The Directors: Season 2, Episode 11

The Films of Barry Levinson

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Good Interview with The Director
2 February 2012 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

The Directors: The Films of Barry Levinson (1999)

*** (out of 4)

This episode features an interview with director Bayy Levinson as well as actors Woody Harrelson, Dustin Hoffman, Annette Benning, Kevin Pollak, Robin Williams and Joe Montegna. Levinson is pretty open about the films he discusses and this includes talking about meeting Mel Brooks and working on SILENT MOVIE and HIGH ANXIETY. From here we learn about the making of DINER, how he met Robert Redford at Sundance and got involved with THE NATURAL and how TIN MEN came to be. From here we learn why he wanted a different take on GOOD MORNING, Vietnam and how originally Dustin Hoffman came to him to try and get him to talk Sydney Pollack into doing RAIN MAN. Levinson talks about how he finally got the job and what really sold him on the relationships in the movie. Also discussed is BUGSY and how the director wanted to make sure that he could make it as real as possible. We hear that TOYS was his pet project but no details are given on the film. Levinson discusses how he didn't want actual nudity in DISCLOSURE and talks about the controversy in SLEEPERS. Also discussed is how WAG THE DOG ended up getting connected to the Bill Clinton scandal and the inspirations for LIBERTY HEIGHTS. The one thing that nearly every cast member here talks about is the way that Levinson wants everything to be as real as possible. He even told a couple actors not to go to film school because he didn't want a coach messing with what he saw in the audition process. Fans of the director or series will enjoy this entry as the director tells plenty of good stories.


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