Pousse Café depicts the off-beat, often hilarious relationship between narcissistic game show baron, Rex (Anthony Hamilton), and his estranged son, gay New York performance artist, Gerald (Dominic Hamilton-Little). Rex has lured Gerald home under false pretenses, hiding the fact that his elegant wife, Claire (Beatrix Ost), has left him and is “living her bliss” with a shrimp boat captain. Gerald approves of his mother’s search for happiness, but Rex is unable to fathom her motives and enlists his son to act as intermediary to help woo her back.
Between Gerald’s unsuccessful forays to the shrimp docks, the two men settle into Rex’s extravagant penthouse, testing and refining drinks for Rex’s retirement project: a cocktail book entitled The Definitive Look at America’s Finest Mixed Libations.
Like characters in a 1940’s comedy, the two men verbally spar over popular culture, love, old family bitterness, and the correct ingredients of dozens of cocktail recipes. After an explosive argument, Gerald flees his father’s suffocating domain for the freedom of local nightlife. But when things go seriously wrong, Rex, for the first time, comes to his son’s aid. Honoring their new bond, Rex reveals his hidden past to Gerald by sharing the secret of making the many-layered cocktail, the Pousse Café, the quintessential metaphor for Rex’s life.
Set in the 1990’s, Pousse Café takes a darkly humorous look at modern family relations, class, gender and the archetypal struggle of father and son, played by actual father and son, actors Anthony Hamilton and Dominic Hamilton-Little.
Pousse Café (poos-café) is the independent feature of writer, director, producer Susan Winter. The inspiration for the story came from a dream and her Florida childhood with post-WWII parents who celebrated the nightly “cocktail hour.” The film is also Winter’s homage to classic movies she grew up watching with her mother, where cocktails were used as symbols of sophistication, signifying a generation’s idea of The American Dream (Dinner Before Eight, The Sky’s The Limit, The Thin Man, The Philadelphia Story).
Pousse Café’s sound track highlights the theme of the history of cocktails with renditions of cocktail music through the decades. The music, the sexy cocktail tableaus, and the surreal tropical Florida setting are the dramatic backdrop of this post-modern interpretation of a classic film genre with the history of an arcane piece of Americana: the cocktail.
Co-written with lead actors, Dominic Hamilton-Little and Anthony Hamilton, Winter’s film was a festival favorite when it premiered (including Seattle International Film Festival, LA Outfest, SXSW), winning Best Picture at Victoria Film Festival. This newly, re-discovered gem celebrates a highly stylized moment in the LGBTQI cultural zeitgeist, as well as the resurgence of the American Cocktail Culture.
Susan Winter, Director, Co-Writer, Producer
Winter is Writer and Co-Creator of The Hive, an hour-long dramatic series in development with ShadowCatcher Entertainment (Executive Producer of 2019 National Film Registry inductee, Smoke Signals.) Winter did her graduate studies with experimental film pioneer, Will Hindle. Her shorts won multiple festival awards, including Sinking Creek and The Ann Arbor Film Festival National Tour. She directed and produced the hit stage performance of Dominic Hamilton-Little’s one-man show, Fey Ways: Diatribe and Reminiscence, at The Court Theater in Los Angeles. A recipient of ShadowCatcher’s Theater Writing Commission, Winter is currently writing an original play, Herculine, based on the life of 19th C. French intersex, Herculine Barbin. Other film/series projects include an autobiographical, dark comedy, Orange City, about growing up in Florida during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Winter is a member of the WGA.
Link to ShadowCatcher / The Hive
Dominic Hamilton-Little, LEAD actor, CO-WRITER
Pousse Café’s “Gerald”. British-American actor, writer, Dominic began in theater. He was a contributing editor for POZ magazine and the beloved, long-time columnist of the Chicago-based Fey Weys: Diatribe and Reminiscence, for Outlines (now, Windy City Times). Recast as a one-man show, he performed Fey Weys in Chicago, Seattle, at L.A.’s Court Theater, and New York’s P.S. 122. Dominic’s original voice brought sharp humor and pathos to describing living with HIV in the age of AIDS. He regularly hosted LGBTQI events and AIDS benefits across the country, including for the Illinois Federation for Human Rights.
Anthony Hamilton, LEAD actor, CO-WRITER
Pousse Café’s “Rex”. Anthony came from a British, theatrical background and worked as an international voice talent for many years before becoming a screen actor in the U. S. His acting credits include the major feature films, Contact, Shadow Conspiracy, Clear and Present Danger, Hoffa, and the voice of “Totem” for the interactive version of Jumanji. Real father and son, Anthony and Dominic relished working together on Pousse Café, their one and only collaborative project together.
BEATRIX OST, actRESS
Pousse Café’s “Claire”. Artist, designer, author, actress, filmmaker, Beatrix is a Renaissance Woman, also known as a style icon and muse. She was considered by New York Times as “one of the city’s most elegant fusions of art and fashion.” Her dynamic paintings and sculptures are internationally exhibited. Her books include the autobiographical My Father’s House and More Than Everything, as well as The Philosopher’s Style, a collection of her unpublished short stories, interviews and original images.
Erich ROLAND, Cinematographer
Pousse Café’s Director of Photography, Erich’s long career extends over a hundred film credits. He has worked on award winning documentaries including Inside Bill’s Brain, Decoding Bill Gates, He Named Me Malala, Waiting for Superman, Testimony (on permanent exhibition at the National Holocaust Museum), as well as major feature films including Murder At 1600, Clara’s Heart, Guarding Tess, Rich In Love, Her Alibi, Driving Miss Daisy, and Meteor Man.
Dominic Tristram Fife Hamilton-Little
Anthony Fife Hamilton