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The New Age
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The New Age (1994) More at IMDbPro »

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The New Age -- Peter and Katherine Witner are Southern California super-yuppies with great jobs but no center to their lives...


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Up 5% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writer (WGA):
Michael Tolkin (written by)
View company contact information for The New Age on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 September 1994 (USA) See more »
A shopping spree for the morally bankrupt.
Episodic movie about a rich yuppie couple who, going broke, can't decide if they want to stay together and meanwhile openly sleep around and experiment with different lifestyles. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
It's real and it lives. See more (18 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Peter Weller ... Peter Witner

Judy Davis ... Katherine Witner

Patrick Bauchau ... Jean Levy
Rachel Rosenthal ... Sarah Friedberg

Adam West ... Jeff Witner

Paula Marshall ... Alison Gale

Bruce Ramsay ... Misha
Tanya Pohlkotte ... Bettina

Susan Traylor ... Ellen Saltonstall

Patricia Heaton ... Anna

John Diehl ... Lyle

Maureen Mueller ... Laura

Sandra Seacat ... Mary Netter

Samuel L. Jackson ... Dale Deveaux

Audra Lindley ... Sandi Rego

Corbin Bernsen ... Kevin Bulasky

Jonathan Hadary ... Paul Hartmann

Lily Mariye ... Sue

Kimberley Kates ... Other Catherine

Maria Ellingsen ... Hilly

Kelly Miracco ... Carol (as Kelly Miller)
Dana Hollowell ... Emily

Rebecca Staab ... Woman Customer
Alexander Pourtash ... Man Customer
Scott Layne ... Swimmer
Mary Kane ... Tina Bulasky

Patrick Dollaghan ... Chet

Jeff Celentano ... Tab (as Jeff Weston)

Lisa Pescia ... Nova Trainee
Victoria Baker ... Victoria
Bob Flanagan ... Bob

Nicole Nagel ... Rich German
Dana Kaminski ... Andrea
Cheri Gaulke ... Pagan Woman

Jack Blessing ... (voice)
Thomas Brunelle ... (voice)

June Christopher ... (voice)
Kenneth Danziger ... (voice) (as Ken Danzinger)
Leigh French ... (voice)
Christie Mellor ... (voice)
Arnold F. Turner ... (voice) (as Arnold Turner)
Gigi Vorgan ... (voice)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Lars Woods ... Katherine's Boy-Toy (uncredited)

Directed by
Michael Tolkin 
Writing credits
Michael Tolkin (written by)

Produced by
Keith Addis .... producer
Alison Balian .... associate producer
Iya Labunka .... co-producer
Arnon Milchan .... executive producer
Oliver Stone .... executive producer
Nick Wechsler .... producer
Janet Yang .... co-producer
Original Music by
Mark Mothersbaugh 
Cinematography by
John J. Campbell  (as John Campbell)
Film Editing by
Suzanne Fenn 
Casting by
Deborah Aquila 
Production Design by
Robin Standefer 
Art Direction by
Kenneth Hardy 
Set Decoration by
Claire Jenora Bowin 
Costume Design by
Richard Shissler 
Makeup Department
Deborah K. Larsen .... makeup department head
Production Management
Michele E. Carnes .... production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Christine Larson-Nitzsche .... first assistant director (as Christine Larson)
Art Department
Rebecca Carriaga .... assistant property master
John A. Foote .... set dresser
Chris Forster .... construction coordinator
Jon Kuyper .... art department assistant
Wayne Shepherd .... lead man
Dan Spaulding .... set dresser
Sound Department
Ulrika Akander .... dialogue editor
Steve Bissinger .... sound effects editor
Gary Gegan .... re-recording mixer
Eric J. Goldstein .... additional boom
Stephen Halbert .... sound
Matthew Iadarola .... supervising re-recording mixer
David Jobe .... foley mixer
Steve Richardson .... sound editor
Tami Treadwell .... foley recordist
Hugo Weng .... dialogue editor
Camera and Electrical Department
K.C. Bailey .... still photographer
Kurt Braun .... Steadicam operator
Alan Brownstein .... gaffer
Steve Hurson .... second assistant camera
Brent Lawson .... best boy grip
Bruce Lawson .... key grip
Juan Morse .... lighting technician
Steve Reinhardt .... best boy electric
Dale Robinette .... additional still photographer
Parker Swanson .... additional grip
Stephen Thorp .... electrician
Casting Department
Rich King .... extras casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Austin Myers .... assistant costume designer
Eva Prappas .... set costumer
Editorial Department
James Durante .... assistant editor
Location Management
Diane Friedman .... assistant location manager
Beth Tate .... location scout
Music Department
Mark Green .... music editor
Mitchell Leib .... music supervisor
Bruce Young Berman .... musician: guitar solos (uncredited)
Other crew
Rebecca A. Battle .... assistant production coordinator
Maureen 'Mo' Crutchfield .... first assistant accountant
Robert Dawson .... title designer
Jane Goldsmith .... script supervisor
David Hoge .... production assistant
Kelly Johnson .... key craft service
Jim McCarthy .... post-production accountant
Chris Paine .... assistant: Michael Tolkin
James Root .... key office production assistant
Azita Zendel .... assistant: Oliver Stone (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for sexuality and language
112 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Was #9 on Roger Ebert's list of the Best Films of 1994.See more »
Katherine Witner:I'm following my bliss.See more »


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15 out of 17 people found the following review useful.
It's real and it lives., 23 July 2001
Author: basilseal1 from Sarasota, Florida

I had heard about Michael Tolkin's film 'The New Age' for several years before actually seeing it, but most of what I'd heard was not especially good and I therefore did not seek it out either in the theatres or on video. It wasn't until a trusted friend insisted that I see it, playing on my great admiration of Judy Davis and all she does. So I watched it and was stunned into a state of horrified deja-vu. It's a painful movie and very, very funny at the same time. I lived in Los Angeles in the late 80s and experienced first-hand the "new age" hey-day, hobnobbing with the elite of the channellers, psychics, psychometrists and "breath" therapists who moonlighted as acting coaches during the day. One "healer" with a great lingam stone tucked between her thighs actually vanished before my very eyes so I cannot honestly condemn all of those people for being charlatans They were the natural outcropping of Werner Erhard's est culture, nurtured by the great wealth of actors and actresses and producers and screen writers with a great deal of free time on their hands.

There are many lines in the script of 'The New Age' that I'd heard before in "real" life. All the clichés are there, clichés that led a lot of naive and desperate people, talented people in most cases, to the poor house and back to mom and dad in Ohio and Texas. The horror of the

L.A. wannabee chic shopping scene, the $500.00 belts, $2,000.00 nighties etc is all documented in this sly and viscious movie. 'The New Age' is truly a movie that can be equated with the fascination of a plane crash.

All the magnetic appeal of bloody corpses and burning wreckage is there.The ersatz satisfaction of illicit sex and massages and player-grand pianos is there. It's all real and still exists, only now the new age is free of its patina of spirituality and has been left to chase after money, as it was always about in the first place. Money and sex.

That's what 'The New Age' is about and that's what it is still about, only now it's called the "New Millenium".

As for the movie's technical side; the actors are all fine, horrifyingly believeable. Peter Weller is especially monstrous, shark-like in his est-trainer mode of ambition and grasping and domination of the gentler creatures who are drawn into the circle of his light, the deadly electric blue light, like the night-time sky of Los Angeles, that zaps them like mosquitos. Peter Weller's character finds his true self by the end of the film and it is a role that will serve him well in the new millenium. Judy Davis, as his wife, looks vampiric enough, exquisitely dressed, sexy and desperate. Instead of blood, however, she seeks money. Oddly, no one is seeking love in this movie, that would be too mundane for these characters, too human. The one great point of Judy Davis's character and how it is written is that she is not for one moment a victim. She is a strong woman and her coup-d'état in the suicide scene is spectacularly funny. Only Judy Davis could have played this part this well. The bitchiness of her "friend" Anna, played by Patricia Heaton, is the epitome of L.A. chumminess. As one-dimensional and fake as the great silver screen from which they all make their livelihoods. As Anna says to Katherine (Davis), people aren't comfortable around people who are having a bad time. Eventually everyone has a bad time in Los Angeles.

'The New Age' does seem to have its longeurs but this is appropriate given the nature of the subject, slow, meditative, up-close and uncomfortably comfortable. Mr Tolkin does not let the sexual side of L.A. off the hook either with the extended sex party and the nixies of both sexes in the pool. This is an especially beguiling scene. Like a trio of Rhine Maidens the 3 (2 woman and a very pumped-up man) float tantalizingly in the pool beckoning Peter Weller to join them, but he is afraid; he is a fraud, sexually, just as he is told by the Belgian psychic (Patrick Bauchau) at the beginning of the movie.

So why did we all do it way back when? Why did intelligent people of all stripes commit themselves to the unseen and the unanswerable mysteries of existence? Well, there is a character, Laura (Maureen Mueller) who is dying of an incurable and painful disease, perhaps AIDS, and it is her plight that reminded me why we, I, spent all that time and money pursuing the spirit of the "new age". There was, in fact, something to it. I will never think that there wasn't something valid in that period of time in Los Angeles, captured here in Tolkin's film.

There was warmth and caring previously unknown in the realms of Hollywood. Sure, there were frauds and charlatans, they are always around the new fads, especially in L.A. But on the other side of the fakery there is the psychic diva, Sarah, whose opening speech enjoining us to "just watch" and not reject out of hand what we see is quite apt.

Like all of existence, our opinions are just specks in the face of one of God's pores, who knows what the Truth is. Perhaps that is what makes this movie so horrifying, could it actually be a perversion of something sacred? Maybe.

There is another special hook that keeps me coming back to this movie from time to time, when I'm feeling strong, and that is the presence of the ubiquitous (at the time) L.A. doyenne of performance artists (remember performance artists?) Rachel Rosenthal (Sarah). In a bit of surreal memory I am tossed back to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and a performance of 'Tristan und Isolde', designed by David Hockney, at which I found myself sitting next to a large, bald woman in black with bizarre dangling earrings, not your typical Wagnerian, at least of the female variety. It was Rachel Rosenthal sitting next to me in the dark as Isolde poisons Tristan, as Isolde and Tristan rise to the heights of ecstasy in Hockney's childish 'Popeye und Olive Oyl' sets. But that is a highly subjective motivation, though it seems fitting that this of all movies should have such an intimate connection for me. It might have the same for you as well. As for the rest, the script is excellent, as if written whilst listening to conversations at Spago or the old Pink Cadillac on Beverly Boulevard. It's authentic. The panoramic shots of L.A. are spectacular and set the story in an appropriately spacious and detached atmosphere, cold and uncaring, just like the real Los Angeles. The great bauhaus fantasy houses are also true to reality. Calme et volupté are the keywords for the settings.

As the nixies in the pool say to Peter, "you can't just watch, Peter, it isn't fair". Peter says "I'm scared." The nixies say "we'll be waiting." "The New Age" is always waiting, like the cobra coiled in the shadows just around the corner.

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