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Poe takes aim at big pharma

U.S. maverick pitches 'Harvey Girls' to TV

ROME — Maverick U.S. helmer Amos Poe, whose “A Walk in the Park” opened the Rome fest’s cutting-edge CinemaXXI section, is developing a TV series about predatory pharmaceutical companies titled “Harvey Girls” and is also in early stages on a screwball comedy set in Silvio Berlusconi-era Italy.

Poe, in Rome to tubthump “Park,” which is about a man hooked on prescription drugs, said he has been delving into “how the pharmaceutical industry is insinuating itself into our lives.”

The New York No Wave movement auteur is shopping a pilot for the skein which is “about three 24-year-old cheerleader types who are travelling sales reps for pharmaceutical drugs.” Poe described the TV project as “Entourage” meets “Breaking Bad.”

Poe is penning based on an unpublished book by a woman from New Jersey who used to be pharmaceutical rep. Title is inspired by the 1946 MGM musical film about travelling waitresses, “The Harvey Girls,” helmed by George Sidney.

The cult helmer, who has Italo ties, is also in the early stages on an as-yet-untitled ultra-indie Italy-set screwball comedy about two foreign youngsters “who go to Italy and start a revolution after inadvertently killing a character loosely based on Silvio Berlusconi,” he said.

Per Poe, “it’s kind of a style film about fashion and revolution.” The screenplay, in which protags speak English and everybody else talks in Italian, is completed.

In 2010 his eclectic adaptation of Dante’s Divine Comedy “La Commedia,” voiced in Italian by Roberto Benigni, bowed at Venice.

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