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: One Sings, the Other Doesn’t
The producer of our edition of Agnès Varda’s feminist musical explores the film’s roots in the women’s movement and how the director achieved its warm, playful tone.
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.