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The Independent Critic

American Film Institute
4 Hours
First Run Features
This is a 2-disc collection with a wealth of interactivity included that allows the viewer to specifically focus on any of the 33 directors who participated in this film.

 "Directors: Life Behind the Camera" Review 

Made in cooperation with the American Film Institute, Directors: Life Behind the Camera is an astounding release from the folks at First Run Features, an incredible collection of thirty-three legendary filmmakers sharing their insights, journeys, ideas and, on occasion, stroking their own egos as they was eloquently about the craft and business of making a film.

Consider this list:

Robert Altman • Nora Ephron • Penny Marshall
• Robert Benton • William Friedkin • Sydney Pollack
• Tim Burton • Terry Gilliam • Rob Reiner
• James Cameron • Ron Howard • Martin Scorsese
• Chris Columbus • Lawrence Kasdan • Ridley Scott
• Wes Craven • Spike Lee • Tony Scott
• Cameron Crowe • Barry Levinson • Bryan Singer
• Frank Darabont • George Lucas • Steven Spielberg
• Jonathan Demme • David Lynch • Oliver Stone
• Richard Donner • Adrian Lyne • Robert Zemeckis
• Clint Eastwood • Garry Marshall • David Zucker

All these directors, plus almost as many actors participated in the making of this nearly four hour, 2-disc documentary about filmmaking. Seriously, is there anyone on this list whose ideas you wouldn't be intrigued by? While each of these filmmakers may hold a different place in Hollywood history, each one has carved a place in Hollywood and it's absolutely enchanting to sit down with this documentary and listen to each of them share their experiences.

Tops include such things as "Everyone Has to Start Somewhere," "The Art of Writing and Choosing Scripts," "The Care and Feeding of Actors," "Your Cinematographer is Your Best Friend," "One of Their Most Compelling Films" and Will The Industry Survive?"

Directors: Life Behind The Camera includes interviews, film clips, feedback from industry veterans, interviews with actors, biographies and interesting tidbits about each director included in the collection. The doc is amazingly interactive and allows the viewer to focus on watching the film individually, by topic, by director or straight on through.

For those in the film industry and those who consider themselves to be true cinema connoisseurs, Directors: Life Behind the Camera is a cinematic field of dreams. A must see? Absolutely.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic