I was deeply saddened by today’s news of the passing of Peter Yates, whom I had the honor to meet while producing Criterion’s DVD for his great seventies crime picture The Friends of Eddie Coyle. His death marks the loss of a warm, generous individual—reason enough to remember a person—as well as of a talented filmmaker whose gift was expressed, to my mind, by a deceptively simple, eloquent, direct style. His kind of visual storytelling has gradually disappeared as “unique voices” and “visionaries” flaunting overblown pyrotechnics and equally overblown running times get touted by Tinseltown every other week. Yates wasn’t just the “Bullitt car chase guy.” He was a true craftsman, someone who believed in efficient storytelling and a rigorous attention to detail, and I will always remember him fondly.
10 Things I Learned: Mikey and Nicky
Though it’s taken time for critics and audiences to catch up with it, Elaine May’s gangster film is now widely recognized as one of her most uncompromising explorations of human relationships.
10 Things I Learned: Memories of Underdevelopment
The producers behind our edition of Tomás Gutiérrez Alea’s masterpiece share stories they discovered from researching the film and the turbulent political climate that inspired it.