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Sundance Film Series Feature:
Die, Mommie, Die! By Slushfactory.com
A fallen pop diva battles her vicious husband, vengeful children and a hornet’s nest of secrets in the hilarious comic melodrama Die Mommie Die!, directed by Mark Rucker, and written by and starring the Tony nominated theater veteran Charles Busch. Die Mommie Die! wittily evokes classic Hollywood genres, notably the “women’s pictures” of the 1940-60s and the glossy suspense melodramas of the 1960s. In a performance that won him the Special Jury Prize for Acting at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival, Charles Busch creates a heroine in the grand tradition of Hollywood’s formidable females: a woman who is tough yet tender, ruthless yet seductive, extremely warped yet oddly sympathetic.
Songstress Angela Arden (Charles Busch), beloved by millions as “America’s Nightingale,” appears to have it all. Although her music is no longer the fashion in 1967, the glamorous redhead still stirs excitement among those old enough to remember. Now semi-retired, Angela and her husband, veteran producer Sol P. Sussman (Philip Baker Hall) reside in an elegant Los Angeles mansion, where they have raised two lovely children, Edith (Natasha Lyonne) and Lance (Stark Sands). Angela maintains friendships with Tinseltown royalty while tending to her rose garden and the blossoms that bear her name.
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But appearances can be deceiving, and all is not well in the house of Sussman. Edith Sussman, spoiled and petulant, only has eyes for her father and makes no secret of her contempt for Angela. Lance, beautiful but somewhat dim, shows more promise as a sexual plaything than as a college student. The family’s maid, Bootsie Carp (Frances Conroy) is a devoted servant, but a wretched cook. And Angela herself is deep into an affair with Tony Parker (Jason Priestley), a handsome former television star now eking out a living as a tennis pro – and, if the rumors are true, a gigolo. When Sol discovers his wife’s infidelity, he is determined to not only punish Angela for the affair but to hold her prisoner in their loveless marriage. But Angela Arden is not a woman to be held prisoner, even if it means murder…
Sundance Film Series presents Die Mommie Die! directed by Mark Rucker, written by Charles Busch, based on his stage play. Produced by Dante Di Loreto, Anthony Edwards and Bill Kenwright. The co-producer is Frank Pavich and the executive producer is Lonny Dubrofsky. The director of photography is Kelly Evans, the production designer is Joseph B. Tintfass, and the editor is Philip Harrison. The costumes were designed by Thomas G. Marquez, and Charles Busch’s costumes were designed by Michael Bottari & Ronald Case. The composer is Dennis McCarthy. The casting is by Jeff Greenberg, C.S.A. and Collin Daniel.
Die Mommie Die! Stars Charles Busch, Natasha Lyonne, Jason Priestley, Frances Conroy, Philip Baker Hall, Stark Sands, Victor Raider-Wexler, and Nora Dunn.