30 July 2003 | Kalaman
This is a very good and insightful documentary on American maverick filmmakers. The documentary, produced by the American Film Institute, consists of a series of interviews with several filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese, King Vidor, Peter Bogdanovich, Samuel Fuller, David Lynch, Paul Schrader, and some others. Basically they discuss the concept of maverick filmmaker in relation to the Hollywood cinema. It contains lots of clips from such film classics as "The Crowd", "The Docks of New York", "Greed", "The Scarlet Empress", "Citizen Kane", "The Lady From Shanghai", "The Searchers", "Chimes at Midnight", "Pickup on South Street", among many others.
There is one rare insightful clip of director Josef von Sternberg discussing his masterpiece "The Saga of Anatahan"(1954) and how he came up with the idea of the group of Japanese sailors trapped in the island during World War II. Sternberg says the idea intrigued him and saw a cinematic potential. And everything in that overlooked marvel was meant to be detached, artificial, and completely stylized. Sternberg complained that the only real thing were the shots of sea waves. This is an important insight to Sternberg's art and technique, and you get to hear it from the director himself.