Sponsored by Mary B. Martin School of the Arts and the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers, “Hotel Dallas” by filmmakers and artists Livia Ungur and Sherng-Lee Huang will screen at ETSU at 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 14, in the D.P. Culp Center Auditorium. Both students and members of the community are invited to attend.
“Hotel Dallas” is an experimental film known for its unique style of combining both narrative and documentary formats to tell one story. From scene to scene, the film continually switches between fantasy, found footage, musical numbers, drama and real interviews.
“The film is about the relationship between fantasy and reality, so it made sense to include both,” Livia said. “If the fictional parts of the film are like a dream, the documentary parts are like waking up.”
“Hotel Dallas” follows Livia Unger playing a fictionalized version of herself as she falls in love with the American television show “Dallas” in the 1980s. Livia’s father, Ilie, decides to build a replica of the mansion featured on the show, what he calls Hotel Dallas. Livia becomes a filmmaker and recruits the show’s star, Patrick Duffy, to reprise his role from the show for a new Romanian version of “Dallas” that is Livia’s own.
Fiction and non-fiction transcend boundaries in this world-renowned piece of art. “Hotel Dallas” premiered in 2016 at the Berlin International Film Festival. Wife and husband filmmaking team, Ungur and Huang, now travel with the film to screenings at venues all over the world.
According to Anita DeAngelis, director of ETSU’s Mary B. Martin School of the Arts, the film “has many twists and turns, including the fact that ‘Dallas’ star Patrick Duffy is actually in the film. It’s great that someone of his stature was willing to go along with these younger filmmakers with a funny idea for a film.”
“His character is a ghost,” Ungur said of Duffy, “and he’s not on-screen for most of the movie. But you hear his voice, and everything is seen from his POV; when people talk to him, they look straight at the camera.”
Filmmakers Huang and Ungur will attend the ETSU screening and will participate in a Q&A session following the show. The event is free and open to the public.
The film screening will mark the last event of the semester sponsored by ETSU’s Mary B. Martin School of the Arts. For more information visit www.etsu.edu/martin.