Writer-director-producer Michael Schroeder’s documentary “The Man In the Chair” has been quietly making the festival rounds this past year, building momentum among the press. “Man” allows a harsh look into the life of Flash Madden (Christopher Plummer), the last surviving member of the “Citizen Kane” production crew. Cameron Kincaid (Michael Angarano) is a rebellious teenager who is constantly at odds with his mother and stepfather. He is also an aspiring filmmaker, and enters a student competition which offers the winner a scholarship to the Los Angeles film school. Cameron enlists the assistance of Flash, who taps into the unused talent of his elderly retired filmmaker friends at the Motion Picture Retirement Home, persuading them to help Cameron with his film. Robert Wagner, M. Emmet Walsh and Michael Angarano co-star, but it is Plummer who has been generating heat on the festival circuit, with some festival programmers lauding his performance as Oscar- worthy.
The film was shot in November and December 2005, and premiered in January 2007 at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, where it won the American Spirit Award for Best Independent Film. It has won a number of other awards at subsequent festivals, including a Best Actor award for Plummer and an Outstanding Achievement in Directing award for Schroeder. Keep your eyes peeled for “The Man In the Chair,” which gets its theatrical release on December 7th, 2007.