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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The Rim of the World

On making the movie Wilder Than Wild, excerpted from Stories Make the World, Reflections on Storytelling and the Art of the Documentary by Stephen Most.

            People have always used fire to protect human life from nature and to alter what nature provides. A key sequence in the story of humanity and fire is the Industrial Revolution when energy from burning fossil fuels began to drive machines. Within vehicles and factories, generators and outlets, appliances, and innumerable devices, firepower is concealed. As people in increasing numbers leave rural areas and fill cities, they perceive fire more as a threat than a tool. Continue reading

CHASING ELUSIVE PORTRAITS

by Elizabeth Rynecki

I grew up surrounded by my great-grandfather’s painting; images documenting the life of Polish-Jews in between the two World Wars. I understood from an early age that my great-grandfather, Moshe Rynecki (1881-1943), perished in the Holocaust, but I knew little about how Dad and his parents survived.gyc_wedding (1).jpg Continue reading

SPACE ODYSSEY: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke, and the Making of a Masterpiece 

An excerpt by Michael Benson

Space Odyssey.jpgMy own lifelong engagement with 2001 started in the spring of 1968 at the age of six. My mom, a confirmed Clarke fan, took me to an afternoon matinee within weeks of the film’s premiere. Whether it was in Washington (where we then lived) or New York (as I remember it) is unclear. While I was already excited by the jump into space as then best represented by the Apollo program—which had already launched two of its towering Saturn V Moon rockets on unmanned test flights—it was no preparation for my first exposure to such a powerfully ambiguous, visually stunning work.

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