penelope buitenhuis - writer / director
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Back on the street
Maclean's, March 14th, 1994

At 14, Penelope Buitenhuis got her first job selling popcorn at the Hollywood cinema on Toronto's Yonge Street. Last week, now a 34-year-old movie director she was back on Yonge Street, shooting a drama about street prostitution called Boulevard. A $2.7 million Canadian production, it is small by Hollywood standards. But in Buitenhuis's words it is "a reallv big break." She spent the past nine years based in Berlin where she made her first feature, Trouble about the fall of the Berlin Wall-for just $150.000. In Boulevard, her cast includes Lou Diamond Phillips and Vancouver-born actor Rae Dawn Chong, who also wrote the screenplay. Phillips plays a cruel pimp, and Chong plays an experienced prostitute who takes a young neophyte (Kari Wuhrer) under her wing "This is a woman's movie," Buitenhuis said. "Being a hooker is a metaphor for the powerlessness of all women who have been wounded or abused." During filming on Yonge Street, however, several men confused the metaphor for the real thing-and tried to pick up some of the cast. A case of art imitating life a little too closely.

 

 
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Penelope can be reached in Canada through her agent
THE CHARACTERS
Carl Liberman (Toronto)
Tel: 416-964-8522 fax: 416-964-8206

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