‘It’s just not mainstream stuff,’ says Woody Allen, in an impossibly rare on-set interview. He’s not talking about his own films, but those of fellow New Yorker James Toback – the subject of this revealing documentary. Allen calls Toback a ‘Personal Filmmaker’, and it’s easy to see why – his movies (eleven to date) all draw on his own colourful background: from gambling addiction (in his screenwriting debut The Gambler) and LSD overdosing (Harvard Man), through to the sexual adventuring of last year’s When Will I Be Loved.
It’s Toback’s struggle to shoot When Will I Be Loved in twelve days flat that forms the spine of the documentary – filled in with candid accounts from famous fans and friends of which there are quite a panoply: Harvey Kietel and Robert Downey Jr, grandmaster screenwriters Norman Mailer and Robert Towne and even sporting legends Mike Tyson and Jim Brown.
Toback cuts an imposing figure throughout: an enormous, overeducated, charming, obsessive, arrogant, passionate artist. The Outsider is an object lesson in the zeal, craftsmanship and facial that a Personal Filmmaker needs to get a Personal Film in the can. It may even make more people watch his movies – whatever Woody says.
When Jarecki was 21, he emerged from NYU film school and hit on a clever idea for breaking into the industry: write a book of interviews on how to do it, befriending various bigwigs in the process (and raising some cash). Four years on, his debut feature is a documentary about one of them. OS
Playing with NO GRAY TWILIGHT
USA Super8 8 mins Director/Producer Kathryn Bucher DoP Richard Bucher, John Cannizzaro, Kathryn Bucher Print Source firstname.lastname@example.org
A cinematic meditation on cowboys as they prepare for their rodeo rough stock events. Inspired by the city symphony films of the early 20th century, the backstage paintings of Degas and the Americana portrait photography of Avedon, Strand, Arbus and Mark, the film was conceived by a stuntman and former rodeo cowboy.