Can art change the world? That’s the question that has propelled writer-director Mira Nair down the various paths she’s taken as an artist, from her early explorations of stage acting and photography to her success with such films as Monsoon Wedding, Mississippi Masala, Salaam Bombay!, and Queen of Katwe. For the latest episode of Adventures in Moviegoing, now playing on the Criterion Channel on FilmStruck, Nair joins us as a guest curator, presenting some of the movies that first gave her a sense of the medium’s transformative possibilities, including Chris Marker’s La Jetée, Jane Campion’s An Angel at My Table, and Satyajit Ray’s The Music Room. She also sits down to discuss how her college years opened her eyes to cinema’s power as a form of political expression. In the above excerpt from her interview, she reminisces about finding mentors in Direct Cinema pioneers D. A. Pennebaker and Richard Leacock, who taught her what it meant to search for truth with a camera and how filmmaking could foster a deep engagement with social reality.
How Jérémy Comte’s Oscar-Nominated Fauve Conjures the Nightmare of Boyhood
The director of this award-winning short film speaks with us about tapping into his childhood fears and fine-tuning the story’s white-knuckle atmosphere.
A Great LA Auteur Gets Candid in a New Documentary Profile
Legendary independent filmmaker Charles Burnett joins fellow pioneer Robert Townsend for a walking tour of South Central Los Angeles, where Burnett’s most acclaimed movies were shot.
How Julie Taymor Found a Zest for Life in Cinema
The acclaimed stage and screen director joins us for the latest installment of Adventures in Moviegoing, our guest-curator program on the Criterion Channel.