This just in!
“Zoo” Filmmakers Begin Shooting New Documentary
on Would-Be Gerald Ford Assassin Sarah Jane Moore
Sundance Channel Playing “Zoo” All This Week Prior to Festival
After Film Is Named Named One of Top 25 Indie Films of the Decade
SEATTLE, WA, January 6th 2010 – The filmmaking team of “Zoo” and “Police Beat” – writer/director Robinson Devor, writer Charles Mudede and cinematographer Sean Kirby, in association with producer Zach Sebastian’s “Pamphlet & Parable” – have begun filming a new documentary on Sara Jane Moore, a suburban, middle-aged wife and mother who attempted to assassinate U.S. President Gerald Ford on September 22, 1975 outside the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco.
In a very short time, Moore went from country clubs and nurseries to meetings with violent Marxist radicals who advocated the overthrow of government by violent force. Strangely, she was also a narc for the FBI. Torn between loyalties, Moore eventually gave information to both the FBI and the radical left. Her exposure led to death threats from both camps, and the hatching of a plan to assassinate Ford.
Now eighty and free on parole after thirty five years in prison, Moore agreed to fly back to San Francisco for the first time to do a four day interview on camera. Filming took place all over the city, including inside the St Francis Hotel (where she was thrown to the floor and interrogated for several hours after the assassination attempt) and the Federal Building where she had multiple meetings with her FBI control agents.
“She led an incredible life,” says Devor. “She was a Southern girl who joined the army in her teens during World War Two and patrolled the US coast for German submarines. She reinvented her self in Los Angeles in the fifties and sixties where she became a Hollywood insider married to the Oscar winning sound designer of ‘Citizen Kane.’ By the seventies, she was remarried and settled in a conservative upscale East Bay neighborhood with a young son. She would commute one hour each way into San Francisco to be educated as both a Marxist and an FBI informant – all the while commuting back to the suburbs to pick-up her son from private school.”
“We can see in her the two extreme sides of American politics: the far right and the radical left,” ventures Mudede. “These extremes are still with us today. But at one moment in history, Sara’s body was the site of this struggle between the forces of conservatism and revolution. The conclusion of this struggle was a bullet flying in the direction of an American president.”
“Like ‘Man on a Wire’, this is one of those incredible tales that recent American history has seemed to forget, “ says Sebastian. “Not only is it a compelling character portrait, it is also a strange and thrilling story that perfectly captures the mood of mid-70’s high paranoia. Think of it as Errol Morris’ ‘Mr. Death’ meets Francis Ford Coppola’s ”The Conversation.’”
Despite the San Francisco locale, Devor is keeping things local to Seattle. He brought crew down from Seattle, rented gear from Oppenheimer Camera, and is using Modern Digital for transferring and post.
As part of the build up to this years 2010 Sundance Film Festival, ‘Zoo” will be playing on the Sundance Channel this week at the following times:
• Thursday, January 7th at 8PM
• Friday January 8 at 2:45AM
• Tuesday, January 12th at 11:30 PM
For more information, contact Zach Sebastian: PamphletParable@gmail.com
Robinson Devor – BIO
Robinson Devor ‘s last feature film, ZOO, made its world premier at 2007 Sundance Film Festival, and then went on to play at the prestigious Cannes film festival. The film was picked up for distribution by ThinkFilms and has played in theaters around the world. The press has called the film “masterful” (Dennis Lim, New York Times), “beautiful and beguiling” (Village Voice), and “a breathtakingly original nonfiction work” (Scott Foundras, Variety). It was recently named by Filmmaker as “One of the Top 25 Indie Films of The Decade.”
In 2005, Robinson Devor premiered his second feature film, POLICE BEAT, in Dramatic Competition at Sundance 2005. The film was called “emotionally devastating” (Rolling Stone), “a visual knockout” (Variety) and “Sundance at its best” (Los Angeles Times), as well as named one of the year’s best films by the New York Times, Film Comment and Art Forum. For his efforts, Devor was nominated for a 2006 Indie Spirit Award and 2005 Gotham Award. The film has since been included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.
Named one of Variety’s “10 Directors To Watch” in 2000, Devor made his feature film directorial debut with THE WOMAN CHASER. Debuting at The New York Film Festival and then at Sundance, THE WOMAN CHASER received critical high marks throughout its US theatrical run (“Wicked and Brilliant”, The New Yorker; “A Masterpiece”, MovieMaker Magazine).
A 2002 Fellow at the Sundance Institute, Devor collaborated with Seattle journalist Charles Mudede (co-writer of POLICE BEAT) on the feature script, SUPERPOWER, the story of an African child soldier attempting to recapture his childhood after a civil war.