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Town Hall Theater to screen Jay Craven’s seaside drama

MIDDLEBURY — On the heels of its summer of sold-out screenings on Cape Cod and the islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, Jay Craven’s new seaside film drama, “Peter and John,” starring 2014 Golden Globe winner Jacqueline Bisset, will play a special screening at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 25, at Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater. The show will include a post-screening Q&A with director Craven and Emmy-winning actor and co-star Gordon Clapp (Clint Eastwood’s “Flags of Our Fathers,” “NYPD Blue”). Tickets will be available at the door and online at www.townhalltheater.org.
“Peter and John” is based on the 19th-century novel “Pierre et Jean” by Guy de Maupassant, and it’s set in 1872 Nantucket, during the island’s “ghost period” — after the decline of whaling, before the rise of tourism, and in the New England shadow of the Civil War. The film tells the story of two brothers whose relationship strains when the younger one receives news of an unexpected inheritance — and both brothers become attracted to the same young woman who arrives on their island.
Maupassant’s novel was widely credited for helping to change the course of narrative fiction through its detailed psychological characterizations. Tolstoy and Nabokov both cited the novel as an influence. In a letter to his brother Theo, Vincent Van Gogh cited Maupassant for the visual power of the novel’s detailed seaside setting. Henry James wrote, “Monsieur de Maupassant has never before been so clever” and he called “Pierre et Jean” a “masterly little novel” for its potent themes of family, status, self-discovery and the lengths to which someone will go to reveal or suppress the truth. 
A film trailer can be seen at: https://vimeo.com/116906319.
“Peter and John” stars Jacqueline Bisset (“Bullitt,” Truffaut’s “Day for Night”); Christian Coulson (“The Hours,” “Harry Potter: Chamber of Secrets”); Shane Patrick Kearns (“Blue Collar Boys”); Diane Guerrero (“Orange is the New Black,” “Jane the Virgin”); and Gordon Clapp (“Matewan,” “Eight Men Out,” “Glengarry Glen Ross”).
“Peter and John”was shot on Nantucket in the spring of 2014 and was produced through the Movies from Marlboro (MfM) program, a biennial film intensive semester jointly produced by Marlboro College and Kingdom County Productions. For this ambitious production, 22 filmmaking professionals mentored and collaborated with 32 students from 12 colleges (Wellesley, Mount Holyoke, Boston College, University of Vermont, Lyndon State College, Dartmouth, Smith, Sarah Lawrence, Emerson, Antioch, London School of the Arts and Marlboro). A 2016 Movies from Marlboro production is now in development (information at movies.marlboro.edu).
Jay Craven’s seven feature films include “Disappearances” (2007 with Kris Kristofferson) and “Where the Rivers Flow North” (1994 with Rip Torn and Tantoo Cardinal). His pictures have played 58 countries and 73 festivals, including Sundance — with special screenings at The Smithsonian, Lincoln Center, Le Cinémathèque Française, the Constitutional Court of Johannesburg and others. Craven’s commitment to New England place-based filmmaking was recently profiled by Orion magazine, which wrote: “Jay Craven has come closer than any other filmmaker to realizing (American poet, essayist and film theorist) Vachel Lindsay’s dream of a vital regional cinema that embodies the character and genius of a place in all its mystery, magnificence and pain.”
Craven was also artistic director for last month’s Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival, which brought hundreds of people to Middlebury to see movies by early-career filmmakers.
For more information on “Peter and John” go to kingdomcounty.org or contact Jay Craven at [email protected].

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