The hard-working folks at eFilmCritic are back with even more SXSW 2008 filmmaker interviews. A couple of years ago, the gang at eFilmCritic began the daunting task of interviewing as many SXSW feature filmmakers as possible in the weeks leading up to each festival. The next handful of filmmaker interviews are now online for your reading enjoyment. They include:
“Later that year, my dad and I traveled to our summer home in West Virginia. There, away from the distractions of the city, I asked him to tell me all his secrets. And he did. He told me about how he was molested as a child, how he tried to kill himself at the age of 29 and how he fell in love with my mother on the night he emerged from a Pennsylvania mental institution. As the interviews progressed, I began to realize there was a much larger movie to be made than I had originally envisioned. It was a strange feeling because although I had wanted it, I never expected see this man who I revered as the flawed and fragile person he actually is. When we returned home a week later, my father hugged me and cried in my arms. Over the next four years, I traveled back and forth between Philadelphia and Boston where I was in college, filming my family whenever something significant was happening—a birthday, a funeral, a lawsuit, one of my father’s mural workshops, whatever. And in April of 2005, everything suddenly changed.”
– Jeremiah Zagar, from In A Dream
“Production was a nightmare because nothing went as planned for the production we were following, so nothing went as planned for us. They went a month over-schedule on their shoot, and so we did as well. Editing was also a challenge – as usual, tight budgets, not enough time, mean you’re working round the clock. And the narrative on this film is particularly challenging – it’s basically three stories wrapped into one. Then there were issues of language (my Hindi is almost non-existent) and various cultural differences (ie., the director shouldn’t carry the tripod) that caused glitches here & there, but it’s all part of the experience…”
– Liz Mermin, from Shot In Bombay
“My dad never made any home movies. The only footage of him is when he starting filming Blue Yonder and in the outtakes of their films (like you see a glimpse of him in Grey Gardens and Gimme Shelter so I assume there are more little glimpses of him in the archives). Al never let me see any outtakes or any of Blue Yonder. I asked for 4 years to see footage. The footage at the end of the film I found through the Larry Rivers Foundation—Larry was one of my dad’s best friends. I have no idea about Al’s autobiography or if he is even making one. No, Al never let me see any footage of my father.”
– Celia Maysles, from Wild Blue Yonder
“Hey, I’m not suggesting a ‘certain instability with Christianity’ I’m telling you its real. Look, in a world gone mad whose to say whose crazy? It doesn’t matter if you’re a Jew a Muslim a Christian or a Krishna, if you’re operating from some antiquated idea of what right and wrong are, if you’re living in fear and your not operating from love then your unstable. I have no faith in the presiding religion of this country to use the positive aspects of these ideas. Why? IBID man. Ibid.”
– Russell Friedenberg, from IBID
“At a Passover Seder in 2006, my girlfriend turned and whispered to me that there was a man across the room I had to meet. When I asked her why she said, ‘If you’re looking for a subject for a documentary, he’s your guy.’ His name was Richard Berkowitz. Upon further discussion, I found out he was a retired S&M sex worker living in the same rent controlled apartment he had hustled out of for the past twenty years. I was more than intrigued. I inquired more about him and learned he had written a book entitled, ‘Stayin’ Alive: The Invention of Safe Sex.’ When I read the book, I was captivated by Richard’s explicit analysis of what went wrong during the era of AIDS. The book taught me everything I didn’t know about the history of safe sex (which was everything), and the controversy surrounding the early days of the AIDS epidemic. Shortly thereafter, I did my first interview with Richard, and I didn’t stop for 8 months.”
– Daryl Wein, from Sex Positive
Stay tuned to more from eFilmCritic, before/during/after SXSW 2008.
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