LOS ANGELES, Dec. 4, 2013 /CNW/ - Russian-Armenian director Tigran Mutafyan signed on to direct "Factory Cowboy," a forthcoming biopic about the events, life and controversial career of German artist and filmmaker Ulli Lommel.
The film follows the time of Lommel's arrival in New York City in 1977, where he collaborated and worked closely with Andy Warhol, and where Lommel met and married Suzanna Love, a Standard Oil heiress. It also portrays Lommel's move from Manhattan to Hollywood where he had his first box office hit, "Boogeyman" (1980), starring John Carradine and Suzanna Love. It closes in showing Lommel's time spent with the Native American Apaches in the Pueblos of New Mexico in 1987.
Lommel said, "Factory Cowboy portrays 10 years of my life in America. It's about what one could perceive as strange and wondrous times at Andy Warhol's New York City studio - The Factory - on West 47th Street. It was a time and place where remarkable and unbelievable things went on. The Factory is where everything you could think of or even imagine happening most likely did happen at one point or another. It's where I and others became Warhol's Art-Mitates (life imitates) Art-Entourage. Streams of artists, stars and celebrities there included the rich and famous likes of Jackie Kennedy, Truman Capote, Peter Beard, Mick and Bianca Jagger, and Jean-Michael Basquiat, who were among the many immortalized images of Warhol's Pop Art Impressions."
Warhol's aberrant star quality, identity and artistic techniques made him and his entourage the center of New York's Studio 54 nightclub scene, and notably "king" of the avant-garde society, ultimately leading to him becoming the most famous artist of our time.
"Andy walked up and stood next to me one night at the Factory, and out of nowhere asked me 'What is your next movie about?'" said Lommel. "I was thrown off for a moment, but then I saw Carole from across the room gazing out into the crowd, and as I observed her there, I began telling him about my next movie. Soon after, I directed and acted alongside Warhol in the films he and I collaborated on. The first was Blank Generation (1978) staring Carole Bouquet, making her debut on the silver screen in the leading role which launched her career. Richard Hell, of Richard Hell and the Voidoids, was the co-star. Carole later went on to become the Bond girl in For your Eyes Only, one of the sexiest movies made of the hit 007 series. After we were done with Blank Generation, Andy and I headed over to Montauk to take a series of Polaroid photos together. Once there, we came across Jack Palance and decided to make Cocaine Cowboys (1979)."
By the mid 1980s, The Factory and the Montauk compound overlooking the Atlantic, wind-swept moor cliffs was put on the international map, mostly due to the barrage of artists, and the parade of celebrities and ultra urban pop star guests Warhol used over the years to reshape modern art and art-house filmmaking. Warhol was a true artist in every sense of the word, from producing music to creating and publishing the world famous "Interview" magazine.
Mutafyan said, "The time Ulli spent collaborating with Andy Warhol and Rainer Werner Fassbinder is priceless. And I feel my approach and visual interpretation will characterize these times very well. The script is absolutely great! It represents the Artistic Movement of the mid-20th century, the diversity of people, Warhol's artistic styles and revolutionary techniques. Factory Cowboy especially emphasizes an artist's liberty to move in a continuous stream of abstract personalities and emotions through nontraditional and nonrepresentational means of expression.
"I was taught in the film school about Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Ulli Lommel, and I wouldn't have dared to dream about directing a Ulli Lommel film in my life time. But that was before I met Pia Vaughn, who not only put me in touch with Ulli in Europe by phone, she brought the Factory Cowboy script to the table and I read it and couldn't believe my eyes. Pia got me attached to direct it soon after. Factory Cowboy is going to be such a beautiful movie with incredible depth."
Lommel directed and produced more than 50 films including 1973's highly acclaimed "Tenderness of the Wolves" produced by Fassbinder. He is known for his extensive work in horror, and has acted in more than 70 films since the 1960s including Fassbinder's "Loves Colder than Death," "Effii Brest" and "Chinese Roulette," many of which Michael Ballhaus was the cinematographer.
Mutafyan was nominated in the category of Best Visual Effects by the African Oscars-NAFCA 2013 for the film, "The Fetus." He directed the feature "Even One is a Warrior in the Field," and the short films "A Small Drop of Honey," "Ever After," "The Baby Shower," "The Surgeon," "Migration" and "The Theta Cycle." He also directed the documentaries "Demiurg," about legendary Russian theater director Georgiy Tovstonogov, "The Mission," about theater instructor/director Veniamin Filshtinsky and many episodes of the documentary TV series "The City of Sun," "ExpoExpo" and "St. Petersburg Time and Place."
"A director with Tigran's visual perception of integration could give the events which shaped and changed my life a special place in the 21st century," said Lommel.
"Factory Cowboy" producers are Pia Vaughn and Tigran Mutafyan of Glasscore Entertainment, LLC. It is slated to shoot in New York, Los Angeles and New Mexico. Principal Photography is to begin October 2014 and the picture will release in 2015.
SOURCE: Pia Vaughn and Ulli Lommel