Comments on watching and making films.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Recommendation - A Legacy of Filmmakers: The Early Years of American Zoetrope

The other day I was sick, and bored, and had watched all of my Netflix, so I was looking through my DVD collection for something to watch and came across a documentary that I LOVE and had not seen in a while - A Legacy of Filmmakers: The Early Years of American Zoetrope. The doc is an hour long piece that includes the story of how a bunch of film school students, who just happened to be Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, Walter Murch, John Milius, and others, came together to form the first incarnation of a production house which would go on to produce some of American independent cinema's greatest films (Apocalypse Now, American Graffiti, The Conversation, etc.)

The doc feels short because they skip forward over some of the post THX-1138 debacle period, but maybe that is what makes it so interesting - it's quick, to the point, and includes the best of the best when it comes to info, interviews, etc. With interviews ranging from Coppola and Lucas, to Steven Spielberg, to Warner Brothers exec John Calley, the makers of the doc really pulled together the people that were in the trenches during this amazing time in film history.

This piece is on the DVD for THX-1138, so, you'll either have to buy the special edition dvd, or see if they rent the second disc on Netflix (I've only ever seen the single disc version in Blockbuster). This doc is well worth your time, especially if you are a fan of any of the films or filmmakers listed. Even though they are about the same topic, basically, I enjoyed this doc a lot more than Fog City Mavericks, which is less about Zoetrope, and more about the San Francisco filmmaking scene in general, but which focuses primarily on Zoetrope.

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