Kino Lorber in association with Zeitgeist Films have announced the acquisition of all North American distribution rights to Desperate Souls, Dark City and the Legend of Midnight Cowboy, an illuminating deep dive into the production of John Schlesinger’s film by acclaimed documentarian Nancy Buirski (The Loving Story, The Rape of Recy Taylor). Continuing the relationship between these two leading distributors of arthouse and international films, Zeitgeist will open the film theatrically in North America beginning at New York’s Film Forum in late June before expanding nationwide, followed by a digital, educational, and home video release on all major platforms by Kino Lorber.
Inspired by Glen Frankel’s Shooting Midnight Cowboy: Art, Sex, Loneliness, Liberation and the Making of a Dark Classic, Desperate Souls goes behind the scenes to visually document the creation of a masterpiece made by complex and paradoxical characters in New York City, 1969, an era when all the rules of society were being questioned. The film features inside stories of the film’s production from cast members including Jon Voight, Brenda Vaccaro, and Bob Balaban alongside interviews with cultural critics like J. Hoberman, Lucy Sante, Ian Buruma, and Charles Kaiser, who provide insight and perspective on the period of the film’s original release. Desperate Souls premiered at the 2022 Venice Film Festival and 2022 Telluride Film Festival.
Nancy Gerstman and Emily Russo, co-presidents of Zeitgeist Films, commented, “For those of us who were around when Midnight Cowboy was first released, this incredibly insightful, entertaining as well as tragic portrait of the era and its characters brought back memories, but more than that, added to the understanding we thought we already had. Bravo to Nancy Buirski for another extraordinary work of profound compassion.”
Director Nancy Buirski added, "The team behind Desperate Souls, Dark City and the Legend of Midnight Cowboy could not be more honored to join Zeitgeist and Kino Lorber's notable canons. As important, we're impressed by the care and support Nancy Gerstman and Emily Russo offer their filmmakers. In a competitive environment, this is vital.”
The deal was negotiated by Zeitgeist’s Emily Russo and Nancy Gerstman and Kino Lorber's Wendy Lidell with Jessica Lacy at Range Select.
Desperate Souls is produced by Nancy Buirski, Susan Margolin, and Simon Kilmurry and Augusta Films in association with Cineflix Productions and Foothill Productions. Executive producers of Desperate Souls are James Costa, Geralyn Dreyfous, J.C Mills, Glen Salzman, Regina K. Scully, Nathalie Seaver, Mark Trustin and Jamie Wolf. The film was co-produced by Claire L. Chandler.