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Posts Tagged ‘Bix Beiderbecke’

Wednesday July 28th, 2010

INTERVIEW: OSCAR WINNER BERMAN DISCUSSES HER NEW HEFNER DOC

The friendship of Brigitte Berman and Hugh Hefner, which has endured for nearly 25 years, is fascinating. She’s an attractive blonde who has been a frequent guest at the Playboy Mansion, but she will never be mistaken for a shallow Playmate; she’s a remarkably intelligent and driven 56-year-old German-turned-Canadian who has directed hundreds of films, including one that won an Oscar for best documentary. He’s a notorious ladies’ man whose life has been filled with fame, fortune, and fun, but he is no fortunate son; he’s an 84-year-old who emerged from humble beginnings with a dream, turned it into reality, and then used his clout to advance numerous causes in which he believed. She saw a side of him that most others have overlooked; he saw that she saw it and trusted her in a way that he’d never trusted anyone before. The result? The captivating documentary “Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist, and Rebel” (Phase 4 Films, 7/30, trailer), which opens in select theaters this Friday.

I first met Berman at the Toronto International Film Festival last September, where the film was screened for a large audience (that included Hefner and three of his former girlfriends) and elicited primarily strong notices (including my own). Earlier this month, she was kind enough to answer a number of questions that I had about Hefner the man and “Hefner” the film, as well as the journey that led her to both…

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Wednesday July 28th, 2010

EXCLUSIVE: “PLAYBOY” HUGH HEFNER DISCUSSES NEW DOC ABOUT HIS LIFE

A case could be made that Playboy founder/publisher Hugh Hefner has influenced the average American’s life over the past half-century as much as, if not more than, any other private citizen. This is, of course, largely because his magazine played a key role in ushering in the sexual revolution of the 1960s, but also because — as the Oscar-winning filmmaker Brigitte Berman discovered and conveys beautifully in her new documentary “Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist, and Rebel” (Phase 4 Films, 7/30, trailer) — he has quietly and consistently stood up for First Amendment rights, civil rights, and, yes, even women’s rights over the more than half-century that he’s been in the public eye.

The doc, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last September, will be released on Friday at the Angelika Film Center in New York, the Nuart Theatre in Santa Monica, and the Landmark E Street Cinema in Washington, D.C. Along with never-before-seen footage from Hef’s personal scrapbooks and archives, it features a number of high-profile talking heads, each of whom — like most Americans — have strong feelings either in favor of or opposition to Hefner and everything he stands for. Thanks to the kind help of Ms. Berman (a fascinating woman who I’ll be profiling in another post later today), I was able to speak with Mr. Hefner himself earlier this month and can now bring you his own thoughts on the film and the story it tells/he lived.

Following is a complete transcript of our conversation, minus pleasantries…

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