IMDb > William Eggleston in the Real World (2005)

William Eggleston in the Real World (2005) More at IMDbPro »


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Release Date:
18 November 2005 (UK) See more »
Plot Keywords:
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Happy to have been born in a world with William Eggleston and Michael Almereyda See more (5 total) »


  (in credits order)
William J. Eggleston ... Himself
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Michael Almereyda ... Himself - Narrator
Winston Eggleston ... Himself
Leigh Haizlip ... Herself

Directed by
Michael Almereyda 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Michael Almereyda 

Produced by
Michael Almereyda .... producer
Jesse Dylan .... producer
Anthony Katagas .... producer
Heather Parks .... associate producer
James Patterson .... associate producer
Donald Rosenfeld .... executive producer
Alexis Zoullas .... executive producer
Original Music by
Simon Fisher-Turner  (as Simon Fisher Turner)
Cinematography by
Michael Almereyda 
Film Editing by
Joshua Falcon 
Johannes Weuthen 
Production Management
Lloyd Forcellini .... post-production supervisor
Sound Department
Catherine Harper .... foley artist
Orada Jusatayanond .... sound editor
Anna Rieke .... sound
Clayton Weber .... assistant sound editor (as Clay Weber)
Clayton Weber .... foley artist (as Clay Weber)
Elmo Weber .... re-recording mixer
Elmo Weber .... sound editor
Camera and Electrical Department
Richard Rutkowski .... additional camera: New York
Editorial Department
Miye Bromberg .... assistant editor
Jimmy Drakoulias .... on-line editor
Walter Lefler .... colorist
Music Department
John Tripp .... music clearance
Other crew
William Christenberry .... photograph source
Langdon Clay .... photograph source
Maud Schuyler Clay .... photograph source (as Maude Schuyler Clay)
Rosa Eggleston .... photograph source
Wilmar Koenig .... photograph source
Kelly Sebastian .... production assistant
Rosalind Solomon .... photograph source
Antonio L. Arroyo .... thanks (as Antonio Arroyo)
Barbara Bestor .... thanks
Will Blythe .... thanks
Sam Brumbaugh .... thanks
Rose Cho .... thanks
Sandra Christenberry .... thanks
Caldecot Chubb .... special thanks (as Cotty Chubb)
Langdon Clay .... thanks
Maud Schuyler Clay .... thanks (as Maude Schuyler Clay)
Jem Cohen .... thanks
Rosa Eggleston .... special thanks
Winston Eggleston .... special thanks
Lloyd Fonvielle .... thanks
Peter Galassi .... thanks
Janie Geiser .... thanks
Larry Gross .... thanks
Tom Growskowski .... thanks
Will Jennings .... thanks
Richard Kerr .... thanks
Susan Kismaric .... thanks
Lewis Klahr .... thanks
Manou Kulukundis .... thanks
Paula Malcomson .... thanks
Ralph McKay .... thanks
Weston Naef .... thanks
Barbara Orbison .... thanks
James Patterson .... special thanks
Kelly Sebastian .... thanks
Michael Stipe .... thanks
Barbara Sullivan .... thanks
Suzanne Tenner .... thanks
Aimée Toledano .... thanks
Susan Traylor .... thanks
Bruce Wagner .... thanks
Karin Wandner .... thanks

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

86 min | USA:87 min

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12 out of 14 people found the following review useful.
Happy to have been born in a world with William Eggleston and Michael Almereyda, 21 September 2005
Author: saareman ( from Toronto, Canada

I saw Michael Almereyda's "William Eggleston in the Real World" at its Canadian premiere on Sept. 14, 2005 at the Toronto International Film Festival. The screening was part of the Dialogues program at the Fest but Michael Almereyda was unable to attend due to commitments in New York City so there was no Q&A.

This was a film that grew on me, as it started out very boring and became more and more interesting as time went on. Almereyda starts by following Eggleston and his assistant/son Winston as they wander around Mayfield, Kentucky on a commission from Gus Van Sant to shoot photographs. Almereyda's hand-held camera shakes and picks up the wind and all sorts of extraneous noises while Eggleston barely says anything and even when he does it needs sub-titling to help you make it out.* Then they start making their way home to Memphis, Tennessee and stop off at a ruined house for sale by the side of the road, advertised as a "real fixer-upper", and suddenly you start seeing the beauty of the things that Eggleston is seeing in the damaged green roof or the patterns of sunlight on the dusty floors. Soon you are at home with him where he does some amateur improvisations on his electronic keyboard and piano.

Then he takes you along on a trip to visit his girl-friend Leigh Haslip (Eggleston has meanwhile been quite happily married to his wife Rosa for 40 years, and she must just humor his occasional philandering since she later describes him and his family as "He's sweet, all the Egglestons are sweet, it's in their genes"). At Haslip's house, Eggleston sketches a free-form portrait while Haslip herself rather drunkenly rambles and lounges on a couch in her pajamas. Eggleston is still not saying a lot, but you are gradually liking him more and more, as you realize this is an artist with no pretensions whatsoever. He is what he is and he does what he does and he doesn't care about having to explain himself or his work to you at all. You can take it or leave it.

For the rest of the film you follow along on a few more trips such as to the Getty Museum in LA where Eggleston walks around rather anonymously at his own photographic exhibit. You get to view a few clips from Eggleston's own black and white experimental video film "Stranded in Canton" (1973-74)(see which was also shown at 2005 Toronto Film Fest after having been recently distilled down from 30 hours to about 76 minutes with assistance by director Robert Gordon (see and film editor John Olivio. There is a single scene towards the end where Almereyda finally seems to get Eggleston pinned down at a restaurant and he tries to get him to talk art and photography with provoking statements such as "Real life is an illusion. Photographs are the reality", and Eggleston protests and disagrees and says that he doesn't understand what Almereyda is talking about. So you never really do get any answers from Eggleston himself.

When the credits role at the end with the sound of Roy Orbison's beautiful singing of "In the Real World" you are back again at Leigh Haslip's house where both she and Eggleston are just gleefully enjoying the song on the stereo while they talk about how happy they are to have not been born in the Middle Ages before there was Roy Orbison. And I'm just as happy to have not been born before there were the photographs of William Eggleston and this film by Michael Almereyda.

Addendum: Feb. 11, 2006 * I recently reread this and remembered that it was sometime early in the film when Almereyda comes out with a line describing some of Eggleston's low angle shots as "if they were taken by the family dog" which got a great laugh out of the audience.

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