Cinema Diverse! The Palm Springs Gay and Lesbian Film Festival

Celebrate the Life and Times of Quentin Crisp with CINEMA DIVERSE

On September 24th, 2009, CINEMA DIVERSE will celebrate the life and times (or perhaps trials and tribulations) of the legendary QUENTIN CRISP when it opens its 2009 Film Festival with a DOUBLE FEATURE screening of THE NAKED CIVIL SERVANT, and its brand new sequel, AN ENGLISHMAN IN NEW YORK.

first attracted the attention of the world when his 1968 biography inspired the 1975 award-winning TV film THE NAKED CIVIL SERVANT, starring John Hurt (who won a BAFTA Award (Britain's Oscar) For Best Actor for NAKED CIVIL SERVANT in 1975). The film was very controversial in its day, and when it premiered on US television (PBS) there were all sorts of threats to made against PBS for the telecast and the film's friendly embrace of homosexuality. Nevertheless, this telecast gave American television viewers their first real look at a flamboyant gay hero – MR. QUENTIN CRISP.

In AN ENGLISHMAN IN NEW YORK, John Hurt once again takes on the role of QUENTIN CRISP, the irreverent and flamboyant performer and social commentator. But while THE NAKED CIVIL SERVANT chronicled CRISP's life going against the heterosexual grain in the UK, AN ENGLISHMAN IN NEW YORK picks up the moving tale about CRISP as a man who still refuses to follow the rules, even within the budding gay culture of the 1970s and ’80s in New York.

Britain’s most famous homosexual sashays stateside with the help of Manhattan agent Connie Clausen (the always amazing Swoosie Kurtz), who gets QUENTIN resident alien status based on his “unique qualities.” Along the way, Connie finds CRISP a film review gig at The Village Voice, and highly entertaining friendships are formed with New York’s bohemian set, expertly played by Denis O’Hare, Jonathan Tucker (who played Tilda Swinton’s gay son in The Deep End), and Sex and the City’s Cynthia Nixon.

CRISP quickly becomes the toast of New York society, makes him a fixture on the champagne and peanuts circuit, and makes his 1981 one-man-show “How to Be Happy” a raging hit with ever-more-mainstream audiences. As usual, though, CRISP's loose lips get him into a pickle, but this time it's with the gay community itself. The twists and turns in AN ENGLISHMAN IN NEW YORK are as unusual and unpredictable as the man himself.

A final glimpse of ninety-year-old QUENTIN CRISP’s final jaunt with theater brings this intelligent and entertaining biopic to a close. But for audiences, whether it's an introduction to QUENTIN CRISP, or a friendly reunion after thirty five years, the experience will be as amazing, outrageous and completely unique as the man himself was! This is a coup for CINEMA DIVERSE, and a Special Treat for Palm Springs audiences!

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