Who: Olympia Dukakis, Apollo Dukakis, Carey Perloff, Harry Mavromichalis, Sid Ganis, Anthoula Katsimatides
What: Livestream free premiere of Olympia (Harry Mavromichalis, 2019) followed by panel discussion
Where: Olympia Facebook page
When: Thursday, July 9, free with RSVP, 8:00 (opens virtually July 10)
Why: “Some people don’t know who the fuck I am,” San Francisco Pride parade celebrity grand marshal Olympia Dukakis says as she rides in a convertible in 2011, waving to the loud, large crowd lining the street. You’ll know just who the Oscar-winning actor is after watching Olympia, Harry Mavromichalis’s Maysles-esque documentary that has its online premiere July 9 at 8:00, followed by a Q&A with Dukakis, her brother Apollo Dukakis, writer-producer-director Mavromichalis, American Conservatory Theater artistic director emerita Carey Perloff, and executive producers Harry Sid Ganis and Anthoula Katsimatides. The film, which was shot mostly during the Obama administration and opens virtually July 10, reveals Dukakis, the star of such beloved hits as Moonstruck and Steel Magnolias and the breakthrough television series Tales of The City, to be a dynamic and imposing figure who holds nothing back as she discusses the movie business in Hollywood and the theater community in New York, shares intimate details about her sexual desires, suicidal thoughts, and drug addiction, and travels to her ancestral home in Lesbos, Greece, to reconnect with her past.
Former modern dancer Mavromichalis balances wonderful home movies and family pictures with clips from throughout Dukakis’s career, photos from her stage work, primarily with her Montclair, New Jersey–based Whole Theatre company, and words of praise from Whoopi Goldberg, Laura Linney, Diane Ladd, Rocco Sisto, Lynn Cohen, Lainie Kazan, Austin Pendleton, Ed Asner, Armistead Maupin, and her cousin, former presidential candidate Michael Dukakis. She and her husband of more than fifty years, actor Louis Zorich, speak extremely openly and honestly about their marriage, she explores her relationship with her mother, and she spends time with her children and grandchildren. Dukakis, who turned eighty-nine last month, is direct and forthright, displaying a rebellious and independent spirit along with a touching vulnerability, an intense social conscience, and a resolute sense of female empowerment that still drives her even as she tackles modern technology, specifically Siri, which presents a few challenges. She’s one tough character who has never been afraid to say what she thinks; she’s also a supremely talented actor who shines on stage and screen, including in this lively and affectionate documentary.