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  |  Film Clip & Interviews: David Hyde Pierce and Director Nick Tomnay   |         
Essential Event Info

W H A T :
  • Director Nick Tomnay, Australia/USA, 2010 (festival) 2011 (theatrical), run time 92 minutes.
  • Genres: crime, drama, thriller, dark comedy.
  • The film is rated R for language, some violent content and brief sexual material.
  • Discussion after the film.
  • Social Hour, bar and food catered by Europa Bistro & Café before the films.

  • W H E N :
  • Tuesday, August 23, 7:00
  • Wednesday, August 24, 7:00
    Social Hour, bar and food at 6:00 pm each evening.

    W H E R E :
  • The Carnegie Arts Center
    1028 Scott Blvd., Covington KY 41011
  • Easy Access, Free Parking:
    Interactive Google Map
    Printable Map & Written Directions
    Printable Downtown Bridge & Street Grid
    Printable Parking Map

  • T I C K E T S :


  • Tix are $8 in advance and $10* at the door.
  • Tix for students and Enjoy the Arts members are $8*, available only at the door.

  •  * NOTE: Any ticket physically sold by the CARNEGIE incurs a $1.00 facility charge in addition to the face value of the ticket -- this applies to tix purchased in advance by phone or in person, and at the door.

  •  CWC - ON-LINE, 24 x 7
  •  Phone, 1-877-548-3237, Mon - Fri, 9a - 7p
  •   The Carnegie Box Office
    in person and by phone 859 957 1943
    Tuesday - Friday, 12 noon - 5p
    1028 Scott Blvd, Covington KY 41011

    In person at these area locations
    (click each location for a map):

  • Clifton-Ludlow Avenue,
    Sitwell's Coffee House 513 281 7487

  • Mt. Lookout Square,
    Lookout Joe Coffee Roasters
    513 871 8626

  • Downtown Cincinnati,
    Coffee Emporium 513 651 5483

  • Tickets at the door subject to availability.

    Save Your Ticket Stubs —
    Discount coupon on the back is valid at the Coffee Emporium, Lookout Joe Coffee Roasters or Sitwell's Coffee House.

  • 859.957.FILM, Mon-Sat 9a-6p
  • Email, via "Contact" in the Main Menu

    Social Hour, Cash Bar &
    a la carte Hors D'ouevres

    Come early and bring an appetite!    Starting one hour before each screening, in the Carnegie's main gallery, Europa Bistro & Cafe will offer some of their most popular delicacies.   For example...

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  • Discussion Leaders

    John Alberti
    Wednesday, August 24

    John Alberti A graduate of the University of Southern California (BA, English, 1981) and UCLA (MA, English 1984 and Ph.D., English, 1989). Dr. Alberti has been teaching at Northern Kentucky University for twenty years, where he focuses on the relationship between American literature and popular culture as evidenced in cinema, television and music.

    Currently the Director of the Cinema Studies program and Professor of English, John has been instrumental in bringing the Festival of New French Films to NKU — look for the third annual series in the Spring of 2012.

    Andrea Gazzaniga
    Tuesday, August 23

    Andrea Gazzaniga A graduate of Wellesley College (BA magna cum laude, English & Italian, 1995) and Cornell University (MA English and American Literature, 2001 and Ph.D. 2004), Dr. Gazzaniga came to Northern Kentucky University in 2010 from a teaching position at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte.

    In addition to teaching English and Victorian Literature, Andrea also specializes in Cinema Studies, has taught courses on the films of Alfred Hitchcock and is currently preparing a course on film noir to be offered in the Fall semester.

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    "Smart, funny, unpredictable, startling, and disturbing" is how David Hyde Pierce describes The Perfect Host. See more in the featurette clip, plus interviews with David and Clayne Crawford, here.

    A Twist-riddled Joyride of Situational Chaos !!
    "Don't you just love it when you take a chance on a completely unknown film and it pays off?" Read or listen to the review by WVXU film critic Larry Thomas.

    §>   If the trailer does not load correctly, watch it here.   <§  

    Seeking sanctuary, a bank robber on the run turns to home invasion. His victim, an apparent dilettante, endeavors to turn the tables. But things are not what they seem, resulting in a roller coaster ride of plot twists, surprises and a dinner party from Hell.

    The Perfect Host is the epitome of Independent Cinema. Evolved from an award-winning short film, a labor of love crafted over several years into a full-length screenplay, shot in just 17 days on a limited budget, enhanced by strong commitment from accomplished actors who could easily make much more money with less challenging mainstream roles.

    The result: outstanding lead performances and a darkly comedic thriller with myriad twists that keep you guessing — totally engrossing and fun to watch!

    Even with a few structural flaws, The Perfect Host considerably exceeds expectations normally accorded a director's first feature length film. To preserve your viewing pleasure and the element of surprise, we suggest avoiding external reviews or clips with spoilers.

    About the Film

    The Perfect Host - The Dinner Party as Dying Art
    By Leo Sopicki

    Winston Churchill once said, "Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma."  So, too, is The Perfect Host, a Sundance 2010 selection by Australian filmmaker Nick Tomnay, opening July 2011.

    David Hyde Pierce On the surface, the story in this psychological thriller is straight forward. Warwick Wilson, played by David Hyde Pierce (Dr. Niles Crane in Frasier), carefully prepares for a dinner party, the table impeccably set and the duck perfectly timed for 8:30 p.m.

    John Taylor (Clayne Crawford, One Blood Planet, 24) is a career criminal who just robbed a bank and needs to get off the street. Taylor talks himself into Warwick's home, posing as a friend of a friend, new to Los Angeles, who's been mugged and lost his luggage.

    Clayne Crawford As the evening progresses, riddles, mysteries and enigmas unfold, convolute and twist again and again. The roles of protagonist and antagonist flip back and forth as each of the lead characters plays mind games and tricks on one another. The dinner party unfolds like none you've ever seen and includes my favorite line from the film: "You can't kill me, I'm having a dinner party."

    David Hyde Pierce does an incredible job creating a character who channels Dr. Hannibal Lecter and Jimmy 'Popeye' Doyle filtered through La Cage aux Folles and A Beautiful Mind. Don't think about that too hard; you'll understand after you've seen this engrossing film.

    Clayne Crawford's performance is also top notch. He creates sympathy for a totally unsympathetic character. Even a professional bank robber can have a bad day and be cursed by a crazy girlfriend. The girl friend is played seductively and manipulatively by Internet diva Megahn Perry (Hate My 30's, The Gravedancers).

    Megahn Perry This project was a long time in gestation for writer-director (and editor) Nick Tomnay, who shares writing credits with collaborator Krishna Jones. It originated as a short film, The Host, set in Tomnay's native Australia in 1999. In its original version it won several prizes including Australia's AFI Best Short Film Award. Tomnay moved to New York where he continued to work on the script for five years.

    When Tomnay got financing for the project, the next challenge was to find an actor for the lead. "With little money to offer an actor," he said, "and a character that does some pretty extreme things, the role of Warwick was not an easy one to cast. Luckily, David Hyde Pierce was willing to take a risk."

    In the fall of 2008, Tomnay came to LA to make The Perfect Host, his first feature. He shot the film in only three weeks, but then spent most of 2009 in an editing room in New York. "Had I not played the film over and over again in my head during the writing process," he said, "The Perfect Host would be a very different film."

    So what kind of film is it?  A thriller, sprinkled with just enough humor, which uses a game of chess as a recurring motif. But, the players involved in this game stand to lose a lot more than their king.

    © 2011, Leo Sopicki.   Living and writing in Los Angeles, Leo Sopicki, aka Leo of Mars, brings a unqiue perspective to film industry news and reviews: that of a conservative screenwriter.   See more of Leo's writings at