The Independent Film Channelhas unveiled its latest original documentary Z Channel: A MagnificentObsession which is the feature directorialdebut of Xan Cassavetes. The film looks at the ground-breaking LA film channelof the 1970s and 1980s and its brilliant but troubled programmer Jerry Harvey,who committed suicide after murdering his wife in 1988.
The documentary includesinterviews with Robert Altman, Jacqueline Bisset, James Woods, QuentinTarantino, Jim Jarmusch, Alexander Payne, Paul Verhoeven, Theresa Russell,Penelope Spheeris, Henry Jaglom, Alan Rudolph, Vilmos Zsigmond and critics FXFeeney and Kevin Thomas.
The documentary will beexecutive produced by IFC's director of original programming Alison Bourke andwill air in the fourth quarter of this year.
Launched in 1974, Z Channelwas one the country's first pay cable channels and it showcased an eclecticblend of Hollywood, international, independent and classic films. Harveyintroduced the concept of director's cuts and is attributed with the AcademyAward success of many films which would screen for voters on Z Channel.
"Z Channel was the firstchannel to revolutionise the idea of how to programme a cable network,"explained Bourke. "It would have theme nights, brands and directors' nights andreally proved that cable TV could be influential in broadening the audience."
"Jerry Harvey gavefilm-makers a voice and expanded the audience for independent film," added RickRoss, who produced the film with Marshall Persinger.
"The spirit of Z is in the spirit of IFC and how we programme the network,"added Bourke. "When we were founded ten years ago, we were continuing what ZChannel started."
Z Channel: A MagnificentObsession is the latest IFC originalprogramme for 2004 after In The Company Of Women and In Search Of Ted Demme among others.