New project in development with Edward Rozzo, Milan: to be filmed in Italy

As a child, Marcus Reichert was first taken to the cinema by his grand- mother who often escaped the summer heat of the New Jersey coast by indulging in an air-conditioned matinee. Most "serious" films of the period - the mid 1950's - were still photographed in black and white and Reichert took particular joy in imagining the unfolding scenes in colour. His grand- mother had a taste for "adult" romances, which apparently informs Reich- ert's preoccupation in his own films and screenplays with psychologically distorted relationships.

Reichert's earliest films, shot primarily in 8mm, concentrate on the formal aspects of the human figure in an abstracted environment. This is partic- ularly apparent in
Silent Sonata which he co-directed with fellow-painter Akira Arita. The short films that follow - amputated scenes from scripts never realized in their entirety - have an atmosphere of anticipation about them, as if in pursuit of some barely-glimpsed cinematic prey. The first neo-noir, Reichert's Union City was selected for the Directors' Fortnight at Cannes in 1980, and was hailed by Lawrence O'Toole, film critic for Time Magazine, as "an unqualified masterpiece." It has been in distribution ever since.

Dennis Lipscomb on the set of Union City 

SUNDAY EVENING, photography, design, and direction by Marcus Reichert for high definition sur- round sound music DVD; Lazy Curtis, Final Touch Productions Ltd., London (Executive Producer: Chris Smith)

Sunday Evening performed by Lazy Curtis


THE SEAWALL MURAL, design and direction by Marcus Reichert for public works fine art project; The Renaissance Project, Thanet Arts Development Office (Advisors: Christina McQuaid, Sam Thomas)

PEOPLE, production design and direction for music video by Marcus Reichert; The Cutaways, Ragin' Records, Iris Sound / Metropolis Film Studios, Phila- delphia (Producer: David Ivory) - MTV Selection

People! performed by The Cutaways

UNION CITY, written and directed by Marcus Reichert; The Tuxedo Company Inc., New York  (Producers: Graham Belin, Monty Montgomery, Ron Mutz); all rights Marcus Reichert & Co., London  and The Museum of Modern Art, New York

With Deborah Harry, Dennis Lipscomb, and Everett McGill - Also Tony Azito, Pat Benatar, Irina Maleeva and Sam McMurray

WINGS OF ASH (A Dramatization of the Life of Antonin Artaud), pilot for feature film, written and directed by Marcus Reichert; Silver Screen Productions Inc., New York and Mick Jagger, London (Producers: Monty Montgomery, Marcus Reichert)

With Mick Jagger and Dennis Lipscomb

LE GRAND SILENCE, written, produced, and directed by Marcus Reichert; Silver Screen Productions Inc., New York

With Dennis Lipscomb and Sally MacLeod

SILENT SONATA, written and directed by Akira Arita and Marcus Reichert; Arita Reichert Collabora- tive / Rhode Island School of Design

With Sally MacLeod

Everett McGill and Deborah Harry, Union City

Union City has been hugely influential, especially among younger film- makers. As the actor Everett McGill (Quest For Fire, Brubaker, Heartbreak Ridge, Twin Peaks, Under Siege II.), who played Larry Longacre in Union City, has said, "Before Twin Peaks there was Union City." Now con- sidered a classic, the film was the centre-piece of the neo-noir festival held in 1997 by the American Museum of the Moving Image. Union City is in the Film Archive of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Many individuals who have gone on to substantial careers in the industry were involved in the making of the film, including
Kathryn Bigelow, Stefan Czapsky, Edward Lachman A.S.C., Dennis Lipscomb, Everett McGill, Sam McMurray, and Monty Montgomery. No less notably, Deborah Harry made her dramatic debut in the film. Chris Stein, of Blondie, created the musical score. And of special note are the performances of Pat Benatar and Tony Azito.

Union City has been under contract, in the English language, to the following distribution and television companies: Columbia Tristar, Chan- nel Four, Cinemax, Cineplex, FilmFour, Fox Lorber Associates / Winstar Home Entertainment, Orion Pictures, Mainline Pictures, and Tartan Video. The film is owned by Marcus Reichert & Co. and the Museum of Modern Art.

Sam McMurray as the Vagrant, Union City


'I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. The acting is wonderful, the photo- graphy is great, and the real
noir feeling of it is wonderful. But, for those who have not seen it, you must be patient. The movie does not travel at 100 mph, it is a rather slowly paced, slowly unfolding movie. You must be prepared to sit, watch, and enjoy. It is also a very humorous movie. This movie can teach you to appreciate and even laugh at the bizarre.'  March 10, 2000

'Union City is a great example of what you can do with practically no money for a feature length
film noir. A big reason for this is director, Marcus Reichert. Prior to (and after, as well) making this film, Mr. Reichert was known principally as an artist. Sense of color is a particularly strong element in this film: in almost every interior set, we see striking primary colors predominating. The actors are all fine here. Lipscomb and Harry are well matched as a dysfunctional couple. Everett McGill turns in a solid performance as the hunky superintendent. And Sam McMurray, CCH Pounder, and Pat Benatar are all right on target in their respective roles. This is a story of anxiety, obsession, murder, and guilt. It's an edgy work well complemented by the moody colors of its sets. The dialogue is a little stilted, but you can see that these slightly awkward phrases work well in the context of the jittery atmosphere. The two principals have something to be agitated about--murder and adultery.'  November 15, 2001

Dennis Lipscomb and Terina Lewis, Union City


''Most of Union City is a mood piece, with Lipscomb hitting the bottle to drown his guilt and Harry sticking gladiolis into her underthings to vent her sexual frustration. The moods are expressed in the movie's distinctive look, with garishly saturated hues glowing through the heavy gloom - and some of that look is echoed in later movies like the Coen Brothers' Blood Simple and The Man Who Wasn't There, in David Lynch's Blue Velvet, even in Warren Beatty's Dick Tracy. But Reichert doesn't just surrender to the atmospherics; at the end, when Harry unveils her bottle-blonde tresses, like Tippi Hedren in Marnie, he delivers a twist (a variant on Cornell Woolrich, who wrote the original story) that daringly relies on the viewer to fill in the elusive pieces. When Union City was screened at the Toronto Film Festival (in a print some three minutes longer than the version in current release), publicity stills contained a shot of Harry - like Arlene Dahl in Slightly Scarlet, like Elizabeth Taylor in Butterfield 8 - smearing a mirror with her lipstick. Maybe keeping that scene intact would have given Harry the push to stardom she and her fans craved. No matter, Union City can be accounted a success, a memorable riff on Woolrich's dark vision that helped pave the way for a second-phase cycle sometimes called
neo-noir.' October 26, 2002

Pat Benatar and Tony Azito on location, Union City
Union City stills: Amos Chan  /  Wings of Ash stills: Robert Erdman
All images Copyright Marcus Reichert & Co. and The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Tony Azito as Alphonso Florescu, Union City, 1979 Mick Jagger, as Antonin Artaud, and Marcus Reichert on the set of Wings of Ash, 1978