In Austin in 1973, politicos and hippies could get together and create violent, visionary horror films for $60,000. So they did. The story of how The Texas Chainsaw Massacre got made.
An actor, fresh from prison, attempts to reconnect with his son in 1950s California.
"And he had believed it. Everyone had. Since the day he’d been cast as Lev, Alexi had been aware that he was getting away with something—though, he reasoned, he’d never explicitly lied about anything. He just never told the complete truth. He may have, when asked about his American accent, mentioned the pronunciation workbooks stacked on his family’s kitchen table, as if he, and not just his parents, had pored over them nightly. He may have once, a little drunk at a party, pretended to forget the English words for the pigs in a blanket being passed around. He may have, that night and possibly a few others, begun sentences with, In my country . . . He may have, when asked by the film’s very openly communist director one night over steaks at Musso’s what he thought about Truman, parroted back what he’d overheard at the writers’ table, that he was narrow-minded and ruthless, his doctrine a farce and an affront to civil liberties. He may have, at Stella and Jack’s invitation, attended a number of meetings in their Hancock Park living room, where there may have been some pretty detailed discussions about following their Soviet comrades down whatever path they took. He may have, on one of those evenings, filled out one of the Party membership forms being passed around, simply because everyone else was."
A 22,000-word breakdown of Kubrick’s “odyssey portraying the span of millennia.”
A series of shorts about a marriage and conversations with two old-time movie stars.
"Ingrid Bergman told me she'd sleep with any man who desired. And there had been plenty. She slept with the majority of her costars on every film, most of the directors, several costume designers, and once, for kicks, a sound-effects editor—"helps me get into the role," she argued. It didn't bother her at all. It was like taking a walk, 'like reading from a script,' she said."
A man muses on philosophical and personal issues while watching a war film.
"Fizzing rockets, stetsons, verdant tree canopies and earnest young patriots: none of these things help me locate my lighter, which is perhaps dug in a cleft in the sofa somewhere, or proudly beyond reach on the table top. The springs of my inherited sofa are too yielding, and my position too weak for me to prop myself up right now and undertake the reconnaissance required to find it."
A profile of an up-and-coming director:
Well, according to Woody, his ascent has been a series of painful falls. Success hasn't changed him, Allen insists: he's still a schlemiel. "I'm afraid of the dark and suspicious of the light," he says. "I have an intense desire to return to the womb—anybody's." Ineptitude, Woody goes on, is a family curse.
A profile of filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar during the 2004 Cannes International Film Festival.
On the eve of the release of The Tree of Life, a look back at the turbulent making of Terence Malick’s debut.
A profile of silent film comedian Buster Keaton:
The story of his life seems in its twists and dives borrowed from his movies, survival demanding a pure lack of sentiment.
After a final film, Kevin Smith is going to retire to a life of podcasting and speaking tours. Or so he says.
It was the middle of the day in the steamy Philippine jungle and the sun was merciless. Director Francis Ford Coppola, dressed in rumpled white Mao pajamas, was slowly making his way upriver in a motor launch.
The swinging life and boozy death of the original ladies man, and the story of “the coroner that tampered with his cold, lifeless venereal warts.”
A profile of Zack Snyder, director of Watchmen, Dawn of the Dead, and the upcoming Superman series.
A profile of the filmmaker Errol Morris as he prepared to release The Thin Blue Line after a decade of limited distribution, semi-poverty, and a side career as a private detective.
“As we enter into a new age, maybe art will be free. Maybe the students are right. They should be able to download music and movies. I’m going to be shot for saying this. But who said art has to cost money?”
A profile of Focus Features CEO James Schamus.
A “fanatical Lynch fan from way back,” David Foster Wallace visits the set of Lost Highway, never actually talks to the director, and writes a profile.
Tony Kaye was one of the biggest commercial directors of his time. Then he directed American History X and, by his own admission, completely lost his mind.
An 1992 interview with Martin Scorsese. On Goodfellas, “I figured to do it as if it was one long trailer, where you just propel the action and you get an exhilaration, a rush of the lifestyle.”
The writer (Aaron Sorkin), director (David Fincher), and actors (Jesse Eisenberg & Justin Timberlake) of The Social Network on dramatizing the real story of a 20 year old into “the Citizen Kane of John Hughes movies.”
An interview with cinematographer Harris Savides on the enduring appeal of the visual style of films shot in the 1970s.
The few who got to view Jerry Lewis’s notorious The Day the Clown the Cried, set at Auschwitz, piece together memories of their surreal personal screenings.
The story of the most popular music video of all time, including memories of a then-25-year-old Michael Jackson on and off the set. Director John Landis: “I dealt with Michael as I would have a really gifted child.”
How Warren Beatty seduced the studios into making the comedy Ishtar, which set the modern bar for cinematic debacles. (An excerpt from Peter Biskind’s Star.)
The 1979 Oscars pitted Hal Ashby’s Coming Home against Michael Cimino’s The Deer Hunter, wildly different films both on the the topic of the Vietnam War.