Dan Perri, if you are a film fan, you’ve seen his work time and again, but odds are you unaware of his body of work over the past 40-plus years and his name likely doesn’t ring any bells. He’s a specialist — his company specializes in “title design;” the opening credits of films.
Have you seen The Exorcist, The Day of the Locust, Taxi Driver, All the President’s Men, The Warriors, Raging Bull and Star Wars? Of course you have … they are all his; his creations — nearly 200 in all!
So now you know something of Dan Perri, he knows about film, he has an eye for detail and lives in a world of composition and creativity. His opening title designs have captured the attention of audiences for over four decades.
Word arrived this past week from FilmWorks Entertainment that Dan Perri’s labor of love, his first full-length feature film as both a writer and a director, Sharkskin, will be making its DVD debut on Jan. 19.
Beautifully mounted, Skarkskin spins the story of the Italian Mafia in the New York City area during the immediate post-war period (very reminiscent of The Godfather in terms of timeframe and texture) through the eyes of a very unlikely individual, Mike Esposito (veteran character actor John Aprea — who played the younger version of Tessio in The Godfather, Part II, plus in such films as Crazy Mama, The Idolmaker, New Jack City, The Game, etc.), a tailor.
If you’ve seen The Godfather, then you likely remember Enzo the Baker (Gabriele Torrei), who was recruited by Michael in a moment of desperation to act as armed bodyguard on the hospital steps when Sollozzo came to finish off his father. Enzo was rewarded for his performance, but he was nothing more than “wallpaper” — a civilian.
Esposito the Tailor is a tailor, who is to provide a service for the local Mafia head, Don Piano (John Capodice), who has discovered the new Sharkskin cloth and wants a specific suit made from this “exotic” material.
Mike’s son, Sammy (Christopher Amitrano — Jam, The Grind, Brooklyn Bound), is back from the war and his father wants him to learn the craft and take over the business, but his encounters with his father’s clients starts him to thinking about the “dark side.”
The Esposito’s are “wallpaper” — they are safe. They provide a service, in their case, the craft of being a tailor, but when the allure of the big money beckons, that thin veil between company business and “civilians” can vanish in blink of an eye. When Sammy starts down that path, suddenly his entire family is in danger and even Mike and all his experience might not be enough to stop the blood from flowing.
Bonus features include deleted scenes, a photo gallery and a behind-the-scenes production featurette.