They say you never forget the first time, and 20 prominent directors reminisce vividly about their inaugural efforts behind the camera in this collection of original interviews. Editor Lowenstein, a filmmaker himself, elicits candid and revealing responses from subjects representing mainstream Hollywood (Oliver Stone, Anthony Minghella), American independent (the Coen Brothers, Kevin Smith), British (Mike Leigh, Neil Jordan), and foreign-language filmmaking (Ang Lee, Pedro Almodovar). Most are very forthcoming about insecurities and blunders as they impart information that is alternately entertaining and technical, though many admit to surprising technical ignorance when they launched their careers. Despite their varied personalities and filmmaking approaches, the directors radiate enthusiasm, and Lowenstein speculates that they enjoyed the rare opportunity to talk about a movie they weren't trying to sell. They have learned to appreciate the freedom they enjoyed on their first films, when they had no reputations or expectations to live up to. Wanna-be directors may get the most out of this, yet anyone interested in the filmmaking experience may find it valuable. Gordon FlaggCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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"Enthralling...full of inside information and sordid instructions." —Los Angeles Times
"A pleasure." —Variety