Now Playing
Coming Soon Special Events Calendar Support About Us Tickets
The Avon
The Best of Independent Cinema
FTMA Talk Back Series: RUNNING ON EMPTY (1988) with Q&A

DIRECTED BY: Sidney Lumet

STARRING: River Phoenix, Christine Lahti, Judd Hirsch



Part 1 of “Family Dysfunction” Co-presented by Sacred Heart University

Post-film Q&A with Professor Damon Maulucci

Arthur and Annie Pope are '60s radicals who have eluded the FBI for 16 years after bombing a napalm laboratory as a Vietnam War protest. This lifestyle involves continually moving and establishing new identities, which is especially hard on their children, 18-year-old Danny (River Phoenix) and 10-year-old Harry, who can never hold onto friends or create an academic record. This last problem comes to the fore when they arrive in a New Jersey town where the high school music teacher takes an interest in Danny's piano playing and encourages him to apply to Juilliard. Danny yearns to follow this dream, but knows that separating from his parents would be permanent -- the aging hippies rarely even see their own parents, and can never inform anyone where they've moved. Arthur can't stand the idea of breaking up the family, which is the only thing that allows him to tolerate life on the move, but Annie sees her own sacrificed dreams in her son's musical talents, and pressures Arthur to grant the Danny his independence. Meanwhile, Danny falls in love with the daughter of his music teacher (Martha Plimpton), but can't allow himself to get too close to her, because he may have to leave again at any moment.

DAMON MAULUCCI recently wrote, directed and produced the feature film, DETONATOR. 
A Geekadelphia “Indie Film of the Year” nomination, DETONATOR is currently touring the film festival circuit and has been an official selection at Cinequest, Brooklyn, and Indie Memphis. Damon also served as a producer on the feature documentary, PAUL WILLIAMS STILL ALIVE, official selection at Toronto International and SXSW Film Festivals. The film can be seen on the Showtime networks. Maulucci earned his MFA at Columbia University.

The Film and Television Masters program (FTMA) at Sacred Heart University is a one –year conservatory dedicated to the art of storytelling. Students engage in dynamic classroom workshops and lectures focusing on directing, screenwriting, producing, and new media arts. Based in Stamford, FTMA draws from talent and resources in the area and neighboring New York City. Each student produces a cinematic portfolio and rounds out their experience with industry internships. For more information please visit




RUNNING TIME: 118 minutes










Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube flickr


272 Bedford Street | Stamford, CT | Box Office: 203.967.3660


It's Relevant Stamford, Norwalk, Greenwich Web Design