Connecticut-Based Independent Film Premieres at Bridgeport's Bijou 12/28
An independent action feature filmed in-state with more than 40 Connecticut actors is to be premiered Dec. 28 (Wednesday night) at Bridgeport's Bijou Theatre (275 Fairfield Ave.).
The film is called "Desolation Angeles/Rise of the BOAS" and stars NeAl Smith, a Westport resident and the founding drummer in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame band "Alice Cooper."
There is no charge for admission. But a $10 donation is welcomed. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and showtime is 7:30 p.m. Snow date: Jan. 4 The Bijou is a 202-seat theater with an old-style concession stand and cash bar with on-street parking and garage parking nearby.
Smith wrote the title song for the film and plays a ruthless Russian mob boss in a full-length black-and-white production based on morality issues rooted in classical Greek mythology. A group of mercenaries is hired by a covert government agency to disrupt the relationship between the Russians and Mexican drug cartels. The plot raises the question: Are we are able to change our fate or is life predestined?
Jayson Byrd, a Westport-based photographer who has shot everyone from Paul Newman to Bob Dylan to Jean Stapleton and Morris Carnovsky, financed the production himself and wrote the original screenplay. It took him three years to complete the film, shooting at more than 30 localities between Ansonia and Stamford.
The site of his premier, the Bijou Theatre, opened as an opera house in 1909, started showing films in 1929 as the Rivoli Theatre, closed in 1996 and reopened in 2011 as a movie house. Inside the original proscenium has been retained.
Byrd is widely known as the onetime photographer for Westport Playhouse and Music Theater of Connecticut, also Shakespeare on the Sound in Rowayton, American Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford, Darien Dinner Theater, Stamford Playhouse and Polka Dot Playhouse in Bridgeport. He was among the original exhibitors at the Westport Arts Center.
Born in New York City, he spent his formative years traveling through Europe and developed a Continental visual sense of style, also influenced by the portrait and fashion work of David Bailey, Francesco Scavullo and Irving Penn.
The list of luminaries he has photographed also covers James Earl Jones, Christopher Plummer, John Lithgow, Victoria Tennet, Charles Keating, Dudley Moore and Jerry Stiller.
His advertising photography has appeared in magazines such as Vogue, WWD, Esquire, ELLE, GQ and Town & Country. His fashion clients include Brioni, Givenchy and Donna Haag.