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Macon Film Guild Presents: "Escapes"

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October 17, 2017

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"Escapes" (USA, documentary, 89 minutes, unrated) The only-in-Hollywood, true-life tale of a man named Hampton Fancher who fell into B-movie acting and into the beds of various actresses (Sue Lyon, Barbara Hershey) and wound up being an improbable driving force in the making of “Blade Runner.” In a bit of good timing, “Blade Runner 2049,” which Fancher helped write, opens in multiplexes on Oct. 8. “The writer Hampton Fancher has led the kind of fantastically eventful life that seems the stuff of fiction. Born in East Los Angeles in 1938 to a white American father and Mexican-American mother, he announced to them at 11 that he was leaving school — and did. He ran wild, studied ballet and, after seeing a biopic about the silent-screen legend Rudolph Valentino, renamed himself Mario Montejo. By 15, Mario was en route to Spain to study flamenco. On the ship home, Marlon Brando invited him to dinner. A bashful Mario declined. Mr. Fancher relates this anecdote about traveling in fast, starry company in ‘Escapes,’ a thoroughly charming, thoroughly engaging portrait of this great adventurer written, directed and produced by Michael Almereyda... Mr. Fancher turns every walk down memory lane into a leisurely, surprise-filled stroll through a labyrinth, taking us right and then left and then down apparent dead ends before guiding us home. Of course, how Mr. Almereyda tells these stories matters too… As Mr. Almereyda marshals his material, which includes Mr. Fancher digressing at length as well as clips from his early TV and film work, “Escapes” dodges the dreary obligations of the standard documentary profile to become an exploration of life as (if we’re lucky) a long, endlessly inventive tale. ” -- The New York Times