Cinemonde, a private international film screening series, recently presented Soirée Number 5 at the School of Visual Arts Theater in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan
The screenings, offered throughout the year, are invitation only and presented in a unique venue with opportunity for interaction with filmmakers, distinguished guests and others through the common appreciation of fine wine, fine food and fine art.
Soirée Number 5, as with all the Soirées, premieres a short film and a feature. This evening’s presentation included “The Moth and The Firefly,” a cue-card style short film dedicated to finding new light after a season of darkness and birthed by the events surrounding the widespread Blackout of 2003.
The Soirées feature film, was the first audience showing of the highly anticipated, “The Legend of Pale Male,” an odyssey in the making that spanned more than a decade and became a legend that lives on even today as Pale Male, New York’s beloved Red Tail Hawk, plays the lead role in this beautifully directed documentary.
New York City births many legends including those of strange wild animal sightings and still the stuff legends are made of took on a whole new meaning in the late 1990’s as a wild Red Tail Hawk took Manhattan by storm.
Pale Male discovered through his many flights the most exclusive address, foregoing the celebrity neighbors for a park view and finally decided that 927 Fifth Avenue was the address of choice.
As the years would unfold those who lived inside this posh, ultra luxurious, Upper East Side apartment building would eventually become second to a very famous, attention grabbing, flying family.
The documentary begins with a naïve filmmaker braving the world in search of his destiny and here, in the jungles of Manhattan, was where he would find it! We see this through the director’s own comical, on screen, introduction as he personifies the searcher of a filmmakers dream. And, as if on cue, his destiny appeared in the form of a wild Red Tail Hawk that by landing, he stunned and stopped a young Belgium wanderer and set him on his course.
Unsure in his steps, the filmmaker was fortunate to meet Charles Kennedy and find a mentor who then becomes more than a mentor; he became a friend, a brother.
Their friendship is captured by the filmmaker who learned from the beginning how to create a documentary that engages the audience by sharing his humanity and commitment to friends, life and the pursuit of his dream.
The film was punctuated by magnificent still photos of the Hawk hunting, capturing pigeons in flight, and sailing over the tall trees of New York’s Central Park with the stone monuments of midtown in sharp contrast.
The mystifying presence drew tourists and a steady stream of jaded New Yorkers who for a moment were transfixed to a stunned awe so that very famous New Yorkers, including Kim Basinger, Woody Allen and Soon Yee Previn Allen, all whom are featured, could walk unnoticed and become for one minute part of the crowd.
Central Park’s Boat Pond and the Hawk became the beginning of life, new direction, hope, friendship, twilight and journey’s end for the dedicated Pale Make regulars.
A band of brothers were formed and included, the elder Dr. Alexander Fisher, a lifelong resident of this posh Upper East Side neighborhood, Charles Kennedy, a professional wildlife photographer specializing on those indigenous to New York’s Central Park, the mysterious Lincoln Karim who would be arrested during the vigil for freedom and the fledging Belgium filmmaker, Frederic Lilian.
The elder Dr. Fisher, who had a bird’s eye view of the Hawk’s home, soon found himself in his nineties, the leader with wisdom and lender of his home as these two men, Charles and Frederic, slept many a night on his balcony waiting for the picture.
In addition to the men there were several others who kept vigil on Pale Male, Marie Winn, who wrote a novel based on her experiences with Pale Male and Janet Hess who wrote the screenplay.
The film highlight the antics of Pale Male who turned out to be quite the ladies man as he attracted many female Hawks and in spring when a young man’s fancy turns to women, did what birds and bees do, and the Pale Male regulars waited like pacing expectant parents for the first signs of new life. When the chicks were born Champagne was poured and pictures passed around; proud Pale Male regulars were showing off their children.
As stories go there, of course, is a twist and with the neighborhood going to the birds the management company decides at the cruelest of season’s to evict the loving family.
What follows couldn’t be written in Hollywood and allows film and television star Mary Tyler Moore to join and lend her name and support to a fledging group of bird watchers and ward off the evil Scrooge.
The documentary pays tribute to those loved and lost during its making notably to Charles Kennedy, who died of a fast moving Cancer that left a gaping abyss of sorrow that is felt as the director offers his brief eloquent eulogy and of course, Dr. Fisher, who just shy of his 99th birthday passed away, leaving a legacy of a life that included, in a season usually disregarded, a new family and friendship inspired by a wild Red Tail Hawk.
“The Legend of Pale Male“, a modern true epic, with the backdrop of the city that never sleeps coupled with beauty and nature in climatic harmony. Certainly worth seeing.
Cinemonde Film Series
The idea of Cinemonde was birthed by Mr. Jerry Rudes who is the founder and director of the Avignon Film Festival in France and the Avignon/New York Film Festival. The Cinemonde Film Series consists of a succession of soirees throughout the year each providing an opportunity for thought provoking film to be screened in an elegant private setting.
The Soirée began with a gourmet cocktail party featuring ultra elegant hors d’oeuvres served in abundance including Smoked Salmon with lemon crème fraiche whipped into an airy mousse topped with crispy capers and served on puff pastries; these delicate indulgences resonated through the palette, and like a fine wine, enveloped the senses. Needless to say they were delicious!
Also served were summer crisp cucumber mini-cups filled heaping with crab salad, another delicate indulgence and wildly popular and also Croquettes de Jambon, a deep-fried ham pate mixture with a crusted shell along with Herb and Truffle melted cheese served in stuffed baked mushroom cups. All hors d’oeuvres were prepared by guest Chef Elisa Fragoso.
Red and white wine along with CEO Martinis, Cape Cods featuring Chopin Vodka and Glenmorangie Scotch, neat or on the rocks complimented the exquisite selection of hors d’oeuvres. The dessert reception featured an assortment of Mini Green Tea, Yuzu-Vanilla and Coconut-Shiso Cupcakes with shiro-an vanilla and shiro-an matcha crèmes and Mini Chocolate Miso Brownie buttons. All desserts were prepare by Guest Chef Michelle Park of Kyotofu-NYC.
The evening ended with gift bags filled by Cinemonde sponsors and included Kiss My Face cosmetic products, MovieMaker Magazine, Navan Liqueur and Roger Smith Hotel Playing Cards. Cinemonde partners that made the evening special include LVT Laser Subtitling, The Roger Smith Hotel, Glenmorangie Scotch, Chopin Vodka, Navan Liqueur, Royal Wine merchants, InnaNYC Designs, 2110 Studios, Kyotofu-NYC, NYC Audubon Society, MovieMaker Magazine.
Cinemonde is a private event and guests are by invitation only once an invitation is extended are instructions forwarded for receiving tickets.
For more information on Cinemonde: www.mistralartistmanagement.com
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