August 7, 2014


One of the best documentaries I've seen in a while is opening Friday. It's called THE DOG and it's about the real life guy who robbed a Brooklyn bank on a sweltering summer day nearly 40 years ago, the story of which became the basis for Sidney Lumet's classic DOG DAY AFTERNOON. John Wojtowicz was the man behind the crime that gripped the city that August and ended up having a hold on him for the rest of his life too. What's just as fascinating about John's story is his life leading up to that moment, particularly how he was involved in some of the protests of the nascent gay rights movement, including a wedding action at City Hall caught on video in the early '70s.

The film was directed by two good friends of mine, Frank Keraudren (here on the left) and Allison Berg. I've known them both for quite a while, Frank since we were students at NYU film school!  Frank also he worked with me as the editor of my first feature I THINK I DO.

As they developed this film painstakingly over the course of 10 years, I've been privileged to see it grow and change as they followed "The Dog" (how John refers to himself) around New York,  dealt with his crazy voice mails (some featured in the film), and went through various edits of the film. The final version which I saw before it headed off to the Toronto Film Festival was really moving in its depiction of this unique man's life. Whether you know DOG DAY or not, I can't recommend this film enough as it really captures the life of a true New York character.

THE DOG opens here at the IFC and Lincoln Center tomorrow August 8. And other theaters around the country this fall. Check it out!