Les Blank’s documentaries focusing on musicians are wonderfully easygoing and authentic. Watching films like A Well Spent Life, a 1971 portrait of Texas blues guitarist Mance Lipscomb, one senses a relationship of total trust between subjects and filmmakers. In this excerpt from a supplement on our collector’s edition Les Blank: Always for Pleasure, Blank collaborators Chris Strachwitz and Skip Gerson sing the documentarian’s praises, especially the way his movies elucidate music by showing the lives and environments that create it.
Liv Ullmann Recalls “Shattering” Moments on the Set of Shame
While working on Ingmar Bergman’s devastating antiwar film, the actress developed an emotionally intense chemistry with her costar Max von Sydow.
The Real-Life Rage That Fueled Lee Grant in In the Heat of the Night
In this excerpt from a new interview, the actor talks about how she channeled her political anger in the role of a distraught widow in Norman Jewison’s Oscar-winning crime drama.
Writing with the Body: Mikey and Nicky as an Actors’ Showcase
Elaine May populated her gangster-film masterpiece with acting heavyweights who could bring spontaneity to their roles. Critics Richard Brody and Carrie Rickey talk about her approach to performance in this clip.
How Hitchcock Pulled off a Shot for the Ages
Award-winning cinematographer John Bailey discusses the complications that Alfred Hitchcock faced trying to execute one of the most ambitious shots in his filmography.