The son of acclaimed cinematographer Haskell Wexler confronts his complex father by turning the camera on him. What results is a portrait of a difficult genius and a son's path out of the shadow of a famous father.
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Mark Wexler's cinematic blend of biography and autobiography centers on his relationship with his father, legendary Oscar-winning cinematographer and filmmaker Haskell Wexler, whose long and illustrious career is a virtual catalogue of 20th-century classics. Haskell's collaborations with such world-class filmmakers as Elia Kazan, Milos Forman, George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola and Mike Nichols include such works as WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?, AMERICAN GRAFFITI, COMING HOME, BOUND FOR GLORY and ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST. The film features interviews with many of these artists, along with such luminaries as Jane Fonda, Michael Douglas and Sidney Poitier. But the true "star" of TELL THEM WHO YOU ARE is Haskell himself, a controversial, larger-than-life character who challenges his son's filmmaking skills while announcing with complete conviction that he could have done a better job directing most of the movies he's shot. As these two men swap positions on camera and behind it... Written by
Words and Music by Leadbelly (as Huddie Ledbetter) and John A. Lomax
Courtesy of TRO - Ludlow Music, Inc.
Performed by The Weavers
Licensed from and used by permission of Vanguard Records, a Welk music Group Company
(p) Vanguard Records, a Welk Music Group Company See more »
Given the subject matter this could have been a great documentary. Instead it looks like a hap hazard home movie. Mark Wexler totally lost control of the subject -- his father. You get a real sense of who Haskell Wexler is, pretty much of a jerk. He gets thrown off of a film, One Flew Over a Cuckoo's Nest, and he thinks it is because the FBI interfered or threatened the producers. This is ridiculous. He sounds like a total pain in the ass to work with, which is why he was fired from the film. No less than Elia Kazan concedes he is brilliant, but he would never work with him again. Mark's documentary of his father is all over the place, very incoherent, seems to go nowhere. Compare it to My Father the Architect that came out about two years ago and it comes up lacking.
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