Laurent Bouzereau

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Micah Cohen, Oct 8, 2001.

  1. Micah Cohen

    Micah Cohen Screenwriter

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    Last night I was enjoying the documentary on the new "Cape Fear (1962)" DVD, and thinking how much I really really am thankful for this medium that gives me such insight into my favorite films; I realized that I LOVE THESE DOCUMENTARIES! And in my humble opinion, the ones I have been most enlightened by, and most entertained by, have been the work of Mr Bouzereau. "Bridge on The River Kwai," "LOA," "The Exorcist," the Hitchcock films... And so many more! I have learned more cool stuff from these documentaries (and I'd like to think I know a bunch of stuff already), and been so excited just from seeing my movie star idols -- often aged now, and miraculously clear-minded and captured in a sensitive way -- that my enjoyment of these films has grown exponentially.
    Thank you, Mr Bouzereau, for your great work!
    MC
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    "When your head says one thing and your whole life says another,
    your head always loses." (Key Largo)
     
  2. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

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    Firstly, "The Exorcist" documentary was by Mark Kermode and the BBC.
    Secondly, I cannot stand those awful Bouzereau documentaries. I find them to lack any kind of structural or visual inspiration whatsoever, often sloppily edited and badly photographed.
    The best documentaries on a film I have ever seen include:
    "A Very British Psycho" on Criterion's Peeping Tom and covers so much, even when it appears to be going well off-track, it comes full circle to show you how everything ties in with the creation (and initial repulsion) of the film.
    "The Wicker Man Enigma" on Anchor Bay's recent disc which moves at bullet-speed, covering the entire history, but fails to mention the print Roger Corman once owned is now gone, along with a 35mm interpositive made from it, leading to some confusion.
    "Good Taste Made Bad Taste" which is upcoming on AB's Bad Taste 2-disc set, and, in my opinion, is reason enough to spend the extra $20, despite being 25 minutes. I have watched my VHS copy more times than I can say. An endless inspiration on how to make your own low-budget film with some friends.
    "The Movie That Wouldn't Die!" on Criterion's Carnival of Souls - perhaps not the most polished documentary ever made, but fascinating and with semi-professional enthusiasm behind the camera it ends up being terrific.
    "The Making of Do The Right Thing" by Clair St. Bourne on Criterion's disc - a perfect example of an objective and thoroughly engrossing document of a film.
    There are plenty more, but Bouzereau's documentaries are ENTIRELY talking heads speaking at length, chartering an A-B course of the film's production and, occasionally, afterlife. This isn't to say it is limited to Bouzereau's documentaries only (that 80-minute one on The Thing was hard to sit through, as was the one on Fast Times at Ridgemont High, which was 80% about the casting of nearly every part in the film)
     
  3. Micah Cohen

    Micah Cohen Screenwriter

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    ARG! Don't bite my head off! I'm thankin the guy for his added value on the damned discs!
    On the "Cape Fear" doc, how psyched was I too see J. Lee Thompson -- the guy must be a hundred and two -- talking about Mitchum!? Who cares from talking heads -- I love hearing the cast remember the making of the film, that's cool! Especially when they're obviously not long for this world. I'm thankful I've had the chance to get their take on stuff.
    And I disagree about them being sloppy. In fact, I find them pretty concise and well done. Oh well, MHO.
    PS - Sorry about the "Exorcist" flub. That was a cool doc, too. And I'm sure many other fascinating people are involved in these things, I have just noticed that I come away from Mr Bouzereau's docs smiling and happy and having learned a couple new things. All that matters.
    MC
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    [email protected]
    "When your head says one thing and your whole life says another,
    your head always loses." (Key Largo)
     
  4. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    I would hardly call the LB documentaries badly photographed and poorly edited (they do occasionally seem awkwardly constructed - e.g. Lawrence of Arabia - but not as a rule), but I do agree that the talking heads approach is severely limited and does get dull. He tends to strike gold when he interviews a subject who is a good raconteur, has a great memory (a la Herb Coleman on some of the Hitchcock DVDs), and/or is a little feisty.
    Regards,
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    Ken McAlinden
    Livonia, MI USA
    [Edited last by Ken_McAlinden on October 08, 2001 at 03:13 PM]
     
  5. Jeff Swindoll

    Jeff Swindoll Supporting Actor

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  6. Richard Smith

    Richard Smith Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeff,
    The Poughkeepsie Shuffle documentary on The French Connection disc was by Mark Kermode, who did The Exorcist documentary like you thought. He also did a very good documentary on Bladerunner for Channel 4 over here. Hopefully this will be included on the forthcoming special edition.
    Richard
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    DVD Collection
     
  7. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

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    Please, Micah, that was in no way intended to be aimed at you. Looking back it does come across a little harsh and abrupt, so I apologise if you took offence.
    When I said the Bouzereau documentaries were badly photographed and edited, I meant there's nothing WRONG with the photography, but it does end up more often than not a static shot with someone in a chair in their own home.
    As for the editing remark, it refers more to the structure of the pieces, as opposed to any awkward cuts, that I find tedious in the extreme.
    [Edited last by Jon Robertson on October 08, 2001 at 04:06 PM]
     
  8. Micah Cohen

    Micah Cohen Screenwriter

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    I'm not that hurt, Jon. In fact, maybe you've made me think about it and I should have made this thread into a sort of "what's your favorite doc" poll or something. Or, a thread just expressing my happiness at being given all the extra stuff -- documentaries, deleted scenes, commentary tracks, etc. -- on the DVD disc.
    Personally, I don't mind the talking head approach in Mr Bouzereau's docs, like I said I appreciate being able to hear from those old salts like Greg Peck, etc. Maybe I'm wowed by having docs on these great classic films at all! But everyone likes something different or a different style, and that's another thing to be thankful for.
    Look at me: how nice and happy I am upon reflection on the gifts of DVD.
    My friends wouldn't even know me!
    MC
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    [email protected]
    "When your head says one thing and your whole life says another,
    your head always loses." (Key Largo)
     
  9. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

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    Oh God, I love hearing from all those involved in the film and if it's a choice between no documentary or a talking heads documentary, I'll have the documentary every time, as some of the comments are just too valuable to pass up, but there's more than one way to skin a cat.
    Or indeed, film and put together a documentary. [​IMG]
     
  10. Greg_Y

    Greg_Y Screenwriter

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    I also enjoy Bouzereau's docs very much. While they are straight-forward, they are also informative and I like to hear different stories. The Cape Fear 1962 one was a real treat.
    I think of it this way: a documentary like that, even if it's just interviews, can usually give out the same information as a commentary (your garden variety commentary, that is), but in much less time.
     
  11. Sean Moon

    Sean Moon Cinematographer

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    He even did the nice doc on the new mask of zorro DVD!
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    [​IMG]
     

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