Director: Ross Kagan Marks
Screenwriters: Mark Medoff

Institute History

  • 1995 Sundance Film Festival


Ross Kagan Marks’s Homage is a riveting tale of obsession which deals with society’s insatiable curiosity and craving for celebrities. Told through flashbacks and documentary-style interviews, Homage relives the last days of Lucille Samuel, a small-town girl turned national television star (perfectly captured by Sheryl Lee). Her reclusive, widowed mother, Katherine (Blythe Danner), has taken in a boarder, Archie (Frank Whaley), who helps her on her ranch in New Mexico. She is hesitant to hire him at first since he is a brilliant mathematician and obviously overqualified, but he convinces her to give him a try. They develop a friendship which is tested when Lucille comes home for a visit. Archie quickly becomes overwrought with passion for the beautiful Lucille, and when he realizes he cannot have her, he ends her life.

Archie is a dichotomy: on the one hand, an academic genius, and on the other, an immature young man who does not have the ability to process rejection rationally. He becomes obsessed with Lucille as a celebrity, paying no attention to the fact that she has a private life to which he has not been invited. He wants to own a part of her, just like her fans, and he identifies her with the characters she plays.

The film also shines in its astute portrayal of a strained mother/daughter relationship, in which the mother has stopped nurturing after years without success, and the daughter craves to be given the guidance she needs. Stellar performances by all three of the principals distinguish this wonderfully stylish and highly engaging film.

— Lisa Viola

Screening Details

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