Douglas Buck ( )
“The main goal with film, or any art form, is to impact us somehow. Whether with a gentle caress or a sledgehammer blow, if you can be rewarded with a brief touch of the sublime, you have been granted a true moment of understanding.”
“The works that speak to me the most – and which I think clearly influence my own work – are those that search for exploration within the elements of exploitation. The films that manage to validate these elements – Abel Ferrara’s ‘Bad Lieutenant’, or Zulawski’s ‘Possession’, to name two disparate examples – are true and rare achievements.” “One of the main goals for the trilogy has been to express the image of the suffering face. I love the suffering face. However, when I see the incredibly pained and haunted faces revealed again and again by Tarkovsky and Bergman, presented with what seems an almost ease, I clearly see I haven’t yet come close to achieving one – but I plan to keep trying.” — Douglas Buck
FAMILY PORTRAITS: A TRILOGY OF AMERICA
(2003, 53 minutes. with William Stone Mahoney, Sally Conway and David Thornton)
Buck’s reflective and somber denouement to the trilogy tells the tale of a young teenage girl,
brutally attacked just one year before, returning to her hometown where she will confront her attacker.
“Cold and analytical he dissects the roots and consequences of violence without sparing the audience.
This trilogy is a daring and authentic critique of American double standards and bigotry.”
Diabolo (German weekly magazine)
“If Mike Leigh would like splatter-movies, his films might look like Douglas Buck’s. In painfully long takes, Buck unfolds a family nighmare that forces its way into the audience’s brain slowly, but therefore much more lastingly.”
Frank Arnold, Filmdienst (Monthly Nationwide German Cinema Magazine)
“With his latest short-film “Prologue” his “Trilogy of America” comes to a close.”
Blickpunkt Film (German nationwide weekly cinema/industrial magazine)
“Buck’s trilogy is unbearably intense and enormously moving.”
Filmecho/Filmwoche (German nationwide weekly cinema/industrial magazine)
“Buck’s violence is manifest to a daring and consequent filmmaker’s conscience.
The atmosphere in his films, the performances and the brutally torn bodies
are thought-provoking metaphors for life in suburban America.”
Schnitt (German quarterly movie magazine, nationwide)
“Without question, PROLOGUE is an absolutely brilliant film.”
Steve Puchalski, Shock Cinema
(1998, 29 minutes. with Gary Betsworth, Christine Caleo and Ray Bland)
Acting as both pseudo-sequel to, and remake of, Cutting Moments, Buck’s follow-up
changes the focus from the matriarch to the father… or, more fittingly, the many fathers… and the sins they pass down. Eschews explicit violence for a more psychological approach, to a no less harrowing result.
“‘Home’, shot reminiscent of Stanley Kubrick,
slowly envelopes the audience in the emotional vacuum of the characters”
Joseph O’Brien, Rue Morgue Magazine
“Extremely powerful…I admired “Home” as much as “Cutting Moments” – a great deal, that’s to say.”
Ramsey Campbell, bestselling author, ‘The Nameless’/’Nazareth Hill’
” (‘Home’) is well-shot, full of uneasy pauses, and highlighted by edgy performances
from both Gary Betsworth and Christine Caleo.”
Steve Puchalski, Shock Cinema Magazine
“Director/writer Douglas Buck approaches the theme of the male psyche disintegrating…
“Home” maintains the emotional claustrophobia of “Cutting Moments”. It is equally compelling.”
Donato Totaro, Offscreen Magazine
(1997, 23 minutes. with Nicca Ray, Gary Betsworth and Jared Barsky)
Equal parts Ingmar Bergman chamber piece and B-movie exploitation gorefest,
Douglas Buck’s acclaimed breakthough follows a troubled family’s
harrowing descent into incest, self-mutilation and murder.
“If David Cronenberg had directed “Diary of a Mad Housewife”,
the result might have been…”Cutting Moments”.”
V.A Musetto, New York Post
“…skewers the myth of normalcy in a nuclear family.”
Bill Starnetts, Chicago Sun Times
“(A) TV movie-of-the-week as directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini…The most chilling potrait of the loss of humanity
in the manicured lawns of Middle America ever made.”
Michael Simmons, LA Weekly
“…a truly disturbing cinematic experience.”
Abel Ferrara, director, ‘King of New York’/’The Funeral’
“…proof that a fine artist can use shocking violence to serve a higher purpose.”
Zoe Lund, writer-actor, ‘Bad Lieutenant’/’Ms. 45’
“…bravura film-making, a thirty minute masterpiece…Doug Buck’s first film makes me wonder what raw terror and beauty await in his second; he offers new hope for the American cinema of horror.”
Douglas E. Winter, writer of biographies on Stephen King, Clive Barker
“…this is the sort of filmmaking the world desperately needs more of – uncompromisingly honest works designed not to entertain an audience but to destroy them.”
Mitch Davis, Flesh and Blood Magazine
(1995, 17 minutes. b&w. with John Pero)
A darkly humorous black and white tale of a young boy, unable to fit in, finally realizing
his calling while watching animals killing each other on nature documentaries.
Raw non-sync early effort, interesting as an early and funny example of Buck’s forays
into continuing themes of painful isolation, suburban disassociation and the inherent violence that can follow.
7/15/08 – THE BROKEN IMAGO UPDATE! Paul McCann of horror website Dread Central caught up to Douglas Buck and Metaluna producer Fabrice Lambot at the Montreal Fantasia Festival where Douglas is serving is the President of the First-Feature Film Jury to discuss the shooting of the The Broken Imago teaser, as well as the status of the project itself. For the full story, check out http://www.dreadcentral.com/story/exclusive-douglas-buck-talks-broken-imago.
5/20/08 – Next week Douglas Buck leaves to Argentina to shoot the teaser for his previously mentioned project ‘The Broken Imago’. Buck says “Metaluna Films’ Fabrice Lambot has grown more and more excited about our weird sci-fi project and has decided to go all out, bringing a group of us over to shoot a very strange and exciting 4 minute teaser. Karim Hussain, the Montreal director of ‘La Belle Bete’ and ‘Ascension’ is acting as my Director of Photography. It’s the first time we’ve worked together in this way so it should be interesting.” The teaser will be shot over 2 days around Buenos Aires on 35mm. Buck wrote and will direct and edit the teaser. It should be ready by the end of June.
3/06/08 – With Image Entertainment scheduled to release SISTERS to DVD March 11th, a number of outlets have interviewed director Douglas Buck, including journalist and critic Matthew Kiernan at the AMC website. The short interview also provides a link to Matthew’s positive review of the film during its screening at the Philadelphia Film Festival.
2/18/08 – Metaluna Productions looks to make Douglas Buck’s next project.
It’s titled ‘The Broken Imago’ and is a long-time dream project for Buck. “I had originally mentioned the story to (Metaluna co-founder) Fabrice Lambot about 8 years ago, before he was even involved in film production. I had forgotten I even told him about it when he suddenly called me from France last month and said ‘Hey, I started a production company with Jean-Pierre Putters, we’ve already done one feature film and a few shorts and we’d like to do yours next. Remember that story you told me a long time ago… ? ‘” Metaluna has commissioned the writing of the script and is hopeful to be in production, with Buck directing, by winter 2008 most likely in Argentina. Details are sketchy but Buck will say it’s a “low budget sci-fi film, around a million dollar budget would be fine, about a group of kids on an isolated island and a peculiar virus transforming the world. If I had to make a comparison, I’d call it ‘Lord of the Flies’ as made by David Cronenberg. A Nature’s Revenge movie.” Stay tuned.
2/15/08 – Douglas Buck will be in attendance next weekend at the Chicago Fangoria Weekend of Horrors February 22-25. Buck, along with co-writer John Freitas, will be doing a panel on Saturday February 23 at 1:30pm discussing SISTERS and screening clips from the film.
Also, FAMILY PORTRAITS will be screening at noon on the same day at the convention. Buck will be around all weekend with advance signed DVD copies of SISTERS, just ahead of its March 11 release date, as well as DVDs of his first film FAMILY PORTRAITS, so feel free to stop him if you’d like a copy of either.
1/14/08 – FINALLY AN UPDATE! As announced on the fangoria.com website, SISTERS is finally scheduled to be released on DVD through Image Entertainment on March 11, 2008. On the DVD will be included commentary by Buck, as well as extended/deleted scenes and a stills gallery. Check out the Image trailer at www.fangoria.com/sisters
Unfortunately, SISTERS will not be getting the hoped-for limited domestic theatrical release. According to Buck “theaters in San Fran, LA, New York, Boston, Pittsburgh, Portland and others were not only interested — some had already confirmed — in booking a SISTERS run when, for some very frustrating reasons out of my control, we had to pull any US bookings.”
However, the film will be getting a Japanese theatrical, opening at the Shibuya Prefecture on February 23, then going wide soon after. Check out the interesting and quirky Japanese trailer at www.sisters-movie.jp
Buck is currently working with a French producer on his latest project, a low-budget yet ambitious sci-fi film. More information and updates about the project will be coming soon, as Buck is confident the contracts will be signed early next month! So stay tuned!
9/09/06 – Douglas Buck has just returned from France where he introduced the official presentation screening of ‘Family Portraits’ at the Deauville Film Festival and did press for the upcoming October 4th theatrical release of ‘Family Portraits’ in Paris.
Buck has headed to Vancouver for the upcoming sound mix on his latest film ‘Sisters’. ‘Sisters’ is scheduled to be completed in time for its World Premiere in the Official Competition at Sitges International Film Festival in mid-October. This will be followed by its North American premiere at the 35th Nouveau Cinema Festival in Montreal a week later. Much more festival information to come!
5/25/06 – Production for Douglas Buck’s remake of Brian De Palma’s 1972 shocker ‘Sisters’ is complete! Production wrapped on April 13 and Buck is deep into his director’s cut working with editor Omar Daher. Buck says filming was difficult and frustrating, with many unnecessary battles behind the scenes, but is overall satisfied with the results. And working with the actors was a blessing, Buck continues. “Chloe Sevigny, Stephen Rea and Dallas Roberts were true professionals, and a blast to spend time with. French actor Lou Doillon (who replaced French Chanel supermodel Anna Mouglalis just 3 days before production, who had replaced Asia Argento one month before that) was a real find.” The film should be ready for festivals in the winter.
Also, check out the ORDERING THE TRILOGY section of this website. The price for Douglas Buck’s “Family Portraits” DVD just came down by 30%!
6/02/05 – MORE NEWS:
The endless ‘Sisters’ saga is gaining momentum: A recent May 18th Hollywood Reporter article discussed the impending break-up of famed producer Ed Pressman and John Schmidt after their mutual company Content Films’ board of directors decided to abandon film production entirely to solely focus on acquisitions. The article goes on to describe the formation of Pressman’s new production company Pressman & Co. Films and mentions the following:
2/22/05 – NEWS AND UPDATES:
UPCOMING FAMILY PORTRAITS SCREENING/FESTIVAL DATES
Buck will also be attending the 2005 Boston Underground Film Festival (www.bostonundergroundfilmfestival.com) from April 7-10 where the trilogy also will be screened. The festival runs Apr 6-10.
The trilogy will also be screened March 30 at 7pm at the IMAGE Film & Video Center (www.imagefv.org) in Atlanta Georgia.
DOCUMENTARY ON LARRY FESSENDEN’S ‘THE LAST WINTER’
1/05/05 – Douglas Buck will be a guest at the Chiller Convention in New Jersey this weekend January 7-9 at the Sheraton Meadowlands Hotel across from Giants Stadium. Along with being around for the entire weekend, Buck will present a special screening of ‘Family Portraits: A Trilogy of America’ on Saturday Jan 8th at noon in the Official Convention Lecture Room. For more info on the Chiller Convention, go to www.chillertheatre.com
NEW PROJECT FOR BUCK: Douglas Buck’s long-time companion and collaborator Rita Romagnino delivered their first child Azia Sofia Romagnino Buck on December 21st, 2004. Everyone is home and doing well.
11/23/04 – ‘Prologue’ (the 52-minute denouement chapter in Douglas Buck’s ‘Family Portraits: A Trilogy of America’) has been announced in competition for the New Directors/New Visions section prize at the upcoming Sitges International Film Festival (www.cinemasitges.com) running December 2-11. The festival is located just outside Barcelona in Spain. Buck will be a guest at the festival from December 4th until the end and will present the screening of ‘Prologue’ on December 6th, as well as a special screening of the entire Trilogy on December 7th.
10/20/04 – ‘Family Portraits: A Trilogy of America’ has been announced as an official in-competition entry at the 1st Annual Horror Fiesta Festival taking place in Warsaw, Poland running this Nov 5-7th. For more info, check out their site at www.horrorfiesta.org.
8/31/04 – Due to the success of the September 6 screening of FAMILY PORTRAITS: A TRILOGY OF AMERICA at thePioneer Theater, the film has been asked back for a ONE WEEK THEATRICAL RUN in October! FAMILY PORTRAITS will screen October 13-19. All screenings will be held at 9pm, with only the October 16 screening held at 7pm.
8/31/04 – Check out the current FEARFUL FEATURES section of the fangoria website for a new piece on Buck’s Trilogy written by none other than frequent horror scribe Don Kaye.
8/31/04 – THE WAIT IS FINALLY OVER! THE TRILOGY IS ALMOST HERE! After resolving all final printing issues, Douglas Buck’s Family Portraits: A Trilogy of America DVD will finally be ready for release later this week! Payment through PAYPAL or by certified check/money order will be set up in a few days. This 2-disc set will be $29.99 USD postage paid (Orders outside of the U.S. please add $3.00 USD for shipping/handling).
11/18/03 – It was a night to remember as the first screening of ‘Prologue’ took place on Tuesday night at the Tribeca Film Center. Along with the entire cast and crew, many New York industry people attended, along with notables like outstanding horror novelist Peter Straub and controversial French director Gaspar Noe.
With his edgy and often extreme short films a continuing presence at both US underground film festivals and international genre festivals abroad, filmmaker Douglas Buck has been flying just under the radar of the mainstream for close to a decade now. Growing up in Long Island, Buck was infatuated with film very early on, but it wasn’t until after college, and moving into New York City, that he started taking filmmaking seriously. Supporting himself by day as an engineer (eventually overseeing the entire continuing electrical airfield design work for both JFK and LaGuardia Airports), at night Buck began to associate with legendary maverick director Abel Ferrera, as well as crazed but brilliant underground writer Zoe Lund.
Eventually making films himself, BuckÍs art house style (he claims Ingmar Bergman and Andrei Tarkovsky as major influences) alternating with an often in-your-face sensibility, has lead to features in a wide variety of film sources; from the independent film bible Filmmaker Magazine, to horror fan guides like Fangoria magazine and Rue Morgue.
His close association with the French filmmaker and fellow provocateur Gaspar Noe — the two immediately appreciating each other’s work — led to the French company The Wild Bunch, formerly of Canal +, hiring Buck in late 2000 to develop an original idea he had pitched them. The experience of putting together this daring feature film about American suburban alienation and despair, sort of a cross between Roman Polanski’s ‘Repulsion’ and Todd Solondz’s ‘Happiness’, was moving smoothly into pre-production, when it suddenly crashed. Canal + fell into financial turmoil and Wild Bunch splintered off, leaving Buck’s finished screenplay ‘Body Faith’ in a development hell, out of which he is still determined to one day retrieve it.
Buck got back behind the camera in late 2002 finally shooting and finishing the 52 minute ‘prologue’ segment to his feature film ‘Family Portraits: A Trilogy of America’, his ultimate culminating exploration into the inner isolation and cauldrons of violence existing within America today. The film has screened already as a work in progress at the 2003 Oldenburg Film Festival in Germany to much critical and audience acclaim and is receiving a one-week New York theatrical run in October.
Buck is currently working with renowned American independent producer Ed Pressman to write and direct the remake of Brian Depalma’s 1972 classic SISTERS, which falls closely in line with BuckÍs previous explorations into psychic despair and troubled relations culminating often with acts of terrible violence. His close acquaintance and fellow New York independent filmmaker Larry Fessenden will act as a producer on the film. Interest has arisen as well on the Body Faith front recently, with an independent producer optioning it and working with Buck to finally get BuckÍs dream project back off the ground.