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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Luigi 'Titta' Benzi,
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Filmmaker Jonathan Caouette's documentary on growing up with his schizophrenic mother -- a mixture of snapshots, Super-8, answering machine messages, video diaries, early short films, and more -- culled from 19 years of his life.
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 »
One can't help but feel sorry for Mark Wexler. Goodness gracious me. To have a genius for a father. Not an easy thing. Rita Hayworth after her marriage with Orson Welles say "Being married to a genius is exhausting" Imagine being the son. Naturally Mark is a sucker for punishment. He gets himself in the lions cage knowing that he's the lion's favorite dish. In any case. Bravo Mark! I don't think we'll ever have a more realistic, balanced and fair portrait of Haskell Wexler. The documentary is unavoidably manipulated by its subject but even that shows a private side of the man and his amusingly enormous ego that couldn't have come to the fore if it wasn't for Mark Wexler. I enjoyed, with certain moments of real discomfort, this wonderful documentary about one of the greatest pains in the ass that ever lived. His work will live forever and this film signed by his son will travel in time as a perfect companion.
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