FROM Allison Berg
'The Dog' In the 1975 Sidney Lumet classic Dog Day Afternoon, Al Pacino plays a first-time robber who holds up a bank to pay for his lover’s sex change operation. The story was based on real events--a 1972 Brooklyn bank robbery that turned into a hostage situation and an all-day media circus. The robber was Jon Wojtowicz, the subject of The Dog, a new documentary by Frank Keraudren and Allison Berg. Berg and Keraudren tell Kim Masters that it was surprisingly easy to locate Wojtowicz, who had been out of prison since the late 1970’s, but that was just the beginning of a decade-long filmmaking project. As the filmmakers were to learn in intimate detail, Wojtowicz was a fascinating and frustrating subject--a man with prodigious and unpredictable sexual appetites. Over the years, Berg and Keraudren shot interviews with Wojtowicz, his mother and his brother, as well as his wives, past and present. They watched their project grow in size and scope, while still maintaining full-time jobs producing and editing other documentary projects. After going into credit card debt financing the film largely on their own and watching their master tapes survive a brush with Superstorm Sandy, Keraudren and Berg finally saw the debut of The Dog at Toronto International Film Festival last year. The documentary is now available on iTunes and Amazon.
The Real 'Dog Day Afternoon' In 1972, a man robbed a Brooklyn bank to get money for his lover’s sex change operation. The story became a media spectacle, and then a cinematic sensation. It was the inspiration for Sidney Lumet’s classic film “Dog Day Afternoon,” starring Al Pacino as the thief. A new documentary looks at the real man at the center of the story.
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