by Christina Przybilla

“If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien, the rules for filing income, estate, and gift tax returns and paying estimated tax are generally the same whether you are in the United States or abroad. You are subject to tax on worldwide income from all sources and must report all taxable income and pay taxes according to the Internal Revenue Code.” www. irs.gov

Warner Bros.

Remember when Leonardo DiCaprio playing Jordan Belfort aka “The Wolf of Wallstreet” walked into the office of a Swiss bank and asked the banker character Jean-Jacques Saurel about their bank secret, and Saurel jokingly mentioned “American plans to invade Switzerland in a couple of months?” In retrospective, the joke about an American invasion and “tanks rolling down the Rue de La Croix” (with a French accent) came almost ironically at time when Swiss banks were dealing with a different form of American invasion, that of their banking system: the very same bank secret that had allowed Jordan Belfort to hide his illegally earned money by using someone else’ identity was now under attack from the State Department because too many American ex-patriots had not been paying their taxes as required per the American tax code.

It would only be a year after the release of the movie, in 2014, that the managers of the Swiss banks pleaded guilty to aiding American citizens evade taxes in the famous case of the American Justice Department versus Swiss banks. A few months later, in March 2015, the American Justice Department imposed a whooping 1.3 billion on a total of 80 Swiss banks as a penalty for their admitted aiding of tax evasion. Since that day, the relationship between Swiss banks and American citizens, criminal or not, has never been the same. Swiss banks were forced into total compliance.

Because of this “clerical invasion,” American citizens were from hereon forced not only to declare their American citizenship to the Swiss banks, but also, to sign a W9. It is of little consequence what kind of a background the American citizens came from. Honorable or not – Swiss banks could no longer discriminate that way. If you have an American passport, it will take some persuasion skills, and a lot of paperwork, and probably also a lot more money than the average citizen has, to convince a Swiss bank to let you continue or start business with them. Also, all the information that you give them will be disclosed to the IRS. So, no more bad guys hiding cash in La Suisse, please. It just doesn’t work that way anymore. While it is still possible that wealthy Americans will have an easier time opening or keeping accounts in La bella Svizzera, it is practically impossible for these wealthy people to hide their dollars from the IRS. Their funds will be declared. So why bring them there?

Another consequence of these newly imposed rules between US clients and Swiss banks, is one that few people know about. Many Americans, especially those who are of average income, were forced to close their accounts simply because the Swiss banks, who view their new relationship with the IRS as one with a “police state” (source undisclosed), did not want to deal with the administrative effort it would take to manage their new and/or old clients’ business with the IRS. Old clients who had their accounts at these banks for years were turned away and forced to close their accounts. Where were these people, many of whom had been living in Switzerland for more than half their lives, supposed to put their money? Under their pillows?? A flurry of citizenship renunciations occurred, and it is certainly no coincidence that the fee to renounce one’s American passport, which cost US$450 until 2010, was raised to US$2350 in 2014. The State Department knew that people, who had spent most of their lives abroad, weren’t going to be able to hold on to their citizenships if life had been made so difficult for them, and so the State Department made a nice little chunk of money on the side by raising the fee for these passport renunciations.

Enough about that now. Let’s return to our original topic: bad guys hiding money in Swiss banks. It is not the aim here to provide an answer to the question where bad guys should put their money nowadays. That’s the writer’s job to do the reseearch. But do it , please!

I do hope, however, after the above deliberations, that writers in Hollywood who want to be taken seriously not only be local producers but by citizens of this world, will stop having their villains hide their money in Der Schweiz, and start taking their villains to some other country where they can have them stash their cash in an offshore account that is not under such strict scrutiny as the banks in Switzerland.

Or, if they want to create something more original and stop using the old cliché of the villain hiding money in Switzerland, it could be a refreshing plot twist to look at some of these American ex-patriots who have been living abroad all these years and suddenly changed their citizenships. Was it really just manageability that drew them to renounce the little blue booklet or were they actually accomplices to the crime?

Joel Forrester Trio Live in Lyon: August 17th & 18th

The year 2020 has been a trying time.

Photo: Curtesy of Joel Forrester

Most of us have been stuck at home, unable to attend all the concerts, plays, movie screenings we had planned to see thanks to the persistent threat of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cabin fever is getting to us all, and not only our hairdos are out of whack, our mental health is being seriously challenged.

It is therefore with GREAT pleasure that we announce the LIVE CONCERT of our dear friend Joel Forrester, who has somehow managed to silently sneak away and get to LYON, France, where he and his Trio will be holding a JAZZ CONCERT on August 17th and 18th – can you believe that: LIVE AT THE OPERA!!!

The concert will be LIVESTREAMED and held during two sets at the following times: 10 am to 10:45 & noon to 12:45 Pacific Standard Time on August 17th and 18th.

To virtually attend the concert, click on the following link:



Photo: curtesy of Joel Forrester


The Old Man and the Gun


Tucker:  „I’d like to open an account.“

Banker:  „Oh great, what kind of account do you have in mind?“

We hear the sound of a click.

Tucker: „This kind!“

That’s what this movie boils down to: an (old) man, Forrest Tucker, who escaped from St. Quentin at age 70 (true!) and likes to rob banks. A simple, straightforward, almost laid back plot, considering that this a crime genre.

A first-class cast starring Robert Redford in his said-to-be final performance (never say never?) together with Golden Globe winner Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea) who looks funny in his 1980ties wardrobe, makes old and new fans happy. A surprise performance by musician and member of „Lee Marvin’s Son’s Secret Society” (founded by Jim Jarmusch) Tom Waits whom The Classic Motion Picture knows best from Jarmusch’s classic Down by Law. A nice innuendo for those who remember. And great performance by Danny Glover who completes the bank robber trio known as the ‚Over-the-Hill-Gang.‘

A portrait of a mixed racial marriage filled with love, which makes the overall atmosphere of the movie all the more realistic and enjoyable to watch (no, there is no conflict in this marriage between John Hunt (Casey Affleck), the cop who pursues Forrest Tucker, and his wife Maureen (Tika Sumpter). Just love.

Last but not least, a soundtrack by Daniel Hart, that sounds like something straight from Miles Davis, the perfect underscore to the love-based atmosphere.

What else? Nothing, maybe.

While this story is not the formula for a huge box office hit, it nonetheless is a special kind of treat for those who are no strangers to the names of Tom Waits, David Lowery, Casey Affleck, Danny Glover, and oldtimer, Robert Redford; and those who enjoy a bank being robbed by a gangster who looks and acts like a gentleman.

To go after the question of the use of his gun, we know that Forrest Tucker owns a weapon, as is clearly revealed when his girlfriend Jewel (Sissy Spacek), or just, the lady who he is dating, finds an old revolver in the glove compartment of his car. The glove-compartment. A total cliché, but where else would an old man put it? Forrest Tucker doesn’t ever use it for a robbery. He merely shows it. Wow! How subtle.

In this laid-back production by Fox Searchlight of one of America’s most popular genres, the crime genre, the title, The Old Man and the Gun, which alludes to Ernest Hemingway‘s The Old Man and the Sea for which Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954, could, therefore, also be seen as a comment on America’s culture, its men, and what they seem to love most: guns.

Thoughts about Feminism: Interview with Linda Ong, CEO of Truth Co.


Linda Ong, CEO Truth Co.

Christina Marlene: Dear Linda, I got to know you through the „Women in Entertainment“   inaugural event at the Arclight movie theatre in Hollywood 2015 where you moderated a discussion round aimed at revealing daily issues of women in power.

What was your overall impression of this event? Do you share the optimistic view that the breaking point has been reached and numbers will start looking different for women in 2016?

Linda Ong (Truth Co.): I think events like this are important. At the same time, the industry needs to acknowledge larger cultural shifts that may affect how messages are heard by people with millennial sensibilities (even if they’re not millennials). One of the challenges I called out in the last panel was the need for more outsiders (especially men) in the conversation. Of the 800+ attendees at Arclight, the overwhelming majority were women who were already deeply entrenched or interested in this conversation. To make change now, when women are increasingly aware and deploying their empowerment, we can’t keep preaching to the choir. I think there were seven men in the audience.

CP: How do you look at wardrobe in an industry as particular as the entertainment business? Is the exterior still the main criteria for getting a job? How should a woman who doesn’t want to subject herself to such scrutiny dress – and act? Is it even possible not to subject yourself to the exterior scrutiny of your body in entertainment and in society as a whole?

LO: The interesting thing about this “fourth wave” of feminism is that it’s very conflicted…read more

Interview with Joel Forrester


Joel Forrester, a former associate of Thelonious Monk and Baroness Pannonica protege, is the composer of more than 1600 tunes, a versatile and accomplished jazz pianist, leader of his own quintet and prolific recording artist. He has performed in an extraordinary diversity of settings – from large ensembles to a duet setting with a tap dancer! His playing draws from stride, boogie-woogie, bebop, trance and what he likes to call ‘salon pieces’ but each composition bears the stamp of this most individual artist.

Joel composed the theme for National Public Radio’s “FRESH AIR with Terry Gross. The theme has been broadcast more than 200,000 times in the last three years – it’s been played and heard coast-to-coast more often than any other jazz composition in American radio (both public and private stations) for the last 28 years! The theme from FRESH AIR can also be heard on his Ride Symbol CD, “STOP THE MUSIC”, a collection that showcases Joel’s brilliance as a solo pianist.

Recognized by the Paris Free Voice as “the world’s leading accompanist to silent films”, Joel Forrester has given concerts with film in Paris at the Louvre, the American Center, the Forum des Images, and the Museé d’Orsay.  For several years he performed with films in the Avignon Festival. In New York, he has played at the Film Forum, Brooklyn Museum, The Center for Photography, and Anthology Film Archives.

*for simplicity’s sake, we are going to call the Charlie Brown theme song “Charlie Brown”, tout simple. It was written by Vincent Anthony Guaraldi (* 17. Juli 1928 – 6. February 1976) an American Jazz Pianist and Composer.

For the full interview, click here


“TRUE CHARACTER is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure – the greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character’s essential nature.”

– Robert McKee –

Inspired by this insight from one of the Industry’s most prominent leaders , the Classic Motion Picture proudly announces:

THE CLASSIC MOTION PICTURE is going back to school!!!

While we will be excited to explore the depths of screenwriting with even more pertinence than already,  we encourage you to continue submitting your work to us! The classes that we will be attending at NYFA will only be supportive of the work that we do, and yours!!!










Solidarity with Charlie Hebdo


Terrorists may have had their moment of euphoria by cowardly assassinating unarmed members of the press.

But we, at the Classic Motion Picture believe, that freedom of speech can and will never die.

At the Classic Motion Picture, we are committed to ending violence with our thoughts and our pens and our cameras and our minds; we support all those who express their views and opinions with an intention of creating peace and freedom in the whole world.

In solidarity with the members of Charlie Hebdo


Robert McKee about writing a good script

“…at first glance telling story for the screen looks deceptively easy. But moving closer and closer to the center, trying scene by scene to make the story work, the task becomes increasingly difficult, as we realize that on the screen there is no place to hide.”

From ‘Story’ p. 5/6

Angelina Jolie receives ‘Honorary Dame Award’ from Queen


In a private audience held at Buckingham Palace on Friday, October 10th, the actress was awarded what can be regarded as the equivalent of ‘Knightship’ by Queen Elisabeth.

The 39 year old actress was bestowed the award for founding of the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI) and the contribution she has made toward the British foreign policy objective of ending sexual violence in conflict.

Her recent wedded husband Brad Pitt, 50,  as well as all the couple’s children Maddox, Pax, Zahara, Shiloh, Vivienne and Knox were also present during the reception of the award which lasted approximately 20 minutes.

Since this is considered a private audience, there was no press, hence no pictures of the actress’ family in the palace were taken.

The CMP congratulates Angelina to this truly meaningful humanitarian achievement!

Is all about a good story…