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HISTORY

Siesta marked the feature film debut for director Mary Lambert, who had previously directed music videos including the acclaimed videos for Madonna’s “Borderline,” “Like A Virgin,” and “Material Girl.” Lambert was originally scheduled to make her feature film directorial debut with Under the Cherry Moon (1986, see entry). However, the 4 Dec 1987 LAT reported that she was fired after two weeks when the film’s star, the singer Prince, decided he wanted to direct the film himself.
       U.K.-based Palace Pictures announced Siesta as one of three planned projects with financing from Hemdale Film Corporation, the 17 May 1986 Screen International reported. However, talks with Hemdale fell through, and Palace instead arranged financing through Lorimar, the 12 Jul 1986 Screen International reported.
       Principal photography began on 25 Aug 1986 in Spain, according to the 10 Oct 1986 DV production chart. The film’s budget was $3.5 million.
       Before the film opened, Timothy Dykman filed a lawsuit against producers Gary Kurfirst and Zalman King, claiming he had not been paid for his help in finding financing for the film. The 20 May 1987 Var reported that Dykman was hired in late 1985 to raise money with the understanding that he would receive five percent of the total he raised. Dykman said he brought in Siren Pictures’ Julio Caro, who loaned producers seed money to get started, and therefore was owed $87,500. Palace Pictures, Siren Pictures, and Siesta Productions Ltd., which was set up to run the production, were also named in the suit. No further information about this lawsuit could be found.
       ... More Less

Siesta marked the feature film debut for director Mary Lambert, who had previously directed music videos including the acclaimed videos for Madonna’s “Borderline,” “Like A Virgin,” and “Material Girl.” Lambert was originally scheduled to make her feature film directorial debut with Under the Cherry Moon (1986, see entry). However, the 4 Dec 1987 LAT reported that she was fired after two weeks when the film’s star, the singer Prince, decided he wanted to direct the film himself.
       U.K.-based Palace Pictures announced Siesta as one of three planned projects with financing from Hemdale Film Corporation, the 17 May 1986 Screen International reported. However, talks with Hemdale fell through, and Palace instead arranged financing through Lorimar, the 12 Jul 1986 Screen International reported.
       Principal photography began on 25 Aug 1986 in Spain, according to the 10 Oct 1986 DV production chart. The film’s budget was $3.5 million.
       Before the film opened, Timothy Dykman filed a lawsuit against producers Gary Kurfirst and Zalman King, claiming he had not been paid for his help in finding financing for the film. The 20 May 1987 Var reported that Dykman was hired in late 1985 to raise money with the understanding that he would receive five percent of the total he raised. Dykman said he brought in Siren Pictures’ Julio Caro, who loaned producers seed money to get started, and therefore was owed $87,500. Palace Pictures, Siren Pictures, and Siesta Productions Ltd., which was set up to run the production, were also named in the suit. No further information about this lawsuit could be found.
       Siesta opened in limited regional release in fall 1987--11 Nov 1987 in New York City, and 25 Nov 1987 in Los Angeles, CA. The 8 Dec 1987 DV reported it had grossed a total of $114,303, from five theaters. By late Jan 1988, the film was playing on twenty-six screens and had earned a total of $2.5 million, the 26 Jan 1988 DV reported.
       Siesta also sparked a real-life romance between actress Ellen Barkin and her co-star, Garbiel Byrne. The two met on the set and were married in 1988, the 4 Oct 1993 issue of People magazine noted.
       End credits also state: “Thanks to: Dave Blattel; Andy Darrow; Susie Figgis; Ian Flooks; Terry Forrestal; Chris Frantz; Elliott Hoffman; Richard Hofstetter; Tracey Jacobs; Craig Jacobson; Glennis Liberty; Ira Lippy; Mo Ostin; Richard P. Phelan; Tina Potter; Jim Signorelli; Tina Weymouth; and Steve Woolley"; "Special thanks to William Anderson”; and, “Shot on location in Spain and at Estudios Roma, Madrid.”
       Cast members Lola Rodríguez and Manuel Molina are jointly credited by their band name, Lola y Manuel. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
LOCATION
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
10 Oct 1986.
---
Daily Variety
19 Oct 1987
p. 3, 18.
Daily Variety
8 Dec 1987.
---
Daily Variety
26 Jan 1988.
---
Hollywood Reporter
9 Dec 1987
p. 7, 22.
Los Angeles Times
25 Nov 1987
Calendar, p. 4.
Los Angeles Times
4 Dec 1987.
---
New York Times
11 Nov 1987
Section C, p. 23.
People
4 Oct 1993.
---
Screen International
17 May 1986.
---
Screen International
12 Jul 1986.
---
Variety
20 May 1987.
---
Variety
21 Oct 1987
p. 15.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Lorimar Motion Pictures and Siren Pictures present
A Palace/Kurfirst/King production
A Mary Lambert film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
Prod mgr
Asst dir, 2d unit
Prod mgr, U. S. crew
Asst dir, U. S. crew
2d asst dir, U. S. crew
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Gaffer
Best boy
Key grip
Focus puller
Clapper loader
Stillsman
Cam op, 2d unit
Cam op, 2d unit
Cam op, 2d unit
Focus puller, 2d unit
Focus puller, 2d unit
Focus puller, 2d unit
Dir of photog, U. S. crew
Asst cam, U. S. crew
Gaffer, U. S. crew
Best boy, U. S. crew
Best boy, U. S. crew
Elec, U. S. crew
Key grip, U. S. crew
Grip, U. S. crew
Still photog, U. S. crew
Aerial photog, U. S. crew
Cam and lenses supplied by
Shot on
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Asst art dir
Storyboard artist
Art dir, U. S. crew
Art dept asst, U. S. crew
FILM EDITORS
Post prod supv
1st asst ed
2d asst ed
2d asst ed
Negative cutter
Spanish post prod facilities
US post prod facilities
SET DECORATORS
Set dresser
Prop master
Prop buyer
Scenic artist
Dressing props
Standby props
Standby props
Standby props
Carpenter--Set dressing
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Standby carpenter
Standby painter
Painter
Painter
Swingman, U. S. crew
Set dec, U. S. crew
Dec--Leadman, U. S. crew
COSTUMES
Cost des
Asst cost des
Ward master
Ward mistress
Miss Barkin's dresser
Miss Barkin's dresser
Ward asst
Ward asst
Ward asst, U. S. crew
MUSIC
Mus performed by
All orig mus comp and prod by
Theme for Augustine comp by
Theme for Augustine comp by
Exec mus prod
Mus rec eng
Mus rec eng
SOUND
Sd re-rec facility
Post prod sd
Sd supv
Sd supv
Sd ed
Sd asst
Sd asst
Sd asst
Sd eff rec
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Addl mixer
Addl mixer
Rec
ADR rec
Sd mixer
Asst sd mixer
Boom op
Sd mixer, U. S. crew
Boom op, U. S. crew
Sd equip supplied by
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff supv
Spec eff chief
Spec eff asst
Spec eff asst
Spec eff asst
Prosthetics adv
Title des
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Miss Barkin's makeup
Makeup asst
Miss Jones' makeup
Makeup artist
Hairdresser
Hairdresser
Miss Barkin's wigs
Makeup, U. S. crew
PRODUCTION MISC
Aerial seq des by
Gallery photographs by
Asst to dir
Asst to prod
Asst to exec prod
Prod's representative
Prod supv
Loc mgr
Prod coord
Prod accountant
Asst to Mr. Brown
London contact
Prod secy
Asst loc mgr
Accountant--Spain, 2d unit
Accounts asst, 2d unit
Accounts secy, 2d unit
Unit runner, 2d unit
Physician, 2d unit
Unit driver, 2d unit
Unit driver, 2d unit
Unit driver, 2d unit
Unit driver, 2d unit
Unit driver, 2d unit
Unit driver, 2d unit
Scr supv, U. S. crew
Loc mgr, U. S. crew
Prod asst, U. S. crew
Prod asst, U. S. crew
Casting -- US
Casting -- UK
Casting asst
Casting asst
Unit transport
Insurance provided by
Prod auditor
Shipping agents
Shipping agents
Catering
STAND INS
Stunt arr
Miss Barkin's stunt double
Mr. Sands' stunt double
Mr. Alvarez's stunt double
Aerial stunts, U. S. crew
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col titles, Opticals
Col consultant
Laboratory
Laboratory
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Siesta by Patrice Chaplin (New York, 1987).
SONGS
Gregorian Chant #1 Pascale Mysterium, “Cum Angelis,” courtesy of Pro Arte Records
“Spanish Taboo,” composed and performed by the Tom Tom Club, courtesy of Warner Brothers Records
“Everything But You,” composed and performed by Wendy and Lisa
+
SONGS
Gregorian Chant #1 Pascale Mysterium, “Cum Angelis,” courtesy of Pro Arte Records
“Spanish Taboo,” composed and performed by the Tom Tom Club, courtesy of Warner Brothers Records
“Everything But You,” composed and performed by Wendy and Lisa
“Dime,” composed by Manuel Molina Jimenez and Jose Manuel Flores, performed by Lole y Manuel, courtesy of Discos CBS S. A.
“Claire’s Run,” composed and performed the Tom Tom Club, courtesy of Warner Brothers Records.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
11 November 1987
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 11 November 1987
Los Angeles opening: 25 November 1987
Production Date:
began 25 August 1986
Copyright Claimant:
Siren Pictures Corporation & Gary Kurfirst
Copyright Date:
10 June 1988
Copyright Number:
PA367632
Physical Properties:
Sound
Recorded in Ultra-Stereo®
Color
Duration(in mins):
97
MPAA Rating:
R
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
28590
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Claire awakens near the end of an airport landing strip in Madrid, Spain, on the Fourth of July. Wearing a flowing red dress, she is bruised and covered in mud and blood. Groggy, she has no idea how she got there, but runs to a nearby creek, washes herself off, and rinses the blood off her dress. She runs to the highway and hails a taxi driven by a man named Gabbie. As they drive into town, Claire flashes back to June 30th at her home in Death Valley, California, where Del, her husband of six years, gives her a letter from her old lover, Augustine. In the letter, Augustine chastises Claire over her upcoming skydiving stunt, certain that it will be a jump to her death, and that she has forgotten everything he ever taught her. Del is excited about the publicity Claire’s skydiving stunt is generating and thrilled that it is scheduled to be televised worldwide on the Fourth of July. They are billing it as Claire skydiving from 25,000 feet into an active volcano, except they could not find a volcano in the desert. As a substitute for the volcano, they plan use a large net on the ground and light it on fire as she jumps from the plane without a parachute. If Claire times the jump correctly, she will land in the net while is it still intact, albeit ablaze. If she times the jump incorrectly, the net will have burned away and Claire will crash to the ground and likely die. At the end of the letter, Augustine casually mentions that he is getting married. Claire quickly packs her bags and leaves a ... +


Claire awakens near the end of an airport landing strip in Madrid, Spain, on the Fourth of July. Wearing a flowing red dress, she is bruised and covered in mud and blood. Groggy, she has no idea how she got there, but runs to a nearby creek, washes herself off, and rinses the blood off her dress. She runs to the highway and hails a taxi driven by a man named Gabbie. As they drive into town, Claire flashes back to June 30th at her home in Death Valley, California, where Del, her husband of six years, gives her a letter from her old lover, Augustine. In the letter, Augustine chastises Claire over her upcoming skydiving stunt, certain that it will be a jump to her death, and that she has forgotten everything he ever taught her. Del is excited about the publicity Claire’s skydiving stunt is generating and thrilled that it is scheduled to be televised worldwide on the Fourth of July. They are billing it as Claire skydiving from 25,000 feet into an active volcano, except they could not find a volcano in the desert. As a substitute for the volcano, they plan use a large net on the ground and light it on fire as she jumps from the plane without a parachute. If Claire times the jump correctly, she will land in the net while is it still intact, albeit ablaze. If she times the jump incorrectly, the net will have burned away and Claire will crash to the ground and likely die. At the end of the letter, Augustine casually mentions that he is getting married. Claire quickly packs her bags and leaves a message for Del promising to be back by the Fourth of July. Claire flies to Madrid and goes to see Augustine, who runs a training camp for trapeze artists. Claire trained for the trapeze under Augustine twelve years before and was his best student. Augustine declares that Claire is there to get his approval to do the jump, but he refuses to give it, saying that he taught her to fly, but she has chosen to fall. In the present, Claire goes to a church and says a prayer. Her memory is still foggy, but she has a feeling she killed someone. She begs, “Let it be her, not him.” Claire does not have any money, but steals some coins from the church collection plate, then attends an art gallery opening, where she meets Kit, an eccentric artist who enjoys concocting erotic, and sometimes vulgar, limericks. In the bathroom, Claire is startled to find the bruises that covered her body are now healed. She meets socialite Nancy who is celebrating her birthday, but is all alone. Kit takes Claire and Nancy to a lavish dinner with some of his artist friends, but Claire rushes out when someone recognizes her. Kit follows her, saying that he will protect her. Claire confesses to Kit that she is in love with Augustine and thinks she killed his wife. Claire remembers Augustine introducing her to his new wife, Marie. Augustine explains that Claire was his star pupil, but left because the flying trapeze did not bring enough money or fame. To compensate for that, Claire now jumps out of airplanes without a parachute. In the present, Claire tries to telephone Del and worries about how they are going to pay back the promoters now that she has missed her skydiving event. Kit promises to help her financially, but suggests she get some sleep. When Claire awakens, Nancy cuts her hair. Later, Kit makes love to Nancy, then makes love to Claire, who has a recollection of meeting Augustine on July 2nd and begging him to make love to her. Marie was throwing a party for Augustine, but he tells her to come back tomorrow and they will make love. Claire cannot wait, as she has to fly back to the U.S. for her skydiving event. However, she goes to the airport and changes her return flight to one that will get her to Los Angeles, California, late on July 3rd, where she can take a limousine to the desert in time for the stunt. In the present, Claire, Kit, and Nancy have lunch at a restaurant. Claire walks a tight rope strung ten feet above a public square. Nancy reports her mother is sending an airline ticket, which she intends to give to Claire. However, when the ticket arrives, it is nontransferable. Kit suggests they obtain a fake passport with Claire’s photograph and Nancy’s name so Claire can use the ticket. They visit Conchita about buying the passport, but Claire faints upon arrival. She recalls jumping out of an airplane, and recalls going to Augustine’s house to say goodbye. A party is underway, but Marie tells Claire that her husband is not there. When Claire regains consciousness in the present, she overhears Conchita saying that Claire looks crazy and that they should take her to the hospital for a psychiatric hold. Nancy agrees with Conchita. Panicking, Claire jumps out a second floor window and lands atop a sightseeing bus, but is knocked unconscious by the fall. Claire remembers confronting Augustine, who convinces her not to return to the U.S. for the skydiving stunt. He says he can understand dying for love, but not for money. Claire and Augustine argue and ultimately each admits they do not love their respective spouses, and rekindle their passionate affair. Afterward, Marie attacks Claire with a knife. In the present, Claire runs to get a taxi and cabdriver Gabbie picks her up again. They go to a house where Gabbie forces himself on Claire and afterward, beats her. Claire runs away from Gabbie and imagines running to Augustine’s house where police arrest Marie and reporters shout questions, asking why she left the body at the airport. As Claire observes this, no one can see her. When everyone has gone, Augustine walks right by her and Claire realizes she is a ghost. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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