A Filmmaker With The Right Stuff: An excerpt from “Philip Kaufman” by Annette Insdorf

American director Philip Kaufman is hard to pin down: a visual stylist who is truly literate, a San Franciscan who often makes European films, he is an accessible storyteller with a sophisticated touch. Celebrated for his vigorous, sexy, and reflective cinema, Kaufman is best known for his masterpiece The Unbearable Lightness of Being, the astronaut saga The Right Stuff and an eclectic series of films including The Wanderers, Henry & June, The White Dawn and his remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Sam Shepard as Chuck Yeager, the first man to break the sound barrier; on location with Phil Kaufman for The Right Stuff.

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Bond—James Bond: Gone

By Gary Meyer

For ​twenty years my office was in the Saul Zaentz Building in Berkeley. In addition to the movies Saul produced, there were award-winning documentary filmmakers ​plus​ post-production talent​ set in a wonderful environment​ there that resulted in high profile narrative filmmakers preferring to do their post-production at the facility​ rather than at the Hollywood studios​.  You might see a ​celebrity. 

One day in early 2000 I was ​going to lunch with director ​Gus Van Sant. ​Landmark has been an early supporter of his work launching “Mala Noche” and “Drugstore Cowboy” when others were not interested. ​As the ​elevator ​door opened on the ground floor I looked out at the people waiting to get on and in my mind I could hear my bad impersonation, “Bond—James Bond.”

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OSCAR’S YEAR OF THE WOMEN—For Documentary Features

By C.J. Hirschfield

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Clockwise from bottom left: ‘For Sama,’ ‘The Cave,’ ‘American Factory,’ ‘The Edge of Democracy,’ ‘Honeyland’

Many of you are no doubt rushing to catch up with your movie viewing in advance of Feb. 8’s annual Academy Awards. While “Best Picture” always draws the most attention and conjecture, this was a particularly great year for films in the documentary feature category, and they are well worth exploring. With Netflix, Amazon, HBO, PBS, and even the Obamas now in the documentary film production business, the number of quality offerings has grown dramatically, as have the ways to view them.  Some show us worlds we’ve never imagined, while others offer us a deep dive into subjects that we may know only as headlines. There are also a number of excellent films that that didn’t make the final Academy cut. Here’s the list, along with my take on each. And unlike the directors considered for “Best Picture,” three out of five of the nominated documentaries were directed or co-directed by women.

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AN INSIDER SETS THE RECORD STRAIGHT ON 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY

By Mike Kaplan

If  “Marketing” had been an accepted term for the handling of a motion picture in 1968, my title for the two years I spent nurturing  2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY would have been Marketing Strategist for Stanley Kubrick and MGM and for the subsequent two years, for Kubrick’s A CLOCKWORK ORANGE.

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Dan Chaissan’s contribution to the 2001 anniversary coverage in The New Yorker: “Anybody There?”  April 23, 2018) has occasional insights but is filled with inaccuracies and false conclusions. With the opening of “Stanley Kubrick, The Exhibition” at the London Design Museum and the two month Kubrick season at the British Film Institute, it seems an appropriate time to set the record straight.

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