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Thursday, August 4, 2011

332. Corman's World: Exploits Of A Hollywood Rebel


    Wow. I've just seen Jack Nicholson cry and he wasn't even acting.
    Nicholson welled up as he was describing the part played in his life by legendary producer and director Roger Corman.
    Who? Well, I have to confess that until a week ago I had never heard of Corman, much less the incredible role he had in the development of independent film and the early careers of Hollywood's A-list directors and actors.
    Corman has made nearly 400 low-budget movies in a career stretching back 50 years.
     Nicholson had leading parts in his films for ten years but he wasn't the only one given his big break. Ron Howard, for example, was given the chance to direct his debut feature, Grand Theft Auto, by Corman.
    His influence has also been central to the likes of Peter Fonda, Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and William Shatner and has also impacted on the work of Eli Roth and Quentin Tarantino
    He has been labelled the king of the B movies or the 'schlockmeister' and yet, as is evidenced by this cracking documentary, he is much deeper than that.
    Corman wanted to make as much money on his movies as possible - he just didn't want to lay out millions of dollars to make them a success.
    Alex Stapleton's documentary has contributions from many top artists but what is revealed the most about his film-making comes from the horse's mouth.
    For example, he says about one horror film genre:"A monster should kill someone fairly early in the movie and then at regular intervals.''
    He specialised in exploitation movies and particularly appealed to the young throughout the 60s and 70s.
    At the same time, he challenged authority with political movies, like the civil rights film which helped make Shatner's name.
    And yet he comes across as a most gentle, well-spoken almost quiet person. In fact, about as opposite to one of his disciples, Tarantino, as one could be.
    To me, as a movie geek, Corman's World was like opening Pandora's box.
    There is so much glorious old film footage and so many top quality interviews, packed into 90 minutes, there is scarcely a wasted second.
    So, I would say, for film nuts, this is a must and give it 8.5/10
    Corman's World is part of the Picturehouse Cinemas summer festival and a screener was kindly sent to me by organiser Paul Ridd.

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332. Corman's World: Exploits Of A Hollywood Rebel


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