Silver Tongues

Silver Tongues

Lee Tergesen stars in SILVER TONGUES, a film by Simon Arthur. Picture courtesy of Stick! Pictures. All rights reserved.

Silver Tongues

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Silver Tongues (2011)

Opened: 11/18/2011 Limited

reRun Theater11/18/2011 - 11/24/20117 days

Trailer: Click for trailer

Websites: Home, Facebook

Genre: Drama

Rated: Unrated


Their lies expose our lies. So learn the strangers unfortunate enough to cross paths with two lovers playing a twisted game of deceit. As they travel from town to town, the couple uses a dark talent for performance to create new identities, new personalities, new lives, with no regard for consequences.

For the young newlyweds Alex (Tate Ellington) and Rachel (Emily Meade) intertwined in their honeymoon bed, the future seems bright. Unfortunately chinks are starting to show, and when they arrive at the hotel restaurant without a reservation, the long wait seems destined to lead to a fight. Their plight draws the attention of Gerry (Lee Tergesen) and Joan (End Graham), an older married couple celebrating their anniversary, who invites them to join their table.

Wine flows freely throughout dinner, boundaries are crossed, and not everyone is what they seem. Soon, the newlyweds are left questioning their marriage before it's even really begun, while Gerry and Joan leave the hotel flush with victory, ready for the next game to begin.

Driven by an insatiable appetite for change the pair manipulate, toy with, and forever alter the lives of the strangers they meet. Will the church congregation believe their Reverend (Portia) is stealing from the collection bowl? Will the elderly Alzheimer's patient William (Harvey Evans) believe that the two are his children? And what about Violet (Rosa Arredondo), the rural cop who may be the only person to see the pair for who they really are?

With each performance, however, their deceitful game spirals ever more out of control. One lie leads to another and in the end escape becomes impossible.

Director's Statement

Every day when you walk out of your house you're putting on an identity for the world. We transform ourselves to engage with the people in our lives. But what happens when the need to change becomes pathological?

The idea for Silver Tongues came from a research strategy that I developed to learn more about life beyond my own existence. As a writer I knew I had to throw myself into worlds that I was a complete stranger to. So in 2004 I took a three-month job as a prison guard. Then I went to work security in a brothel. Finally, I lived homeless for a month, sleeping in parks, doorways and construction sites.

In all these instances, I noticed one common theme. People were acting constantly. Prison guards wear alternate faces to deal with different convicts. The more the convict is a threat, the more the guard will deal with him accordingly, by being more aggressive himself. A different convict will be dealt with by taking a more diplomatic tone. Prostitutes invent characters with fake names and pasts to attract clients, but also because psychologically it creates a barrier for them, making the job less emotionally involving. Homeless people often act as if their situation is worse to gain sympathy from pedestrians, but to other homeless people they'll exaggerate how much control they have, as if to say, "I'm in control. My life is my own. I can survive." Even when they can't. And, of course, I was acting too. This seemed extreme to me at the time, but the more I thought about it, the same could be said of anyone and their differing relationships with their boss, lover, parents, pals, or staff.

I often wondered what it would be like for someone to take this aspect of life to the most extreme point, to move in and out of different worlds all the time, as a way of life, and never stopping.

Silver Tongues explores people who are addicted to shape shifting, and trying to live a new, more exciting life every day. Like all addicts, their needs are masochistic. With each change their own personality becomes more distant, until their real persona barely exists.

In exploring these people, narrative originality became very important to me. Previous films of mine were very stylized and I felt that distracted from the characters. Now I favor a subtle, more lyrical approach, and allow all the filmmaking tools to focus on the actors. There's a trend among young filmmakers to make movies about other young people, exactly similar to themselves, and I often find that narcissistic. My pre-requisites with this film were that: 1. It would center on a middle-aged couple rushing headlong into an identity battle, and loving every minute of it. 2. That it would have an unconventional structure. 3. That I would always confound the audience's expectations.

Silver Tongues is not a film about redemption. It's also not about triumph in the face of adversity. Or finding love in the strangest place. It's about people who need the new. The desire to change, and never stop changing.

-- Simon Arthur, Writer/Director/Editor

Cast Biographies


A veteran of both film and television and a gifted character actor, Lee Tergesen's film credits include MONSTER opposite Charlize Theron, THE FORGOTTEN with Julianne Moore, WAYNE'S WORLD, SHAFT, and POINT BREAK. He recently starred in HELENA FROM THE WEDDING, which premiered at the SXSW Film Festival and was release by Film Movement.

Tergesen won acclaim for his starring turn as Tobias Beacher in the HBO series OZ. Also for HBO he starred in the Emmy Award-winning mini-series GENERATION KILL and BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE.

A gifted theatre actor, Tergesen has been recently seen onstage in "Good Boys and True" at the Second Stage Theatre, in "The Foreigner" at the Laura Pels Theatre, and "Vengeance is the Lord's" at the Huntington Theatre Company.


A Tony-nominated Broadway actress for her role in "Honour," Enid can currently be seen as Rose Van Alden in the award winning HBO Series BOARDWALK EMPIRE.

Her film work includes the critically praised BLUE VALENTINE starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams; MARGOT AT THE WEDDING, which was nominated for a 2007 Gotham Award for Best Ensemble Cast; THE INTERPRETER starring Nicole Kidman; HERMAN, USA; and ADVICE FROM A CATERPILLAR.

On Broadway Graham received a Tony Nomination for Best Featured Actress in Play for her roll in "Honour." The same performance garnered her a Theatre World Award. She has also starred in such acclaimed plays as The Constant Wife, Dinner at Eight, and Fortune's Fool opposite Academy Award Nominee Frank Langella.


Enid is a graduate of the Juilliard School


Tate Ellington most recently starred opposite Robert Pattinson in the Summit feature film REMEMBER ME. He also starred in the THE ELEPHANT KING, which was selected for the Tribeca Film Festival, and for which he won Best Actor at the Brooklyn International Film Festival. His theatre credits include THE PHILANTHROPIST on Broadway opposite Matthew Broderick and Steven Weber, THE SHAPE OF THINGS for the Rising Sun Performance Company, and the 2004 Fringe Festival winning DOG SEES GOD at the SoHo Playhouse. Other film and TV credits include ABC's THE GOOD WIFE, FX's RESCUE ME, ABC's THE UNUSUALS, Ricky Gervais and Matthew Robinson's INVENTION OF LYING, HBO Film's TAKING CHANCE, and the independent film RED opposite Brian Cox.


Emily Meade recently starred in Joel Schumacher's film TWELVE opposite Chase Crawford and Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson. She was also seen in the recurring role of Pearl on HBO's hit series BOARDWALK EMPIRE, executive-produced by Martin Scorsese, and the feature film MY SOUL TO TAKE, directed by Wes Craven.

Meade's upcoming projects include three highly anticipated independent films. Emily plays a confused newlywed in SILVER TONGUES, co-stars opposite Bo Burnham in the high school comedy, SIN BIN, and portrays a daughter with an inappropriate relationship in BURNING PALMS opposite Dylan McDermott and Rosamund Pike.

Meade's other film and television credits include the Sundance Film Festival selection, ASSASSINATION OF A HIGH SCHOOL PRESIDENT starring Bruce Willis, the CBS television pilot BACK opposite Skeet Ulrich, the independent film THE HOUSE IS BURNING, executive produced by Wim Wenders, and numerous episodes of the LAW & ORDER series.


With a career that stretches over 60 years Harvey Evans is a legend of Broadway. He has worked with such luminaries as Bob Fosse, Stephen Sondheim, Blake Edwards, Angela Landsbury, Carol Channing and Henry Fonda. Few performers can offer a resume like Evans, with credits in the original productions of some of the most famous and best musicals in Broadway history: West Side Story, Gypsy, Follies, Damn Yankees, Barnum, and Hello, Dolly!

Evans jumped to the silver screen as the Jet Mouthpiece in the Academy Award Winner WEST SIDE STORY. He later went on to play opposite Glenn Ford and Lee Remick in Blake Edward's EXPERIMENT IN TERROR.

PORTIA (Reverend)

One of New York's most respected stage actors, Portia has starred in Our Lady of 121st St. written by Stephen Adly Guirgis and directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Peter Sellar's notorious production of The Merchant of Venice.

Portia's film career began with Joe Roth's FREEDOMLAND starring Samuel L. Jackson and Julianne Moore. With rolls in THE GREATEST with Carey Mulligan, the Oscar nominated THE MESSENGER, and Nicole Holofcener's PLEASE GIVE, which was nominated for a Gotham Award for Best Ensemble Cast, she is an actress with a film career on the rise. She can also be seen in SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK directed by Charlie Kaufman and starring Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Her TV includes such shows as UGLY BETTER, LIPSTICK JUNGLE, RESCUE ME and 30 ROCK.


Rosa Arredondo is an accomplished actor, singer and dancer. Most recently, she has completed filming LOSING IT with award-winning director, Macdara Vallely, PREACHING THE CHOIR, WHERE GOD LEFT HIS SHOES and ROCKAWAY.

Her Television credits include Series Regular roles on pilots for Showtime (HATE) and Fox (RICOCHET). In addition, Rosa has recurred on the series SIX DEGREES, TRIAL BY JURY and CONVICTION. She also starred in the Oxygen Network's Husband for Hire. She has guest starred on numerous television shows, including WHITE COLLAR, The Mentalist, Fringe, SVU, Law and Order, Numbers and Criminal Intent.

Rosa's theatre credits include George C Wolfe's Harlem Song, The Lincoln Center production of The House of Bernarda Alba, and the national tour of West Side Story in the role of Anita.

In addition to George C. Wolfe, Rosa feels privileged to have worked with directors such as Paris Barclay, Graciela Danielle, Harold Becker, Peter LaSalle, Charles R. Wright and Michael Howard.

Along with her childhood friend, Lorna Ventura, she has formed Stepsister Productions, and their first short film Jack & Jill has been screening throughout the 2010-11 festival circuit. Stepsister Productions is currently in production with an untitled Dance Documentary. Additional film and stage projects in development include: The Plantain Stain, Seven Sisters Named Rosa, R U Kidding, Vive, and Three Girls From the Heights. It is the desire of Stepsister Productions to give a voice to those who are under-represented in Film, Television and Stage.

ADAM LEFEVRE (Police Chief)

With credits stretching over fifty films Adam Lefevre is one of the most prolific character actors of his generation. He most recently be seen playing Karl Rove in Doug Liman's FAIR GAME starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn.

Some of his more noteworthy credits include Ang Lee's TAKING WOODSTOCK, HITCH starring Will Smith; THE INVASION; TADPOLE; L.I.E.; YOU CAN COUNT ON ME; ROUNDERS; and THE REF.


Myra Lucretia Taylor is a prolific and successful Broadway actor. She has starred in Nine (Tony Award, Best Revival 2003), Macbeth, Electra, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Mule Bone, and A Streetcar Named Desire. Off-Broadway she has starred in The Little Foxes (NYTW), Love, Loss, and What I Wore (Westside Theatre), A Cool Dip in the Barren Saharan Crick, Crazy Mary, Fabulation (Playwrights Horizons). National Tour: Wicked (Madame Morrible).

Her film credits include THE PRIVATE LIVES OF PIPPA LEE and CHANGING LANES. Myra is a Fox Fellow.

Filmmaker Biographies

SIMON ARTHUR (Director/Writer/Editor)

Simon Arthur trained at the Screen Academy of Scotland, his home country. His debut feature Silver Tongues won the Audience Award for best feature at Slamdance 2011 and will premiere internationally at San Sebastian 2011 before the New York premiere in Woodstock. His short films also made award winning runs at international festivals.

Arthur employs a method writing strategy to understand more about character, people and society. He worked as a prison guard, then the next year as security in a brothel, both for three months. In 2007 he lived homeless on the streets, parks and doorways of London for a month, becoming part of groups of alcoholics and crack addicts.

Arthur lives in New York and is working on his next two features, Necropolis and Days of Revolt, the latter a fictional film based on interviews he held with people on the street in Egypt, during the revolution.

JARED MOSHE (Producer)

Jared Moshe is a NY based producer. His credits include CORMAN'S WORLD: EXPLOITS OF A HOLLYWOOD REBEL (2011 Cannes Film Festival, 2011 Sundance Film Festival) about the legendary Hollywood filmmaker Roger Corman and the narrative feature SILVER TONGUES (2011 San Sebastian, 2011 Slamdance Film Festival Award Winner). Independent Spirit Award nominated documentary KURT COBAIN ABOUT A SON (2006 Toronto Film Festival); DESTRICTED (2006 Sundance Film Festival, 2006 Cannes Critics Week); LOW AND BEHOLD (2007 Sundance Film Festival); and BEAUTIFUL LOSERS (2008 SXSW Film Festival, 2008 Locarno Film Festival), which was released through an innovative distribution deal he structured with Nike.

In 2006 Moshe helped found Sidetrack Films, the financing company behind the Emmy Nominated documentary FAVELA RISING. Prior to that Moshe was an executive at the Film Sales Company and worked in development at Magnet Entertainment.

Moshe has been a regular panelist and juror at such film festivals as the Toronto Film Festival, SXSW, The Rio International Film Festival and Independent Film Week. He graduated from Amherst College.


Leda Nornang started her film career at Shooting Gallery, an independent film production company that produced the films YOU CAN COUNT ON ME, SLING BLADE, and CROUPIER. She went on to work for legendary film producer Scott Rudin on such films as THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS, THE HOURS, and ZOOLANDER.

After working at Rudin's New York office, she began freelancing on feature films shooting in New York, including: THE SCHOOL OF ROCK, THE GOOD SHEPHERD, GHOST TOWN, and the upcoming Doug Liman project FAIR GAME. She produced several short films along the way.

She is a graduate of Smith College, Northampton, MA. SILVER TONGUES is her first producing credit on a feature film.

JOSHUA SILFEN (Director of Photography)

Josh Silfen has been working as a DP since graduating from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts in 2001. In that time, he has shot myriad shorts, commercials, music videos, documentaries, and features, including the award winning festival favorites THE BIG BAD SWIM (Tribeca '06), and GOODBYE BABY (Slamdance '08).

His latest, TO BE FRIENDS, from executive producer Aaron Eckhart, was recently featured as the opening night selection at the 2010 Boston Film Festival where it won the award for Best Cinematography. SILVER TONGUES is Josh's seventh feature film and his first collaboration with director Simon Arthur.


Enis Rotthoff is a versatile composer and music producer who likes to combine orchestral music with electronic elements. Since 2001 Enis has worked as Assistant Composer to Academy-Award-Winner Jan A.P. Kaczmarek on such projects as FINDING NEVERLAND, UNFAITHFUL and EVENING.

Rotthoff composed the music for several independent feature films including: THE JOB, directed by Shem Bitterman, FREE WILLY - ESCAPE FROM PIRATES COVE, directed by WILL GEIGER, DIGGING FOR BELLADONNA, directed by Franka Potente, and A QUIET LOVE, directed by Till Franzen. Other film credits include several feature films for cinema and television and numerous shorts and commercials.

After a scholarship for young composers in Berlin, Germany Enis studied "Filmscoring" at the Film & Television Academy Potsdam-Babelsberg and "Audiovisual Communication" at the University of Arts Berlin.

He received a Sundance Institute Fellowship for the Sundance Composers Lab and was awarded as European Composer 2008 for Germany by the Federation of Film & Audiovisual Composers of Europe.

ASTRID BRUCKER (Costume Designer)

Astrid Brucker is the costume designer for numerous films and TV shows, including JOSHUA starring Sam Rockwell and Vera Farmiga, MY BROTHER THE BIG starring Scarlett Johansson and Eva Mendes, CHANGING HEARTS, starring Lauren Holly and Faye Dunaway, THE SCOUNDREL'S WIFE starring Tatum O'Neal, Tim Curry, and Julian Sands, and GETTING TO KNOW YOU starring Zach Braff.

Brucker designed for the Lifetime show MOM'S COOKING and the FX pilot and series STARVED. She has working on the TV shows MAD ABOUT YOU, THE CONAN O'BRIEN SHOW, and the Discovery Channel series MOMENTS IN TIME.

Brucker's articles about working as a costume designer have been published in the magazine Below-the Line and her designs have been featured in advertising campaigns for companies including Sky Cinema Classics, Wendy's Restaurant, Pfizer, IBM and Pepsi.

She is a graduate of Parsons School of Design.

BRIAN RZEPKA (Production Designer)

Since Brian Rzepka graduated from Temple University with a BA in Film and Video in 2005 he has been active in New York City's Independent Film Community as an Art Director/ Production Designer. After art directing the Sundance Film Festival award-winning, Oscar Nominated film Frozen River in 2008 he has worked constantly, designing the romantic comedy Made for Each Other and the upcoming psychological thriller Foreclosure. He has art directed television shows for Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block and the National Geographic channel. He currently art directed the film Another Earth which is in competition at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and the fantasy television miniseries The Witches of OZ, which will be released in 2011.