It was a very long road to theaters for the Oscar-winning documentary When We Were Kings, a rousing record of a legendary boxing match, and a testament to the infectious energy, sly humor, and strong social conscience of Muhammad Ali. In 1974, filmmaker Leon Gast had been in Kinshasa, Zaire, rolling his camera in the days leading up to the Rumble in the Jungle, the title fight that pitted Ali against a seemingly unstoppable George Foreman. But it wasn’t until many years later that Gast—who had long been looking for financial backing to finish a movie about Zaïre 74, the Rumble-related music festival that he had originally traveled to Africa to shoot—focused his attention on the fight material. In the above video, taken from a supplement on our new edition of When We Were Kings, producer David Sonenberg discusses putting up the money around the turn of the nineties for the transferring of Gast’s film from Zaire, and how his fascination with the Ali footage helped lead the director to change his focus. To learn about the supporting role that the hip-hop group the Fugees played in this story, watch to the end of the clip.
A Subtler Side of the Hepburn-Grant Magic
Filmmaker and distributor Michael Schlesinger and critic Michael Sragow dive into the pleasures of Holiday, a romantic-comedy classic that has long stood in the shadow of The Philadelphia Story but has a poignancy all its own.
Wim Wenders Looks Back on the Digital Future He Predicted
From search engines to all-engrossing handheld devices, the technologies that the German director conjured for his 1991 opus Until the End of the World are now common features of contemporary life.
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.