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February 21, 2003 - Image 73

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-02-21

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Sun., Mar. 2 at 3 pm

golden circle $25
adult $20 • stu./sr.cit. $18
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ER — are for projects that are
notably different than The First Year.
How do these different directorial
experiences figure in to who you are?
DG: It's kind of a double life. I like
the fact that I do different genres —
genre" isn't even the right word
different types of disciplines, because I
think they inform each other.
I just finished an episode of The
Shielo4 which is pretty violent, about
dirty cops in Los Angeles as opposed
to idealistic teaching.
The tools with which you tell the
story are completely different. You
start with a script, and you've got the
cranes and the cameras and the dollies
and the crew to tell your story.
I like going between [the disciplines]
because they challenge different parts
of you, different muscles. It's like
being an athlete and cross training.
There's sprint, there's long distance,
things for stamina, things for strength.
Some people start with technique.
But I think that's back-
wards. I think you start
with "what is the story and
how do you tell it?"

"

JN: I've read that your
work was greatly influ-
enced by your father,
Charles Guggenheim, who
chronicled the Arkansas
school integration crisis in

But he saw it and loved it. It's one of
the great moments of my life, seeing
him appreciate a film I'd made. He
was really proud of me.

COMCAST BRAVO SERIES

London City Opera presents

JN: Speaking of the "voice of God,"
did you grow up with a religious
background? How would you .
describe your Jewish identity?
DG: My mother is not Jewish. My
father was Jewish. [His family] immi-
grated to Cincinnati in the 1840s. So
they were the type of German Jews
who celebrated Christmas. They went
to synagogue on Sunday.
It was the first wave of Jews who
assimilated. They were intensely proud
of their culture, and not in denial of
it. But — emphasis on assimilation.
No emphasis on religion.
[My father] made movies in Israel.
We lived in Israel for a short time while
he made them. He knew everything
about the history of Israel and he was
proud to be Jewish.
But there wasn't an
ounce of religion in him.
Until just before he died.
He said he wanted to be
buried in a Jewish ceme-
tery. It was the only thing
he wanted.
He said to me, 'I want to
be remembered as a Jew.
He was 78 — that's kind
of his generation. Very
anti-religion or religiosity.
But very proud to be a Jew.

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Nine from Little Rock
(1964), for which he won
Davis Guggenheim
an Academy Award. Can
JN:. Did that affect your
you tell me a bit about his
own interest in religion?
influence on your filmmaking?
DG: I'm similar to my dad, although
DG: Yes, my father died 'two months
I'm searching. I'm very open. The most
ago. He was my first great teacher. He
attractive thing about it is the question-
won four Academy Awards, and was
ing, which is unique to Judaism. ❑
nominated 12 times. He made great
documentaries. I grew up watching
him work and then working for him.
"Best of Full Frame" runs Feb. 28-
And learning.
March 2 at Madstone Theaters,
He asked me to make a film with him
located in Briarwood Mall in Ann
(Norton Simon: A Man and His Art, pro-
Arbor. The First Year will be
duced for the Norton Simon Museum
shown 2 and 4 p.m. Friday, Feb.
in Pasadena) [after I went away to school
28; 4 p.m. Saturday, March 1; and
and developed my- own career].
noon Sunday, March 2.
By then I had found my own turf.
Other documentary films to be
We did [the film], and it was really
screened are Two Towns ofiasper,
beautiful. We got a chance to be equals.
Return with Honor, Startup.com
It was really a coming home in a way.
and The Life and Times of Hank
That was five or six years ago. I real-
Greenberg, which will be shown 8
ized what was so great about my father's
p.m. Friday, Feb. 28; and 12:15
life. His documentaries. Documentaries
and 11 p.m. Saturday, March 1.
take you to places and you meet peOple.
Tickets: Madstone member,
They expand your mind.
$8; nonmember, $10; festival
But The First Year is very different
pass, $39.99.
from anything he had done. It was
For an updated schedule of
filmed in the cinema verite style:
events, call (734) 994-1000 or
immediate, unobtrusive, no "voice of
visit vvwvv.madstonetheaters.com .
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