On Thursday, July 28th, the award-winning Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art (PhilaMOCA) will host a screening of AMATEUR NIGHT AT CITY HALL: THE STORY OF FRANK L. RIZZO (1978) with filmmaker Robert Mugge in attendance. The film will be released worldwide on DVD via MVD Entertainment Group on July 26th.
This documentary on Philadelphia’s most polarizing mayor of modern times was filmed throughout 1977 and ran for two weeks at the Walnut Mall Cinemas during the blizzard of early 1978. Although the film was released before Rizzo’s controversial assault on radical group MOVE, it chronicles attacks he ordered on Black Panthers and on young people lounging in Rittenhouse Square, his failed polygraph test, and his routinely tough talk (“I’m gonna make Attila the Hun look like a faggot”).
The film’s primary theme is “politics as show business,” and it includes many amateur musical performances from South Philadelphia’s Triangle Tavern. Among the many interviewees are broadcast journalist Andrea Mitchell, local politicians including future Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell, and stripper Blaze Starr who discusses her reputed affair with the self-proclaimed family man.
Screening as part of PhilaMOCA’s DNCinema series, politically-minded films that serve as counter-programming for the upcoming Democratic National Convention.
Doors 7:00, Movie 7:30
531 N. 12th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123