“I have become an individual with a DV camera…it was DV that saved me, that allowed me to maintain a kind of personal relationship to documentary filmmaking, and made it far more than just an identity.” Inspired by a current MOMA retrospective, Aaron Cutler takes stock of 25 years of independent Chinese documentaries, a movement influenced by Japanese filmmaker Shinsuke Ogawa and American Frederick Wiseman, and (as Wu Wenguang’s words quoted above attest) altered forever by the introduction of light, affordable DV cameras.
“Redford was born in Santa Monica, because of course he was. His father was a milkman but, in a page straight from the American Dream handbook, eventually became an accountant, moving his family to Van Nuys. There, Redford played on the high school baseball team and, if looks are to be believed, slayed the entire female population.” Anne Helen Petersen is pretty terrific on the appeal of Robert Redford—and his limitations.
“Her Bride was certainly a success, but it was such extreme work that it led nowhere—she had been too weird in the part, too scary and sexually offbeat for easy casting.” Which is why many of Elsa Lanchester’s Hollywood roles merely tossed her in the shadow or sidelines of her leading-man husband; but she stood out even there, as Dan Callahan relates.