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Films About Film in the Leavey Library (DVDs): Directors


21 Years: Richard Linklater
"A spirited look at the first 21 years of writer/director Richard Linklater's remarkable career, featuring interviews with collaborators Matthew McConaughey, Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Billy Bob Thornton, Keanu Reeves, Jack Black, and more."

Before the Nickelodeon: The Early Cinema of Edwin S. Porter
|"Publisher description: Between the years 1894 to 1908, Edwin S. Porter was the leading American filmmaker. Follows his movie career, from his first job installing Thomas Edison's Vitascope machines in New York, through his business as a film exhibitor, to his job as head of Edison's movie studio. There he created story films: J
ack and the Beanstalk, The Life of an American Fireman, and The Great Train Robbery. By 1909, his film technique was old fashioned. Fired by Edison, he continued making films until 1915, but he had been left behind by new directors with new techniques."

Directed by John Ford
"Reviews the achievements of director John Ford in a series of reminiscences by Ford's actors."

Directors: Life Behind the Camera
"Made in cooperation with the American Film Institute, this set features thirty-three legendary directors discussing the art of filmmaking in intimate detail, drawing on their in-depth knowledge drawn from their own careers in films. Culled from over 300 hours of interviews, this presentation is interactive, allowing instant access to a single director, or to an entire topic involving all directors. Also included are film clips, interviews with guest actors and industry veterans, and biographies and interesting facts about each director."

D.W. Griffith: Father of Film
"In this acclaimed three-part documentary, celebrated film historians Kevin Brownlow and David Gill tell the proud, sad story of D.W. Griffith. The man who first brought artistry and ambition to the movies, and then, having dragged a reluctant American film industry to international prominence, found it had no more use for him. Includes interviews with people who worked with him, his family and extracts of his work."

Golden Gate Girls
"In [this film] author and professor S. Louisa Wei tells the story of filmmaker Esther Eng, the first woman to direct Chinese-language film in the US, and the most prominent woman director in Hong Kong in the 1930's. A San Francisco native and open lesbian, her contribution to film history is sadly overlooked -- her 11 feature films mostly lost. After the retirement of director Dorothy Arzner in 1943 and before Ida Lupino began directing in 1949, Eng was the only woman directing feature length films in the US. Wei's documentary paints a fascinating picture of how Eng's career in filmmaking broke through gender and racial boundaries in Hollywood and Hong Kong, at a time when opportunities for Chinese women in the industry were few and far between. With a captivating archive of newly discovered images and interviews with those who knew her, Wei uncovers a rich chapter of film history that challenges both gender hierarchies and national narratives."

The Great Directors: The Making of 21st Century Hollywood
"..traces the evolution of Hollywood after the studio system failed, from the introduction of the summer blockbuster, to the thought-provoking movies of independent auteurs, to world renowned immigrant directors, to the rise of megahit documentaries, and to the 21st Century's second Golden Age of Animation. In the 21st Century, Hollywood has retained the glitz and glamour of its past as well as its great studios. But the genius of American cinema is that it has evolved with the times. Directors have become the creative force behind films, while movies themselves, from documentaries and animation to blockbusters and insightful Indies have taken on the mantle of great literature. The Great Directors: The Making of 21st Century Hollywood traces the evolution of Hollywood after the studio system failed, from the introduction of the summer blockbuster, to the thought-provoking movies of independent auteurs, to world renowned immigrant directors, to the rise of megahit documentaries, and to the 21st Century's second Golden Age of Animation.

Hollywood's Best Directors Choose Their Best Movies
"Each director selects one of their most compelling films and reveals intimate details about their most influential work while reviewing specific clips from each film. Also includes how famous scenes were staged and shot, and much more."

I Am an Ox, I Am a Horse, I Am a Woman, I Am a Man
" Since Lenin's fervent embrace of cinema in the 1920s, more women have worked in the film industry in Russia than in the West. This fascinating documentary - produced during glasnost and prior to the dissolution of the USSR - includes interviews with actresses, critics, technicians and leading directors Kira Muratova and Lana Gogoberidze."

Les plages d'Agnès = The Beaches of Agnès
"An autobiographical reflection on art, life and the movies from director Agnès Varda.'Varda takes beaches as her point of departure, and weaves photographs, vintage footage, film clips, and present-day sequences into a memorable voyage through her life, during which she confronts the joy of creation and the pain of personal loss, death and aging. It is a singular trip played out against the exciting context of the postwar explosion of cultural expression in France. She knew everyone: her colleagues in the French New Wave, the Black Panthers in California and even Jim Morrison, who would visit when in Paris'."

Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles
"Looks at the remarkable genius of Orson Welles on the eve of his centenary - the enigma of his career as a Hollywood star, a Hollywood director (for some a Hollywood failure), and a crucially important independent filmmaker. Orson Welles's life was magical: a musical prodigy at age ten, a director of Shakespeare at fourteen, a painter at sixteen, a star of stage and radio at twenty, romances with some of the most beautiful women in the world, including Rita Hayworth."

Marcel Ophuls and Jean-Luc Godard: The meeting in St-Gervais
"In 2009, in a small theater in Geneva, Switzerland, the film directors Marcel Ophuls and Jean-Luc Godard met for an unusual, surprisingly intimate and sometimes contentious dialogue with each other in front of a live audience. Luckily for us, it was filmed. Ophuls' film "The sorrow and the pity" triggers Godard to discuss his personal and fragmented childhood memories about his escape to Switzerland during World War, while Ophuls recalls the controversy surrounding the release of his film in France. The issue of the written word being taken more seriously than the moving image is brought up by Godard. Throughout their meeting, the two directors debate about national and ethnic identities, what it means to be Jewish, the role of the director, and auteur theory, which ultimately reveals why they never collaborated on a tentative film that was once discussed. This film gives us the unique opportunity to spend time with an encounter between two of the most influential and idiosyncratic post-war film directors. Godard and Ophuls are in the twilight of their years, but they remain provocative, sharp, and as uncompromising as ever."

Mel Brooks: Make a Noise
"Mel Brooks, the comedian, director and screenwriter, has energetically avoided a documentary profile from being made, until now. He has agreed to throw himself into a new documentary about his storied career, giving American Masters exclusive interviews and complete access to his film archives."

My Filmmaking, My Life: Matilde Landeta
"Matilde Landeta entered the flourishing Mexican film industry in the 1930s, working her way up from script girl to direct 110 shorts and, in the late 40s, to produce and direct three features, including La Negra Angustias. In this engrossing documentary filmed in Mexico City, a vibrant Landeta, now in her 70s, recalls those years. Interviews with Mexican directors Marcela Fernandez-Violante and Maria Novaro enrich this illuminating tribute."

Notes on Marie Menken
"Tells the story of Marie Menken (1909-1970), a Lithuanian immigrant who became one of New York's outstanding underground experimental filmmakers of the 1940s-1960s, inspiring artists such as Stan Brakhage, Andy Warhol, Jonas Mekas, Kenneth Anger and Gerard Malanga."

Raging Boll
"One of the most controversial figures in indie cult cinema, German-born director Uwe Boll is known not only for his outrageous low-budget actions films but also for engaging in lively, often heated exchanges with his critics. In 2006, Boll offered his detractors the chance to settle their differences in the ring, and what began as a publicity stunt quickly evolved into a symbolic and highly-publicized battle between an artist and his critics; with unexpected results."

Seeing Is Believing: Women Directors
"This documentary film emphasizes the opportunity for women to use their voice through media to change the social and political landscape and achieve full equality. Focus on inspiritng and uplifting young female storytellers through the mentorship and leadership of four diverse directors ... to show how collaboration, rather than oppression, can incentivize all genders to connect to our shared human experience."

"Ousmane Semb̀ne was a Senegalese dockworker and fifth-grade dropout who became the self-taught father of African cinema who fought enormous odds to return African stories to Africa."

Successful Teamwork in Filmmaking: From Hollywood's Best Directors
"Looks at the art of writing a movie or choosing a script, the care and feeding of actors, how to work successfully with each actor, why your cinematographer is your best friend and a look ahead to the future of the industry."

Tarr Béla, I Used To Be a Filmmaker
"Between December 2008 and June 2010, Béla Tarr and his wife and co-director Agnes Hranitzky reunited with their trusted collaborators to shoot their final movie, The Turin Horse. Three men and a horse surrounded by a desolate landscape; a rigorous film, with sparse dialogues, where nature prevails over human beings. But what cinema doesn't show is itself in the making. And so it is astonishing to see the setting unveiled, and especially surprising to hear the confessions made by the director's collaborators, which reveal an aspect of the reality that permeates his way of doing cinema."

Walt Disney: He Made Believe
"Walt Disney was uniquely adept at art as well as commerce, a master filmmaker who harnessed the power of technology and storytelling. This new film examines Disney's complex life and enduring legacy. Features rare archival footage from the Disney vaults, scenes from some of his greatest films, interviews with biographers and animators, and the designers who helped turn his dream of Disneyland into reality."

Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe
"Werner Herzog makes a wager with Errol Morris that if he finishes the film, Gates of Heaven, that Herzog will eat his shoe. This film documents Herzog cooking and eating his shoe at the screening of Morris' film in Berkeley. Herzog also discusses his views on society and the importance of films."

Women Who Made the Movies
"A documentary on women filmmakers. Includes rare clips from films by Ida Lupino, Ruth AnnBaldwin, Leni Riefenstahl, Lois Weber and many more."