JAMES GANDOLFINI SUSAN SARANDON KATE WINSLET STEVE BUSCEMI BOBBY CANNAVALE MANDY MOORE MARY-LOUISE PARKER AIDA TURTURRO AND
CHRISTOPHER WALKEN EDDIE IZZARD
BARBARA SUKOWA DAVID THORNTON
ELAINE STRITCH Written and directed by
JOHN TURTURRO Produced by
JOHN TURTURRO Executive Producers
NICK HILL Executive Producers
ETHAN COEN Director of Photography
TOM STERN Production and Costume Design
DONNA ZAKOWSKA Edited by
RAY HUBLEY Casting by
TODD THALER A
CO-PRODUCTION Unit Production Manager
MATTHEW ROWLAND First Assistant Director
TODD PFEIFFER Second Assistant Director
SHEA ROWAN Choreography by
TRICIA BROUK “Delilah” Choreography by
MARGIE GILLIS Music Supervisor
CHRIS ROBERTSON Production Sound Mixer/Designer
TOD A. MAITLAND, C.A.S. SYNOPSIS
Romance & Cigarettes is a down-and-dirty musical love story. Nick (James Gandolfini) is a New York ironworker married to Kitty (Susan Sarandon), a strong but gentle woman with whom he has three grown daughters. He is secretly carrying on a torrid affair with the flame-haired Tula (Kate Winslet). When his wife catches him and Tula wants a commitment, Nick finds himself a prisoner of his primal urges. A good man at heart, he must find his way back to his family before he runs of out chances.
Drawing on inspirations as diverse as Charles Bukowski and The Honeymooners, this romantic adventure features songs that are anthems of our time—from James Brown, Janis Joplin, Engelbert Humperdinck, Tom Jones, Bruce Springsteen, and more—which illuminate the characters' hopes and dreams. When pushed to their breaking points (and beyond), these conflicted characters break into song, singing along—sometimes lip-synching, sometimes in full voice—with the music lodged in their subconscious.
ABOUT THE FILM
By John Turturro (Writer/Director)
The idea for this movie was born during the filming of Barton Fink. I decided that I should be writing something for real when I was being photographed. On my typewriter I typed the title, the theme, the first scene, and the song “Man Without Love,” and a list of ideas for other scenes. I thought it was a great title and an interesting idea, but put it away for a long time.
While I was editing my second film Illuminata, there was a small musical sequence in it which seemed to spring a leak in my brain: the fantasy that we all have of being able to express ourselves musically, in whatever mood we’re in.
For me, Romance & Cigarettes is a working class opera. When people don’t have money, they escape through song, much like prayer. Being a lover of Fellini, Powell and Pressburger, and Buñuel, I was encouraged to not think I was completely out of my mind. Life isn’t a comedy, or a tragedy, or a musical, but all of these elements are part of our everyday experience. According to Aristotle, a drama must have plot, character, thought, poetry, music and dance. I just added sex.
I hope the audience receives the film in the spirit in which was made—full of love and wonder and occasional dirty thoughts.
MORE ABOUT THE FILM
In writer/director John Turturro’s description, Romance & Cigarettes was inspired by the Queens, New York, neighborhoods where he spent his childhood, and the flights of imagination his friends and family used to escape them.
Turturro grew up with a deep sense of community, with all its supports and antagonisms. “You knew everybody on the block,” Turturro remembers. “I only had a few good friends there, but you don’t really grow up alone.” Diversions were in sport, family, and fantasy. “You didn’t have a lot of money to go travel,” he remembers, “so you kind you were forced to use your imagination a lot. That was a major part of my life.”
The possibilities of popular entertainment suggested a multi-faceted, high-low imaginative universe to the young Turturro. “I like things that are heightened,” he says. “You know, I’m from the theater, so if you look at the Greek plays, they say you’re supposed to have character, thought, poetry, spectacle, dance, and music. They had all those elements. Nowadays you don’t see them coexist as much.”
“But that kind of stuff appeals to me,” Turturro explains. “I like imaginative work. It’s interesting to me because sometimes when you heighten something, it winds up being truer than when you try to be completely realistic.” “When people don’t have a lot,” he continues, “they escape through the movies or popular song. There’s a reason why people are big pop stars. There’s a reason why Bruce Springsteen speaks to a lot of people; he puts his finger on the pulse of how they feel, and tells stories about them.”
WHERE IT STARTED
There is a nice symmetry in how this imaginative film made it film: Turturro started writing it while on the set of a movie, Joel and Ethan Coens’ Barton Fink, in which he played a writer. Turturro’s character was a playwright working on a Hollywood screenplay. In this case, Turturro decided to take a literal approach to the actor’s craft. “I had experienced writing something,” remembers Turturro, “and I realized it’s a lot different than the way it looks in the movies.” So not only did he go to secretarial school to improve his typing—he had to work an Underwood period machine—but when the cameras started rolling Turturro actually began writing something of his own. “I thought that would be a good exercise,” he says. Some of the first words he committed to paper were the title and first few scenes of Romance & Cigarettes. “I loved the title and the story,” he recalls, “and I’d seen lots of people go through these kinds of experiences. Some things I had observed, some things I imagined. My initial thing was that Joe Orton black humor, with the toe and cigarette. I wrote the scene and I said, ‘Oh wow, that’s good!’”
But it would be many years before the project finally came to fruition. “It was really a fertile time for me,” he recalls. “My wife was pregnant so a lot of things were going on in my life. You can’t do everything so you write it down and put it away.”
It wasn’t until Turturro was working on his second film, as director—Illuminata—that he returned in earnest to his musical black comedy. While in the editing room, Turturro was struggling to solve a problem involving the score, when suddenly what he describes as “a little door” opened in his imagination. He could see just how the music of Romance & Cigarettes would be incorporated into the drama: as an expression of the unspoken feelings and hopes that popular music played in the lives of his family and neighbors as a child.
“I liked the idea of using my unconscious when I was writing it,” he recalls. “I started plotting it out but then left a huge section open. I wanted to see where that would take me.” A large part of that opening left to be filled was the music that would eventually give the film such nerve and style. “I basically knew where the plot was going,” he says, “but I was also trying to listen to songs. I had The Man Without Love, which was a song I grew up with. And I knew The Girl That I Marry. After that, I made a list of thousands, and listened to them. I tried to select what was right for the plot, not just my favorite songs. But there’s certainly a connection to some of the singers, they’re like these guy-guy singers: James Brown, Tom Jones.”
Turturro enjoyed a rare advantage while working with his cast: his own background as an actor. “It’s pretty easy for me because I know how to have a rehearsal with them,” he explains. “I made them do silly games and exercises, which they never do. They were mortified but you want to get them to be free. Sidney Lumet saw the film, and he couldn’t believe how free everybody was. He said ‘What did you do, give them drugs or something?’ I said ‘No. I didn’t have that kind of budget.’”
Turturro’s uncommon approach to rehearsal built up a high level of trust and produced a positive rhythm for the production. “I can demonstrate things and make a fool of myself,” he explains, “and that kind of sets a good precedent. I know what it means to be up there and how hard it is. So sometimes you do a bunch of takes in a row without saying, ‘Cut.’ Once they’re relaxed, they can go further. If they’re not relaxed, there’s only so far you can go.”
The presence of music in the film also presented some interesting challenges and possibilities. As Turturro explains, “in movies you see people trained to sing, and they sing pretty well, but they don’t really sing. The result is that they’re not that expressive and it’s really not that moving.” When Turturro realized his actors were willing to actually sing along to the soundtrack, he felt it was almost perfect. It was like they were singing to their own private soundtrack, “like a shower musical.”
The performances that resulted were, even for the director, revelatory. “James did musicals in high school,” Turturro explains. “But I didn’t even know he could sing. He actually has a nice voice. He was nervous; who wouldn’t be? In my opinion he gives a multidimensional, humorous, tender performance. He’s an interesting actor, James; this big guy, but he’s very sensitive. He’s one of the best actors I’ve ever seen, if not the best, acting opposite of a woman.”
The inspiration for Romance & Cigarettes and its realization are the result of a passion which has been building for a long time. “I try to give a lot of myself in everything I do,” Turturro says, but even when you believe in something it’s easy to get waylaid, to “lose your impulses and say, ‘I’m going to do what I really want later.’ And by that time, whatever you really wanted is gone, it’s lost, you haven’t cultivated it.” Passion, says the filmmaker, has “got to be like an itch you want to scratch. I think about that all the time. Maybe that’s enough, but the nature of being alive is, after a couple of years go by, something’s itching me and I want to scratch it.”
CAST BIOGRAPHIES JAMES GANDOLFINI (Nick Murder) is currently shooting the sixth season of HBO's Emmy award winning drama, The Sopranos, in which he stars as the series lead, Tony Soprano. His portrayal of Tony Soprano has brought him three Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series, and three Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards, including two for Outstanding Male Actor in a Drama Series and one shared with the entire cast of The Sopranos, for Outstanding Ensemble Cast.
Gandolfini has also made a mark in more than 20 motion pictures. He most recently finished shooting Lonely Hearts, opposite John Travolta and Salma Hayek, and All the King’s Men, directed by Steve Zaillian, starring Sean Penn and Jude Law. He has worked with the Coen Brothers previously, in The Man Who Wasn't There. His other film credits include Joel Shumacher’s Eight mm, with Nicolas Cage and Joaquin Phoenix; Steve Zaillian’s A Civil Action, with John Travolta and Robert Duvall; Nick Cassavetes’ She’s So Lovely, starring Sean Penn and Robin Wright-Penn; Tony Scott’s Crimson Tide, starring Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington; True Romance, starring Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette; Sidney Lumet’s Night Falls on Manhattan, with Andy Garcia and Lena Olin; and Get Shorty, with Danny Devito and John Travolta.
Born in Westwood, New Jersey, Gandolfini graduated from Rutgers University before beginning his acting career in New York Theatre. He made his Broadway debut in the 1992 revival of "A Streetcar Named Desire" with Alec Baldwin and Jessica Lange. He currently resides in New York.
SUSAN SARANDON (Kitty Kane) brings her own brand of sex appeal and intelligence to every role, from her fearless portrayal of Annie Savoy in Bull Durham, to her Oscar-nominated performances in Thelma and Louise, Lorenzo’s Oil, The Client, and Atlantic City, to her Academy Award-winning and SAG Award-winning role as Sister Helen, a nun consoling a death-row inmate in Dead Man Walking.
Sarandon will next be seen in Elizabethtown, directed by Cameron Crowe and starring Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst. Recently, she has been seen in Shall We Dance with Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez; Alfie with Jude Law; Noel with Robin Williams, Paul Walker and Penelope Cruz; Brad Silberling’s Moonlight Mile, with Dustin Hoffman; Igby Goes Down with Jeff Goldblum; and The Banger Sisters, with Goldie Hawn and Geoffrey Rush.
Sarandon has worked with writer/director John Turturro before, in his erotic farce Illuminata. Sarandon’s other screen credits include starring roles opposite Paul Newman and Gene Hackman in Twilight; opposite Julia Roberts in the poignant comedy Stepmom; and in Tim Robbins’ drama Cradle Will Rock; Wayne Wang’s Anywhere But Here; and Stanley Tucci’s Joe Gould’s Secret. She also provided one of the voices for the hit animated features Rugrats in Paris, James and the Giant Peach, and Cats & Dogs, and served as narrator for Laleh Khadivi’s documentary 900 Women, about female prison inmates. She has also starred in HBO’s Earthly Possessions, based on the Anne Tyler novel and directed by James Lapine.
On Broadway, Sarandon has appeared in An Evening with Richard Nixon and received critical acclaim for her performances Off-Broadway in A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talkin', Extremities, and The Guys, which she has performed in New York, Los Angeles, Edinburgh and at The Abby Theater in Dublin.
Sarandon made her acting debut in the motion picture Joe, which she followed with a continuing role in the drama A World Apart. Her early film credits include the 1975 cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show and her portrayal of Brooke Shields’ mother in Louis Malle’s controversial Pretty Baby. Sarandon received her first Oscar nomination in Malle’s Atlantic City.
English-born KATE WINSLET (Tula) grew up in a family of actors and began performing for British television when she was thirteen. She made her name internationally at the age of 17, in Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures. Her next performance was in the role of Marianne Dashwood in Ang Lee’s Sense and Sensibility, for which she received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations, and for which she won the BAFTA and the Screen Actor’s Guild Awards.
After co-starring opposite Christopher Eccleston in Michael Winterbottom’s Jude, and as Ophelia in Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet, Winslet’s portrayal of Rose in James Cameron’s Titanic, opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, earned her worldwide fame. It also won her, at the age of 22, her second Academy Award nomination.
For her portrayal of a young Irish Murdoch in Richard Eyre’s production of Iris, Winslet again received Oscar and Golden Globe nominations. In 2004 she starred opposite Johnny Depp in Finding Neverland, which was named that year’s Best Film by the National Board of Review. In the same year she received nominations for the Oscar, Golden Globe, and BAFTA awards for Best Actress, for her portrayal of the quirky Clementine in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. She is the youngest actress ever nominated for four Academy Awards.
Kate recently finished production on All the King’s Men, directed by Steven Zaillian, and she is currently in production opposite Jennifer Connelly in Little Children, directed by Todd Field.
STEVE BUSCEMI (Angelo) has built a career out of portraying some of the most unique and unforgettable characters in recent cinema. In 2000, Buscemi won the Independent Spirit Award, The New York Film Critics Award and was nominated for a Golden Globe for his role in Ghost World, directed by Terry Zwigoff. In 1999 he was nominated for an Emmy and a DGA Award for his direction of the “Pine Barrens” episode of The Sopranos, on HBO—as well as a Best Supporting Actor Emmy nomination for his role as Tony Blundetto on the series.
He can be seen in this summer’s Michael Bay thriller The Island and will be seen this winter in Art School Confidential, which once again pairs him with director Zwigoff. Buscemi recently wrapped Monster House, executive produced by Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis, and is currently voicing the role of Rat Templeton in the in the upcoming feature version of the children’s classic Charlotte’s Web. Buscemi’s other screen credits include Jim Jarmusch's Mystery Train, for which he received an IFP Spirit Award Nomination; Martin Scorcese's New York Stories; the Coen Brothers' Millers Crossing, Barton Fink, the Academy Award-winning Fargo, and The Big Lebowski; the role of Mr. Pink in Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs, for which he was awarded the IFP Spirit Award; and Robert Altman's Kansas City.
Buscemi’s directorial debut Trees Lounge, which he also wrote and starred in, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival , while his second film Animal Factory, starring Willem Dafoe and Edward Furlong, debuted at Sundance. This year at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival he premiered his third directorial feature, Lonesome Jim, a comedy-drama about a dysfunctional family.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Buscemi began to show an interest in drama while in his last year of high school, and soon after moved to Manhattan to study acting with John Strasberg.
The multi-talented MANDY MOORE (Baby) has achieved remarkable success at a young age as both an actress and recording artist. She recently wrapped production on Paul Weitz's AmeriCan Dreamz for Universal, a satire of American politics and show business in which Moore stars opposite Hugh Grant, Willem Dafoe, Jennifer Coolidge, Chris Klein, Judy Greer, and Dennis Quaid, and garnered attention for her guest starring role (as herself) on the HBO hit series Entourage.
Also due for an early release in 2006 will be Moore's fourth album, a Warner Bros. Record for which Moore has written all of the songs. Her critically acclaimed “Coverage,” released in 2003, featured mature and adventurous approaches to classic and personal favourites by Elton John, Joan Armatrading, Todd Rundgren, and Cat Stevens, among many others.
Moore made her feature film debut playing a haughty, cruel and popular high school cheerleader in Disney's smash hit comedy The Princess Diaries, directed by Garry Marshall, and also starring Julie Andrews, Anne Hathaway, and Hector Elizondo. In 2002 she starred opposite Shane West in Adam Shankman's box-office success, A Walk to Remember, for which she won an MTV Movie Award for “Breakthrough Female Performance.” S he also performed four songs featured on the film’s soundtrack.
In 2004 critics and audiences alike took notice of her performance in Brian Dannelly's acclaimed film Saved, co-starring Jena Malone, Eva Amurri, Macaulay Culkin, Patrick Fugit, and Mary-Louise Parker. Prior film credits include starring roles in Andy Cadiff's Chasing Liberty and Clare Kilner's How to Deal. Moore has also leant her voice to the animated feature Racing Stripes.
As a recording artist, Moore came to national attention with the 1999 release of her debut album, "So Real," which reached platinum status in a remarkable three months and produced the top ten single "Candy." Moore's second album, " I Wanna Be With You (Special Edition)" was released in 2000, and also went platinum. Her self-titled third album, another major seller, featured the hit single "Cry."
Moore has also launched an exclusive line of contemporary tees based on her original concepts and designs called MBLEM. The collection is available in over 100 various trend setting boutiques across the nation.
Mandy was raised in Orlando, Florida and currently lives in Los Angeles.
BOBBY CANNAVALE (Fryburg) received attention as the motor-mouthed hot dog vendor who befriends an outsider in his small New Jersey town in Miramax’s The Station Agent, written and directed by Tom McCarthy. Cannavale and his co-stars, Patricia Clarkson and Peter Dinklage, were nominated for a SAG award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, and the film won the Audience Award at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival. In 2005, Cannavale was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his performance as Will Truman’s boyfriend on Will & Grace, and also guest-starred in several episodes of Six Feet Under.
Cannavale is currently filming Pacific Air 121 for New Line Cinema opposite Samuel L. Jackson and Julianna Margulies. He can also be seen in Don Roos' Happy Endings,co-starring Lisa Kudrow and Maggie Gyllenhaal, and will soon be seen in Haven, co-starring Orlando Bloom and Bill Paxton. His previous work on the big screen includes Shall We Dance, co-starring Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, and Jennifer Lopez; Spike Lee’s 3AM; Kevin Costner’s The Postman; Sidney Lumet’s Night Falls on Manhattan and Gloria; The Bone Collector opposite Angelina Jolie; and the critically acclaimed independent Washington Heights.
Cannavale’s career began in the theatre. He has worked at the Lee Strasberg Institute, Naked Angels, Circle Rep, The Public, Williamstown and The Roundabout. In the last year he has received rave reviews in the acclaimed Off-Broadway revival of David Rabe's Hurlyburly, in which he starred opposite Ethan Hawke, Josh Hamilton and Wallace Shawn.
MARY-LOUISE PARKER (Constance), a Golden Globe, Emmy and Tony Award winner and three-time Tony, two-time Emmy and SAG nominee, has a diverse career in movies, television and on stage.
She starred on Broadway in Proof and received the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, Lucille Lortel, Obie and New York Magazine Awards and the 2001 T. Schreiber Award for Outstanding Achievement in Theatre. She received a Tony nomination, Theatre World Award, The Clarence Derwent Award and a Drama Desk nomination for her performance as Rita in the Craig Lucas play, Prelude to a Kiss. She originated the role of L'il Bit in How I Learned To Drive, and received Obie and Lortel Awards and an Outer Critics Circle nomination. Other credits include: Communicating Doors, Four Dogs and a Bone (MTC), Bus Stop (Circle in the Square), Throwing Your Voice (Ensemble Studio Theatre), Babylon Gardens (Circle Rep), The Importance of Being Earnest (Hartford Stage), among others.
Her film roles include: Saved, Fried Green Tomatoes, Grand Canyon, Reckless, Boys On The Side, The Client, Naked In New York, Bullets Over Broadway, Pipe Dream, Red Dragon, The Best Thief In The World and Norman Rene's highly acclaimed Longtime Companion. She also starred in The Five Senses for which she was nominated for a Genie Award.
She received Golden Globe and Emmy Awards and a SAG nomination for her performance as Harper Pitt in the Mike Nichols production of Angels In America for HBO. Parker received an Emmy nomination for her role as Amy Gardner on NBC's The West Wing. Other TV credits include: John Smith's Sugartime (HBO), the Hallmark Hall of Fame telefilms, A Place For Annie, Miracle Run, Saint Maybe, Cupid And Cate, and The Simple Truth of Noah Dearborne, opposite Sidney Poitier.
AIDA TURTURRO (Rosebud) is best known for her Emmy Nominated turn as “Janice” on HBO’s ground-breaking series, The Sopranos.
Her feature film credits include Martin Scorsese’s Bringing Out the Dead, Woody Allen’s Celebrity and Manhattan Murder Mystery, and John Turturro’s Illuminata and Mac. Aida also appeared in Sidewalks of New York, Mickey Blue Eyes, Deep Blue Sea, Sleepers, Fallen, Denise Calls Up, and in a leading role in Angie opposite Geena Davis.
Ms. Turturro made her Broadway debut in A Streetcar Named Desire starring Alec Baldwin and Jessica Lange, and has been seen most recently in the Off Broadway play Souls of Naples.
CHRISTOPHER WALKEN (Cousin Bo) won the 1978 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his astonishing performance in Michael Cimino's The Deer Hunter, a role that also earned him the New York Film Critic's Circle Award and a Golden Globe nomination. Walken also received a 2002 Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor and won BAFTA and SAG awards for his role opposite Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks in Steven Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can.
Walken currently appears in the comedy Wedding Crashers opposite Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn. He will next be seen in Tony Scott's action/thriller Domino. He has just wrapped production on Fade to Black and is currently in production on Frank Coraci's Click opposite Adam Sandler and Kate Beckinsale.
Walken began acting and dancing as a boy. He trained to be a dancer at the Professional Children's School in Manhattan, and eventually went on to appear in numerous stage plays and musicals. He received the Clarence Derwent Award for his performance in the Broadway production of The Lion in Winter, an Obie Award for his role in The Seagull, a Theatre World Award for The Rose Tattoo, and the 1997 Susan Stein Shiva Award for his work with Joseph Papp's Public Theatre. In the fall of 1999, he co-starred in the stage adaptation of James Joyce's The Dead. In the summer of 2001, Christopher again appeared in a revival of Chekhov's The Seagull for the New York Shakespeare Festival, directed by Mike Nichols, opposite Meryl Streep.
Christopher Walken's film career skyrocketed after his unforgettable role as Duane Hall, brother to Diane Keaton's title character in Woody Allen's Oscar-winning Best Picture Annie Hall. Since then, Walken has appeared in more than 50 feature films, including Herbert Ross' Oscar-nominated Pennies From Heaven; David Cronenberg's adaptation of Stephen King's The Dead Zone; James Foley's At Close Range, opposite Sean Penn; Mike Nichols' Biloxi Blues, based on the Neil Simon play; Abel Ferrara's gritty crime-drama King of New York; Joe Roth's comedy, America’s Sweethearts, co-starring Julia Roberts, Billy Crystal, and John Cusack; and Tony Scott's Man on Fire, opposite Denzel Washington. Most recently, Walken starred in the heart-warming drama Around the Bend,opposite Michael Caine.
Walken has succeeded in creating some of the most memorable characters in film history, such as Vincent Coccotti in Tony Scott's True Romance, Captain Koons in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, Carlo Bartolucci in Suicide Kings, The Headless Horseman in Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow, and the crooked businessman Max Shreck in Burton's Batman Returns.
On television, Walken has memorably hosted Saturday Night Live a total of 6 times since 1990 and contributed a mesmerizing dance performance to the Spike Jonze-directed music video for Fat Boy Slim's Weapon of Choice.
CREW BIOGRAPHIES JOHN TURTURRO (Writer/Director) graduated from the Yale School of Drama. Onstage, he has created the title role of John Patrick Shanley’s Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, for which he won an OBIE Award and a Theater World Award. He has also performed in Waiting for Godot; in the title role of Bertold Brecht’s The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui; and most recently in Eduardo De Filippo’s Souls of Naples, for which he was nominated for a Drama Desk Award.
Turturro has performed in more than sixty films, including Martin Scorcese’s The Color of Money; Tony Bill’s Five Corners; Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing and Jungle Fever; Robert Redford’s Quiz Show (for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe and a SAG Award); Peter Weir’s Fearless; Tom DiCillo’s Box of Moonlight; Francesco Rosi’s La Tregua; and Joel and Ethan Coen’s Miller’s Crossing, The Big Lebowski, and O Brother Where Art Thou. For his lead role in the Coen Brothers’ Barton Fink, he won the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival and the David di Donatello Award.
For his work in television, Turturro was nominated for a SAG award for his portrayal of Howard Cosell in Monday Night Mayhem, and recently won an Emmy Award for his guest appearance on Monk.
For his directorial debut, Mac, Turturro won the Camera D’Or from the Cannes Film Festival. His second film as director, Illuminata, also premiered at Cannes.
JOHN PENOTTI (Producer) is President and Founding Partner of GreeneStreet Films. He is currently producing Awake, by writer/director Joby Harold, and Michael Ian Black’s The Pleasure of Your Company.
In 2005, he executive produced an untitled comedy by Robert Altman starring Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, Lindsay Lohan, Kevin Kline, Woody Harrelson, John C. Reilly, Lily Tomlin, Maya Rudolph, and Garrison Keillor. He also executive produced Slow Burn by writer/director Wayne Beach, starring Ray Liotta, LL Cool J, Mekhi Phifer, Taye Diggs and Jolene Blalock; and executive produced Yes, by acclaimed auteur writer/director Sally Potter (Orlando), starring Joan Allen and Sam Neill.
In 2003, Penotti produced the box office hit Uptown Girls, directed by Boaz Yakin, starring Brittany Murphy and Dakota Fanning. In 2002, Penotti produced the #1 box office hit Swimfan, directed by John Polson, starring Jesse Bradford and Erika Christensen; he also executive produced Fisher Stevens’ Just A Kiss, starring Marisa Tomei.
In 2001, Penotti executive produced In the Bedroom, directed by Todd Field, starring Sissy Spacek, Marisa Tomei, Tom Wilkinson and Nick Stahl. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture. In 2001 Penotti also produced Piñero by writer/director Leon Ichaso, starring Benjamin Bratt, and executive produced The Chateau, directed by Jesse Peretz.
In 2000, Penotti executive produced Griffin Dunne’s Lisa Picard is Famous, an official selection of the 2000 Cannes International Film Festival. In 1998, Penotti produced Illuminata, written, directed and starring John Turturro, with Susan Sarandon and Christopher Walken, an official selection in the Main Category at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival.
Penotti began his film career working under Sidney Lumet on features that include Q+A, Family Business and A Stranger Among Us. Penotti is a graduate of Tufts University, where he earned degrees Magna Cum Laude in Biology and Psychology. He was born in Paterson, New Jersey.
JOEL COEN (Executive Producer) was honored by the Cannes International Film Festival in 2001 as Best Director for The Man Who Wasn’t There and in 1991 as Best Director for Barton Fink. In 1996, he was honored as Best Director by the New York Film Critics Circle, the National Board of Review and the BAFTA Awards for Fargo, and also won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Fargo, which he co-wrote with his brother Ethan. The screenplay for O Brother, Where Art Thou?, also co-written with Ethan, was nominated for a BAFTA Award and an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Other films he has directed and co-written are The Big Lebowski, The Hudsucker Proxy, Miller’s Crossing, Raising Arizona and Blood Simple.
ETHAN COEN (Executive Producer) has produced and co-written such critically acclaimed films as Miller’s Crossing, Barton Fink (winner of the Palme d’Or, Best Director and Best Actor Awards at the 1991 Cannes International Film Festival) and O Brother, Where Art Thou? (which was nominated for two Academy Awards, four BAFTA Awards and two Golden Globe Awards). In 1996, one of the year’s most honored films, Fargo (which he produced and co-wrote) received four Academy Award nominations and won two, including Best Original Screenplay for Ethan and his brother Joel. Among the other films he has co-written and produced are Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, The Hudsucker Proxy, The Big Lebowski and The Man Who Wasn’t There.
JANA EDELBAUM (Executive Producer) is a motion picture producer whose experience spans over 12 years in the independent and studio arena, and who is well versed in both developing and financing feature films and television productions.
Prior to Romance & Cigarettes, Edelbaum produced the drama Investigating Sex (directed by Alan Rudolph and starring Nick Nolte, Dermot Mulroney, Alan Cumming, and Neve Campbell) with Nick Nolte and two German tax funds, ApolloMedia and Gemini. She served as the Executive Producer of the highly acclaimed Showtime production, The Incredible Mrs. Ritchie (directed by Paul Johansson and starring Gena Rowlands, James Caan, and Deborah Kara Unger) which received an Emmy Award for Best Family Drama in 2004. Ms. Edelbaum also produced Advice from a Caterpillar (directed Don Scardino and starring Cynthia Nixon and Andy Dick) which won the prestigious Best Feature Award at the 2000 US Comedy Arts Festival.
Edelbaum’s other films include Among Giants (directed by Sam Miller and starring Pete Postlesthwaite and Rachel Griffiths), Hi Life (directed Roger Hedden and starring Campbell Scott, Daryl Hannah, and Eric Stoltz), Blizzard (directed by Levar Burton and starring Whoopi Goldberg, Brenda Bleythn, and Christopher Plummer), Kart Racer (directed by Stuart Gillard and starring Randy Quaid), Virginia’s Run (directed by Peter Markle and starring Gabriel Byrne and Joanne Whalley), and the celebrated family television series The Magician’s House, based on the books by William Cortlett, which won the International Emmy Award for Best Children’s Series in 2000.
Prior to producing films, Ms. Edelbaum, a dual citizen of the United States and England, worked in the fixed income and mezzanine finance divisions of Morgan Stanley International UK, and the mergers and acquisitions division for Ansbacher Media UK.
DONNA ZAKOWSKA (Production Designer) has designed for film, theatre, circus, opera, music and puppet theatre, including nine seasons for New York’s Big Apple Circus and a concert tour for Mick Jagger.
Her theatre work has included projects with Fernando Arrabal, Eve Ensler, Richard Foreman, John Kelly, Harry Kondoleon, William H. Macy, Tom O’Horgan, Roman Paska, Carey Perloff, Steve Reich and Julie Taymor. Her designs have been seen at theatres throughout the world, including the Hebbel Theater (Berlin), the Barbizon and Royal Festival Hall (London), Bobigny, Châtelet and the Théâtre du Rond-Point (Paris), Teatro Argentina (Rome), BAM, Lincoln Center and the Public Theater (New York). Most recently she designed sets and costumes for Roman Paska’s Dead Puppet Talk at the Kitchen and his Souls of Naples, starring John Turturro, at the Duke on 42nd Street (New York).
After beginning her film work with Woody Allen, John Turturro (Mac) and David Salle (Search and Destroy), her movies have included Harriet the Spy, The Pallbearer, Polish Wedding, Forces of Nature, Illuminata, One True Thing, Invisible Circus, Original Sin, Kate and Leopold, and Empire Falls.
RAY HUBLEY (Editor) is the son of award-winning animators John & Faith Hubley. Over a twenty year career, Hubley has worked alongside such directors as Sidney Lumet, Michael Moore, Bruno Barreto and Tim Robbins. Among his many editorial credits are Bossa Nova, Dead Man Walking, Trouble on the Corner, 2B Perfectly Honest and The Untouchables. A lifelong New Yorker, Hubley lives in Morningside Heights with his wife, also an editor, and their two children.
TRICIA BROUK (Choreographer) is the Director/Owner of 11th Street Fitness. Brouk assisted the late Christopher Gillis and has worked with Lucinda Childs, David Gordon, Robert Wilson, Big Dance Theater, Murray Spalding, Ben Munisteri , Jamie Bishton, Margie Gillis, Kate Johnson, Meg Harper, Andre Gingras, Eun Me Ahn and The Doris Humphrey Repertory Dance Company. She is originally from Arnold, Missouri.