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.
John Bailey Breaks Down a Tour de Force of Gothic Lighting
The veteran cinematographer takes a close look at the highly stylized and atmospheric lighting in one of the most pivotal scenes in pre-Code classic The Story of Temple Drake.
All About Mankiewicz
One of the most celebrated Hollywood writer-directors of his time, Joseph L. Mankiewicz offers a window into the way he sees his characters in this illuminating clip from an archival interview.
Charisma to Burn: Béatrice Dalle’s Incandescent Debut in Betty Blue
The young French actor didn’t require much direction for her first screen role. As the film’s director and cinematographer recall, she quickly proved herself to be a born star.
How Paweł Pawlikowski Reimagined His Parents’ Fiery Romance for the Big Screen
As the director explains to filmmaker Alejandro G. Iñárritu, the love story at the heart of the Oscar-nominated drama Cold War has its roots in his own family history.