P R E S S R E L E A S E
Takes National Stage with U.S. Release on DVD/Video
Los Angeles, CA; October 14, 2003 - A
critical smash in its summer theatrical release in 24 U.S. cities, "charlotte
sometimes" is now available nation wide with Hart Sharp Videos
release on DVD and home video.
Critics have compared "charlotte sometimes"
lies and videotape" and the early works of Robert
Altman, while The New York Times and The
Washington Post compared first-time writer/director Eric Byler to
Anh Hung Tran (The Scent of Green Papaya), Yasujiro Ozu (Tokyo Story),
and Eric Rohmer (Claires Knee). But "charlotte sometimes"
is in many ways a first of its kind: an artful and cinematic "erotic
mystery" with an entirely Asian American cast.
Byler, who is biracial Chinese American, and Korean American
actress Jacqueline Kim began their six-year journey to create "charlotte
sometimes" in 1997, but found an Asian American love story hard to
sell in Hollywood without the requisite martial arts, prostitution, or
gun play. Byler rejected offers contingent on furnishing lead roles to
non-Asian actors. "It was a waste of time trying to convince people
inside the industry to invest in this kind of film," Byler said.
"Finally I just went to my family."
Byler told his parents and uncles he hoped to sell
the film to cable television in order to repay their investment. But thanks
to "ridiculous good fortune," including festival awards, prestigious
nominations, and strong reviews, "charlotte sometimes" earned
distribution deals for not only cable (The Sundance Channel), but also
Planet) and DVD/home video (Hart Sharp).
By the end of its festival run in April 2003, "charlotte
had earned three festival awards and two surprising nominations at the
2003 Independent Spirit Awards (the indie
worlds equivalent of the Oscars) including one each for Byler
and Kim. But the films rise to the national spotlight began at the
Hawaii International Film Festival, when Kim invited Roger
Ebert to attend the Hawaii premiere. In his review published
November 7th, 2002 in the Chicago Sun-Times, Ebert praised the films
"uncanny" realism and dramatic complexity, announcing a "breakthrough
for Asian American filmmakers" with the arrival of "charlotte
sometimes" to go with Justin Lins "Better Luck Tomorrow."
"charlotte sometimes" went on to become one of the most critically
acclaimed releases of the summer, earning a 100% Cream of the Crop rating
for stellar reviews in the nations top publications, including The
New York Times, The New York Post, The Village Voice, The Los Angeles
Times, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Chicago Tribune,
Chicago Sun-Times, Variety and The Hollywood Reporter.
"It boggles my mind," Kim said of the film's success. "If
you really care about something, you can make it happen. We've played
just about every role one could play. Actors, producers, publicists, producer
reps. We're truly a company, like in theater."
DVD bonus features include bloopers, omitted scenes,
behind-the-scenes footage, and commentary tracks featuring Byler, and
all four lead actors.
In addition, the DVD includes a Q/A session hosted by Ebert at his film
festival in Champaign, Illinois. In his introduction to the film, Ebert
remarks, "Every once in a while I go to see a movie, out of maybe
400 movies I see in a year, that with its authority, and its mood, and
its tone, and its tension, simply captures you; totally absorbs you. That's
what charlotte sometimes did to me." Byler, Kim, and
actor Michael Idemoto then join Ebert on stage to discuss the films
unique cinematic approach, and its impact on the representation of Asian
Americans in mainstream media. Ebert later called the discussion the best
q/a session in the festivals five-year existence.