The Many Faces of Matthew Modine

Roxy Cinema Presents – A Captivating Film Retrospective: The Many Faces of Matthew Modine

The Roxy Cinema, known for our dedication to showcasing cinematic excellence, is proud to announce a prestigious five-film retrospective, celebrating the prolific career of acclaimed actor Matthew Modine. Under the banner “The Many Faces of Matthew Modine,” this cinematic journey promises to be a captivating exploration of Modine’s hidden gem roles and storied contributions to the world of cinema. Matthew Modine’s career is a testament to his incredible talent and versatility, with a filmography that spans genres and generations. From his early breakout performances to his collaborations with revered directors, Modine has left an indelible mark on the industry. The retrospective will present a thoughtfully curated selection of five seminal films, each highlighting Modine’s exceptional range and mastery of his craft.

Day 1 – December 1, 2023
5:00 p.m. – Cutthroat Island (35mm) Buy Here 
7:30 p.m. – The Blackout (35mm) – Q&A moderated by Roxy Cinema Director Illyse Singer Buy Here
9:45 p.m. –  If… Dog… Rabbit (35mm) Introduction Buy Here

Day 2 – December 2, 2023
3:00 p.m. – Birdy (35mm) Buy Here
5:20 p.m. –  If… Dog… Rabbit (35mm) – Q&A Moderated by actor Lisa Marie (Mars Attacks, Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow, If… Dog…Rabbit) Buy Here
7:30 p.m. – Equinox (35mm) – Q&A Moderated by actor/director Eric Stoltz (Memphis Belle, Pulp Fiction) Buy Here
10:00 p.m. – The Blackout (35mm) Introduction Buy Here

Day 3 – December 3, 2023
3:00 p.m. – Equinox (35mm) Buy Here
5:15 p.m. – Birdy ” (35mm) – Q&A Moderated by fashion designer/actor Isaac Mizrahi Buy Here
7:45 p.m. – “ Cutthroat Island ” (35mm) – Q&A Moderated by iconic actress Lynda Carter (Wonder Woman) Buy Here

The film selection includes “Cutthroat Island,” an exhilarating pirate adventure filled with buried treasure and daring escapades; “The Blackout,” a gripping drama chronicling the journey of a self-loathing addict; “If…Dog…Rabbit,” a hidden gem, rarely screened, a high-octane crime thriller written, directed, produced and starring Modine that delves into the intricate dynamics of a family; “Birdy,” a poignant exploration of the enduring scars left by war; and “Equinox,” a mesmerizing tale of reunited twins with contrasting fates.

In addition to the screenings, the retrospective will feature exclusive Q&A sessions with special guests, providing an intimate look into the behind-the-scenes stories and artistic vision that shaped these cinematic stunners. Matthew Modine’s contributions to film extend beyond his acting prowess. As a director, his award-winning short film, “I Am What You Imagine,” which will play before each feature, offers a profound and sensory journey into uncharted realms of storytelling.

Cutthroat Island, 1995 (35mm) Director: Renny Harlin
Feisty Morgan Adams (Geena Davis) inherits her late buccaneer father’s galleon and one-third of a map to buried treasure located on Cutthroat Island. The map had been tattooed on her father’s scalp, and to find the treasure, she must locate and scalp his two brothers. But Morgan’s swashbuckling uncle, Dawg Brown (Frank Langella), wants the treasure for himself, and does battle with his headstrong niece and her unwilling accomplice, Latin-speaking physician William Shaw (Matthew Modine).

The Blackout, 1997 (35mm) Director Abel Ferrara
Abel Ferrara’s “Blackout” stars Matthew Modine as Matty, a self-loathing addict and Hollywood actor. The film watches as Matty attempts to both crawl his way out of addiction and atone for an event that happened during a memory blackout. “Abel Ferrara’s ”Blackout,” a film featuring sex, drugs and Claudia Schiffer, caused a stampede when it was shown at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival. “- The New York Times

If… Dog… Rabbit…, 1999 (35mm) Written, Directed, Produced & Starring: Matthew Modine 

Johnnie Cooper (Matthew Modine) served time for an armed robbery, in which his father and brother also participated. When he’s released from jail, he’s determined to live a normal life and gets work at a gas station. But soon, his brother pays a visit.

Birdy, 1984 (35mm) Director: Alan Parker 

Birdy (Matthew Modine) returns from the Vietnam War, scarred by the horrific experiences of battle. He is so damaged by what he saw that he has completely shut himself off from reality, imagining that he is actually a bird. Birdy is confined to a mental hospital, where the doctors are at a loss as to how to treat him. In an attempt to help, Al, his best friend from high school — and who was also in Vietnam — visits him every day to try to get through to him.

Equinox, 1992 (35mm) Director: Alan Rudolph 

With sinuous lensing from his frequent ‘90s cinematographer Elliot Davis, Rudolph puts a menacing yet contemplative spin on the storytelling tradition of good twin/bad twin. Matthew Modine expertly delineates his portrayals of the separated at-birth brothers; one is a timid mechanic raised by salt-of-the-earth M. Emmet Walsh and pining for Laura Flynn Boyle, while the other is a flashy thug in Fred Ward’s crime ring and married to Lori Singer. Shall the twins meet?

I Am What You Imagine, 2023 (DCP) Director: Matthew Modine
Matthew Modine’s award-winning new short film, I Am What You Imagine, is a sensual exploration of the unexplainable. Featuring the voice talents of Ruby Modine and long-time Kubrick collaborator Leon Vitali (in his final performance), the short uses sound, music, and expressionistic imagery to take viewers on a journey of the heart and mind. Time: 6 minutes

About the Roxy Cinema 

The Roxy Cinema is a distinguished cultural landmark in New York City, dedicated to celebrating the art of filmmaking by offering a curated selection of classic, independent, and contemporary films. With a commitment to providing an immersive and memorable movie-watching experience, the Roxy Cinema stands as a beacon of cinematic excellence in the heart of Manhattan. A hat tip to the 1920s motion picture palace, Roxy Cinema is an Art Deco-inspired arthouse cinema located in downtown Manhattan specializing in first-run independent films, rare archival prints, and 35mm cult classics. It also runs special cultural programming, including film series, director and actor Q&As, and artist collaborations. With its gourmet concession stand, you can also purchase craft cocktails, beer and wine, popcorn and candy to enjoy during the movie. Whether you’re a couple dropping in for a casual date or an enthusiast coming to see a favorite director, the Roxy Cinema is an old-school moviegoing experience for modern-day audiences. To get to the cinema, take the stairs or elevator to the cellar level—both are located at the back of the entrance level, on the right side.

About Matthew Modine 

Matthew Avery Modine was born March 22, 1959, as the youngest of seven children in Loma Linda, California, the son of a bookkeeper and drive-in theater manager. His iconic roles as Private Joker in Full Metal Jacket, the title character in Birdy, high school wrestler Louden Swain in Vision Quest, and the triumphant return of the mysterious and frightening Dr. Martin Brenner on the Netflix global phenomenon Stranger Things have cemented his legacy.

Recent projects include star turns in four feature films, Christopher Nolan’s OppenheimerHard Miles, The Martini Shot, and Retribution opposite Liam Neeson. He also has three award-winning documentary features, Downwind, Accidental Truth, and Sludge, the multiple award-winning feature Foster BoyMiss VirginiaWrong Turn; the Netflix Original feature film, Operation: Varsity Blues and Modine’s much-anticipated return to the Netflix global phenomenon, Stranger Things, Season 4 which reunited him with co-star Millie Bobby Brown. In addition, he has returned to writing and directing with a new experimental short film, I Am What You Imagine, which is currently screening at film festivals across the globe. 

Modine has worked with many of the film industry’s most respected directors, including Oliver Stone, Sir Alan Parker, Stanley Kubrick, Robert Altman, Alan J. Pakula, John Schlesinger, Tony Richardson, Robert Falls, Sir Peter Hall, Abel Ferrara, Spike Lee, Tom DiCillo, Mike Figgis, Jonathan Demme, John Sayles, and Christopher Nolan.

A partial list of his films includes The Dark Knight Rises, Birdy, Vision Quest, Full Metal Jacket, Married to the Mob, Gross Anatomy, Memphis Belle, Pacific Heights, Short Cuts, The Browning Version, and Any Given Sunday.

His first film role was in John Sayles’ Baby It’s You, and his performance caught the eye of director Harold Becker who cast him in Vision Quest (Crazy for You), based on the novel by Terry Davis. He also appeared in the sex comedy Private School, co-starring Phoebe Cates, and Betsy Russell. He played Mel Gibson’s brother in Mrs. Soffel and starred in Birdy with Nicholas Cage. But it was the director Robert Altman who propelled Modine to international stardom with his film adaptation of David Rabe’s play Streamers. He and his fellow castmates won an unprecedented Best Actor prize from the Venice Film Festival for the tragic story of young American soldiers about to be shipped to Vietnam.

For all of his signature roles, Modine might best be known for his role as Private Joker, the central character of Stanley Kubrick’s 1987 war movie Full Metal Jacket. The film received critical acclaim. The Chicago Reader labeled it “the most tightly crafted Kubrick film since Dr. Strangelove. Variety referred to the film as an “intense, schematic, superbly made” drama, while Vincent Canby of the New York Times called it “harrowing” and “beautiful” The film received a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Writing for an adapted screenplay and can often be found on lists for the greatest movies of all time.

He played the dangerous young criminal Treat in Alan Pakula’s film version of the hugely successful Lyle Kessler stage play Orphans and the goofy, earnest F.B.I. agent Mike Downey in Jonathan Demme’s screwball comedy Married to the Mob opposite Michelle Pfeiffer. In 1990 he led the cast of Memphis Belle, a fictionalized account of the famous B-17 Flying Fortress. Modine was nominated for an Emmy Award for his performances in And the Band Played On, an HBO TV movie about the early years of the HIV/ AIDS epidemic. In 2003, he guest-starred on The West Wing in the episode The Long Goodbye. He portrayed the character Marco, who went to high school with Cregg (Allison Janney), and helped her deal with her father’s steady mental decline due to Alzheimer’s disease.

​In 2005, he appeared in Abel Ferrara’s Mary, which won the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival. In the film, Modine portrayed a director recounting the story of Mary Magdalene (Juliette Binoche). Recently, Modine played the corrupt Majestic City developer “Sullivan Groff” throughout Season 3 on Showtime’s Weeds.

​In a commanding cameo, Matthew Modine’s parody of Vince Fontaine (Grease) in celebration of the Jonas Brother’s hit single What a Man Gotta Do has garnered more than 104 million views.

On stage, Modine has appeared in Arthur Miller’s Finishing the Picture at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, Arthur Miller’s Resurrection Blues at London’s Old Vic, and Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird at Connecticut’s Hartford Stage. The production became the most successful play in the theatre’s 45-year history. From 2022-2023 he returned to the role in Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation on London’s West End to critical acclaim. In 2010, he starred in the 50th Anniversary Broadway rival of The Miracle Worker at Circle in the Square Theatre.

Over the past few years, Modine has directed several distinguished short films, including When I Was a Boy, Smoking, Jesus Was a Commie, I Think I Thought, To Kill an American. and Ecce Pirate, which debuted Sundance Film Festival. Each of his shorts has gone on to great critical acclaim and has played festivals worldwide, including the prestigious Museum of Modern Art’s New Directors/New Films.

Matthew Modine is the recipient of a Golden Globe Award, Venice Film Festival Volpi Cup and Golden Lion. Mary, directed by Abel Ferrara, co-starring Juliette Binoche and Forest Whitaker, won the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival. Birdy won the Cannes Film Festival Grand Prix. Equinox, directed by Alan Rudolph, received four Independent Spirit Award nominations, including Best Actor and Best Film. Matthew was part of the Emmy-winning Showtime series Weeds (2005) for his work in television. He has received Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominations for the M.O.W. What the Deaf Man Heard and HBO’s Emmy winning And the Band Played On.

Photo Credit: Mike Ruiz, exclusively for the Mountains Magazine, Fall 2023 Issue

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