabian Nights has been described as “whimsical, swooningly romantic, inspiring, fascinating, or deeply sad,” (Oliver Lyttelton, Playlist). Its combination of social critique, humor and narrative inventiveness is “an entirely new approach for looking at the real world through an optic that distorts it, defamiliarizes it, and restores to it a rich, poetic form of truth,” writes Jonathan Romney for Film Comment. “This is cinema that’s trying to change the world,” wrote film critic Blake Williams (for Ioncinema) “and trying to evolve the ways in which cinema is made and watched.”

All three films (The Restless One, The Desolate One and The Enchanted One) had their world premiere in the Directors’ Fortnight section of this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and they are now scheduled to open at New York’s Film Society of Lincoln Center on December 4, December 11 and December 18, respectively. Screenings of Part I will be scheduled during the week of December 11, and Part I and Part II will be screened during the third week of the run, when the last chapter of the trilogy,The Enchanted One, is set to premiere.

Key festival dates are expected to be announced soon, and Kino Lorber will open the film in other markets early next year, following the New York run. Digital and home media releases are also scheduled for 2016.

Disturbed by the austerity measures imposed on his homeland, Gomes commissioned journalists to gather true stories from all over the country that were then fictionalized. The result is a heady blend of the surreal and the all-too-real, told in a series of episodes where social realism is mixed in with the outright bizarre. It is a vivid portrait of a country in crisis and a collection of riveting stories that will resonate far beyond Portugal’s borders.

The deal was negotiated between Kino Lorber CEO Richard Lorber and on behalf of Match Factory, Sales Director Thania Dimitrakopoulou and Managing Director Michael Weber.

Kino Lorber CEO Richard Lorber commented: “Miguel’s amazing Arabian Nights is a shape shifting work of unprecedented originality and intelligence. It astounded us in Cannes and we as a company exist to bring this kind of visionary cinema to welcoming screens across North America. It’s also a helluva lot of fun — I can’t wait to see it again with “civilian” audiences.”

The film was produced by leading Portuguese company O Som e a Furia, as well as Shellac Sud, Komplizen Film, Box Production, Arte France Cinema, Arte/ZDF, RTP, Agat Films, and RTS-SRG SSR.

About Kino Lorber:
With a library of more than 1,000 titles, Kino Lorber has been a leader in independent art house distribution for over 30 years, releasing 25 films per year theatrically under its Kino Lorber, Kino Classics, and Alive Mind Cinema banners, including five Academy Award®-nominated films in the last eight years. In addition, the company brings over 100 narrative and documentary titles each year to the home entertainment, educational and digital markets through in-house DVD and Blu-ray distribution and direct sales to all major digital platforms.

About O Som e a Furia:
O Som e a Fúria was created in 1998. The company works exclusively with independent auteur cinema, and the quality of its works, as well as the development of the individual universes of its directors, are the backbone of the company. Since 2006, films by O Som e a Fúria (such as The Face You Deserve, Our Beloved Month of August, Uprise, Ruins and The Portuguese Nun) have been included in dozens of Best Film lists compiled by international publications such as “Cahiers du Cinema”, “Sight & Sound”, “The Guardian”, “The New Yorker”, “The New York Times”, “Film Comment” and “Clarin,” to name a few.

Production Credits:
(Portugal-France-Germany-Switzerland) A O Som e a Furia, Shellac Sud, Komplizen Film, Box Production, Arte France Cinema, Arte/ZDF, RTP, Agat Films, RTS-SRG SSR production. (International sales: the Match Factory, Cologne, Germany.)  Produced by Luis Urban, Sandro Aguilar, Thomas Ordonneau, Jonas Dornbach, Janine Jackowski, Maren Ade, Elena Tatti, Thierry Spicher, Elodie Brunner. Co-producers, Olivier Pere, Remi Burah, Meinholf Zurhorst, Alexander Bohr, Nuno Vaz, Francoise Mayor, Sophie Sallin, Sven Waelti, Gregory Catella, Robert Guediguian, Patrick Sobelman, Marc Bordure, Michel Merkt. Executive producer, Luis Urbano.

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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