A sequel to the critically acclaimed My First Movie, Stephen Lowenstein once again talks to some of our most celebrated filmmakers about their debut films. Lowenstein interviews ten directors about their career-launching film and how they got the movie off the ground: how they raised the finance, found actors, searched for locations, worked with the crew and saw the project through to completion. Filmmakers interviewed include Richard Linklater on Slacker; Alejandro González Iñárritu on Amores Perros; Terry Gilliam on Jabberwocky; and Sam Mendes on American Beauty. A wonderfully rich compendium that is lively, informative, funny, and often surprising.
In this thoroughly engaging set of long-form interviews, Lowenstein coaxes a second volume of candid responses out of some of the best directors working today on the subject of their first feature films. As an interviewer, Lowenstein, a British writer and director, has a gift for rigor, and he leads his subjects to explore the details of their early careers, from their primitive student films to the finished product of studio-distributed movies. Richard Linklater sets the pace in the first piece with an exhilarating argument for taking the independent path-less-traveled, while Terry Gilliam speaks eloquently of the difficulties of breaking out of the sketch comedy expectations set by his work with Monty Python. In other pieces, Donnie Darko director Richard Kelly chats about the difficulties of being both a frat boy and a film school student at USC, and Sam Mendes affably describes his impressive transition from theater director to Oscar-winning filmmaker with just one movie, American Beauty. In addition to its in-depth access, the book includes a refreshingly international breadth of directors, including Alejandro Gonz les I rritu on his bloody anthology Amores Perros, and Takeshi Kitano on his even bloodier first feature Violent Cop. Shekhar Kapur s recollection of his early career in Bollywood is perhaps the highlight of the engrossing collection.