So…as I was searching around for film articles to inspire today’s blog, I saw 2 taglines that caught my eye: 1.) Day-Lewis to star in Spielberg’s “Lincoln”; and 2.) DiCaprio to star in new JFK picture. (Is this the new trend in Hollywood? Are graphic novels out and past presidents in? Again? Hmm…) Then, I continued to dig deeper into the Spielberg/Day-Lewis situation of potential extreme awesomeness, and stumbled upon a bonafide diamond in the rough.
Apparently, a small group of young New Zealanders documented their adventure at the Cannes Film Festival back in 1975. (Were people even ALIVE back then?!) And I found this most interesting because they managed to snag some pretty great interviews with some of the biggest names in film still to-date: Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, and Werner Herzog.
What a gift! To see these gentlemen speaking so openly about certain things when we could all but hope to see such footage of them recorded in the present. Ahh…before they were super giants.
Alright, there are 5 video segments allowing for the full presentation of the New Zealanders’ documentary: Lost in the Garden of the World. Each segment is briefly broken down as such:
— VIDEO 1:
The film opens; the stage is set; the line is delivered: “Any story, any idea can become a film.” (Brilliant AND true!)
At marker 7:44, Paul Bartel’s “Death Race 2000” becomes to focal point. (Oh, David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone.)
At marker 4:25 we shimmy on over to Tobe Hooper’s “Texas Chain Saw Massacre.” In reference to his film, Hooper describes: “…I have no hostility in me. It was set out to portray the feelings of a child’s nightmare…”
— VIDEO 2:
There are some interesting things happening in the general flow of the film until the 6:12 marker – at which point Mr. Spielberg makes his entrance and doesn’t depart until the end of the clip. He discusses filmmaking in general, as well as “Jaws”-specifically.
Bring on the Herzog! As one of the filmmakers describes in voice over: “Some directors are forced to make exploitation films to get started, but Herzog is a man who makes no compromise to anyone. His films are as individualistic as his personality. They come from his soul – forcing you to question the very essence of existence. When you watch his films, you watch yourself.”
— Video 4:
The documentary continues. The filmmakers reminisce a bit about the older days of film, including New Wave as they walk around an old set of Truffaut’s; they continue to discuss the new direction American films seems to be taking: “…American directors seem to be getting more emotionally involved with their work at the moment…”
At marker 13:21, we are lead into the world of Scorsese via a clip from “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.” (Sing, Ellen Burstyn, sing! And then there’s Harvey Keitel…) The fast-talking, 5’4″ man lets us into his world. (I never knew he was only 5’4″ BY the way.)
Dustin Hoffman! Marker 7:18. The film works its way to the realm of Hoffman’s role as Lenny Bruce in the Bob Fosse film “Lenny” as the concepts of obscenity, what we consider to be obscene, and how we gauge such distinctions are discussed.
Marker 4:13 welcomes back Steven Spielberg. He is informed that 20 minutes of his film have been edited out without his knowledge – apparently something that is not at all new in the realm of filmmaking. “With a smile I feel the pain – don’t worry.”
A new mini-discussion comes to surface around the 3:25 mark. The focal point: censorship in the realm of art. Hoffman has some really great things to say on the topic.
Include next: a lovely quote from Douglas Sirk. The follow-up: a mini-montage having to do with what? Oh, yes – filmmaking.
One of the filmmaker’s concludes this segment by stating how little is happening in New Zealand in the area of filmmaking. The land just sits there barren and beautiful. My how much has changed from then with regards to their Mother Land.
— Video 5:
What an unexpected surprise (as the most effective surprises are) this video was for me today. How wonderful and inspirational I’ve found it to be, so I hope you too are able to pull some nuggets of awesomeness from its content. Would love to hear your reactions!
Many thanks to Alison Nastasi at blog.moviefone.com for providing this awesome information.
with passion & gratitude — jb