Rules of Attraction, The : Interview With Avary and Van Der Beek

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Born in Canada, in 1965, unrelenting gonzo filmmaker Roger Avary has captured both the mainstream of Hollywood as well as the fringe of indie cinema with his aggressive and unique filmmaking style. A former video store clerk from Manhattan Beach, California, Roger is a self-proclaimed charter member of what he calls "the video store generation. " The first generation of information age filmmakers with complete and total access to a database of tens of thousands of films at any given moment. .. something no other generation before his can claim.

In 1994 his first feature film, the cult classic, "Killing Zoe," garnered best film awards at the Cannes Festival's Prix Tres Special, Japan's Yubari International Film Festival, and Italy's MystFest. The film was released by New York based October Films and has won favorable, if not heated, reviews. The film has been hailed by Daily Variety, Cahiers du Cinema, and the Village Voice as one of the finest debut films of the last twenty years.

His second film is a bold and visually striking adaptation of Bret Easton-Ellis' novel, "The Rules of Attraction. " The film, a curious love triangle, polarized critics in the states with its daring non-linear narrative and strong stylistic flourishes. Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman called it "a party-hearty teen flick that scalds like acid" while Premiere Magazine called it "the worst film of 2002. " Richard Corliss asked "what more could you ask for in a movie" in his Time Magazine review, and after seeing the film twice to formulate his review, something he rarely does, Roger Ebert proclaimed that "Avary weaves his story with zest and wicked energy. " The film was such a creative success that Roger Avary and Greg Shapiro have optioned the rights to Bret Easton-Ellis' novel "Glamorama. " The film is currently in development under Shapiro's production banner, Kingsgate Films.

In 1994 Roger, inspired by Patrick McGoohan's surreal BBC series "The Prisoner," wrote, directed, and produced a pilot for an international syndicated television series for Rysher Entertainment titled "Mr. Stitch. " In 1997 Roger collaborated with Aaron Spelling and NBC to create a pilot for the neo-noir underworld crime series "Odd Jobs. " Neither went to series, and Roger no longer dabbles in TV.

Roger has also collaborated with director Quentin Tarantino as co-author of his Cannes Film Festival Palm d'Or winner "Pulp Fiction. " In 1995 the two shared best writing accolades from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the New York Film Critics' Circle, the Boston Society of Film Critics, the National Society of Film Critics, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the British Academy of Film and Television for their work on "Pulp". This phenomenal success has led to a prolific writing career for Roger, working at Warner Brothers, Paramount, Dreamworks, and others.

Roger has been very active as a producer, both on his television projects, and the independent films "Boogie Boy" and "The Last Man. " Roger is a spokesperson for Apple Computer and their prosumer editing software, Final Cut Pro, with which he edited his 35mm feature "The Rules of Attraction. " An avid Apple evangelist, Roger's full page spreads have appeared worldwide in Daily Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Post Magazine, Rez Magazine, Videography Magazine, Millimeter Magazine, and many more.

He dropped out of the Art Center College of Design, screaming at one of his professors "you don't need a degree to study film!" He now lectures yearly at Art Center. Roger collects and restores vintage Atari X-Y monitor arcade machines, as some people might specialize in restoring old automobiles. One of Roger's more interesting drunken party talents is to inhale dentil floss through his nose and cough one end out of his mouth.

Roger is currently editing his digital video feature of the footage shot in Europe for Victor's travels, to be titled "Glitterati. " He is also preparing the screenplay for his next film as director.

James Van Der Beek (Sean Bateman) had fate on his side for his entrance into the acting world, but it has been his dedication and talent that earned him a leading role in Dawson's Creek and breakthrough film roles.

Prior to The Rules of Attraction, Van Der Beek starred opposite Dylan McDermott in Texas Rangers. He also made a cameo appearance in Kevin Smith's recent Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back as well as a starring role in Todd Solondz's controversial Storytelling, opposite Selma Blair.

Suffering a mild concussion when he was 13 years old, the athletic Van Der Beek was not permitted to play on the football team that year. So, for the first time, he decided to try out for the school play and landed the lead role of Danny Zuko in the school's production of Grease. Bitten by the acting bug, he continued to do local theatre in his hometown of Cheshire, Connecticut.

He was still focused on acting at age 16, so his mothered agreed one summer to travel three hours each way into New York city for him to pursue acting professionally. The next year, he was cast in the off-Broadway play Finding the Sun, which was written and directed by Pulitzer prize-winning playwright Edward Albee. He describes this as the defining experience for him as an actor, and commuted six hours everyday during the limited three-month run for rehearsals and performances in the middle of high school.

Van Der Beek's first on-screen performance came with a role in the 1995 film Angus, and he was featured in I Love You . . . I Love You Not with Claire Danes. His first major starring role was in the box-office hit Varsity Blues, which earned him a 1999 MTV movie award for breakthrough performance. He also made a cameo appearance in Scary Movie, which earned him an award in a movie awards poll for mtv. com

A dean's list student, Van Der Beek received an academic scholarship from Drew University in Madison, N. J where he studied Enlglish until the call came from Dawson's Creek. In what little free time he has, he enjoys writing and playing all kinds of sports.

UK Release: 28 March 2003
US Release: 11 October 2002
Distributer: Icon
Running Time: 110 mins
Cert: 18