Friday, July 31, 2009

Chris Montez movie-in-the-making gets a sneak preview August 15th at the Chicago Fest for Beatles Fans

Lucky participants at the Chicago Fest for Beatles Fans are about to become a very select film audience on the morning of Saturday, August 15th, when they get the first sneak preview of El Viaje Musical de Ezekiel Montanez: The Chris Montez Story.

And of course, it's a got a Beatles twist.

Tommy Roe and Chris Montez, who headlined a UK tour in 1963.
The Beatles were their opening act.

We've been hearing about the Chris Montez film bio project since last summer, when it was announced by our pals at Frozen Pictures. While the guys have spent the past twelve months running their Neil Innes biopic, The Seventh Python, through film festivals and special screenings around the country and the world, they've also been shooting the definitive work about the influential and diverse rock and pop musician who went to school with the Beach Boys, launched the lounge movement, and is hailed as the successor to the first Mexican-American rock star, Ritchie Valens.

Chris Montez at the site of the Wilson brothers' childhood home
(a California Registered Historical Landmark),
where he'd jam with the future Beach Boys

We caught up with them earlier this month at the Grammy Museum, where Chris was participating in a tribute to Ritchie Valens, and their crew has been filming around Chris' hometown, Hawthorne, California.

In March 1963, Chris headlined a tour of England with Tommy Roe. The opening act was a group called The Beatles. That month will be the focus of the preview shown in the ballroom of The Hyatt Regency O'Hare on Saturday morning, August 15th.

"We're looking forward to the fans at the Beatles Fest," says director Burt Kearns. "We got a great reception when we screened The Seventh Python and now we're able to give a little back with some Beatles history. Chris' Beatles tour took place at the cusp of Beatlemania. Their first album was released midway through, the fans were wild-- the audience will be very surprised at the revelations."

"Including the truth about Chris' fist fight with John Lennon. It's been forty-seven years, and no one's gotten the story right until now," says producer Brett Hudson, who will also be performing at the Fest with Mark Hudson-- another third of The Hudson Brothers.

The Seventh Python-- the hit of last year's Chicago Beatles Fest-- won't be forgotten. The film is being screened at the world-renowned Comedy Shrine club in neighboring Naperville on Friday, August 14th.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Seventh Python returns to Chicago! One night only! The Comedy Shrine! With special performance by Mark & Brett Hudson! Friday, August 14th!

So what is it with The Seventh Python and Chicago? The veddy-Anglocentric award-winning nonfiction feature about the veddy-British musical satirist, rock 'n' roll legend and Monty Python compatriot Neil Innes from our pals at Frozen Pictures returns to the Chicago area on Friday, August 14th, with a one-night-only screening and (two-thirds) Hudson Brothers performance at The Comedy Shrine.

The announcement is great news for comedy and Monty Python fans... but begs the question why, after entertaining audiences and winning standing ovations around the world-- from Perth, Australia to the New Jersey Meadowlands-- The Seventh Python keeps returning to the City of Big Shoulders in the American Heartland?

Since the film's premiere at the American Cinematheque's Mods & Rockers Film Festival in Hollywood, it's played at:

So what's the secret to Chicago?

"The secret to Chicago is-- there is no secret," says Seventh Python director Burt Kearns. "Chicago is a comedy capital. They've got The Second City there, but also universities, where some of the finest comics and comedy writers were schooled. There are a lot of comedy legends in and around Chicago."

One of those legends is Dave Sinker. The longtime Hudson buddy, Emmy-winning writer and Second City veteran runs The Comedy Shrine, and came up with the idea of bringing back The Seventh Python for a return engagement.

The Friday evening show on Chicago Avenue in Naperville is set to begin with a screening of the hilarious film starring John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Aimee Mann, Matt Groening and many others, followed by a special performance by Brett and Mark Hudson (they'll arrive after they appear at The Fest for Beatles Fans at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare). Brett produced the film. Mark, the noted music producer and performer, was music supervisor.

Click here for tickets. Arrive early so you'll have some time to check out the extensive comedy memorabilia collection. They don't call it The Comedy Shrine for nothing.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Python in Perth, Bruce: Australian film festival launches tonight; tickets selling fast for two screenings of The Seventh Python

The Revelation Perth International Film Festival launches today in Perth, Australia, along with great excitement for the two prime-spot screenings of The Seventh Python.

The Saturday, July 4th presentation of the acclaimed, award-winning documentary about legendary pop satirist, wit and Monty Python cohort Neil Innes will be the Australian premiere of the film from our pals at Frozen Pictures that's received accolades and standing ovations as its made its way across America through film festivals, special event screenings and Beatles fan conventions since its premiere at the American Cinematheque's Mods & Rockers Film Festival last summer.

The 12th annual Revelation Perth Fest is perhaps the most respected film festival in all of Australia. One film reviewer writes: "Under the curatorial leadership of author Jack Sargeant for the second year running, Revelation aims to bring new, weird, interesting and unusual features and documentaries that wouldn't otherwise get screened in cinemas to Perth audiences."

There's particular excitement about The Seventh Python-- enough that the musical comedy doco is getting two screenings at prime times. Along with the Saturday, July 4th showing at 7:15 pm, The Seventh Python will also be screened on Friday, July 10th at 7:15 pm.

click photo to enlarge

One reason for the buzz Down Under can be found on the Festival website: "Alongside many interviews The Seventh Python features numerous versions of Innes’ songs including the Australian version of The Philosopher’s Song."

Australian readers, click here to get your tickets.