The Rebirth of “The Linguini Incident”: Director Richard Shepard’s Journey to Redemption

Richard Shepard, known for his work on “Girls” and “The Perfection,” faced a tumultuous journey with his 1991 crime comedy “The Linguini Incident,” starring David Bowie and Rosanna Arquette. However, after years of obscurity, the film is receiving a second chance with a director’s cut and upcoming Blu-ray release.

Shepard candidly recounts the challenges that plagued the production, admitting, “I made this movie when I was 25 — and I was no genius at 25.” Despite assembling an impressive cast including Bowie, Arquette, and others, Shepard grappled with disappearing producers and financial woes.
Reflecting on his younger self, Shepard acknowledges his lack of control over the project, conceding, “I was probably an awful person as well as arrogant and untalented at the same time.” The film’s theatrical release coincided with the L.A. Uprisings, resulting in minimal exposure and a personal struggle for the director.

Over the years, “The Linguini Incident” gained a small but devoted following despite its limited availability. Working with Bowie was a highlight for Shepard, who fondly recalls the musician’s warmth and engagement on set.

To bring his vision to fruition, Shepard embarked on a mission to locate the film’s rights and negatives, navigating bankruptcies and legal hurdles. Despite incomplete dailies, he unearthed a longer version screened in Austria, which served as the basis for the director’s cut.
With a new 4K transfer, Shepard enhanced the film’s visuals and pacing, breathing new life into his original vision. The reimagined “Linguini Incident” now aligns more closely with the director’s artistic intent, marking a redemption of sorts for Shepard.

Arquette, alongside other cast members, will participate in screenings ahead of the Blu-ray release, adding to the film’s resurgence. For Arquette, the ending holds particular significance, urging viewers to pay attention to the final scene.

Shepard eagerly anticipates introducing a new generation of Bowie fans to a piece of independent cinema history. “The Linguini Incident” stands as a testament to the era’s spirit of creativity and resilience, offering a fresh perspective on a forgotten gem.

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