'Something's Gonna Live' receives LA Times'
Film Pick of the Week!
Kenneth Turan's film pick of the week: 'Something's Gonna Live'
If you care about the great days of Hollywood past — and how could you not — its hard to resist "Something's Gonna Live," a charming new documentary that plays for a week starting Friday at the Music Hall in Beverly Hills.
Directed by Daniel Raim, who was Oscar nominated for his short "The Man on Lincoln's Nose," this film is constructed as a series of conversations and reminiscences among some of the grand old men of the visual side of motion pictures: production designers Robert Boyle, Henry Bumstead and Albert Nozaki, illustrator Harold Michelson and cinematographers Conrad Hall and Haskell Wexler.
There is something of the home movie about this film, but that is overcome by the grace, generosity and wisdom of its participants. It's wonderful, for example, to return to Bodega Bay in Northern California with Boyle and Michelson as they reminiscence about making "The Birds" with Alfred Hitchcock. Except for Wexler, all these men are now gone, and they are missed.
— Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times film critic
Photo: Veteran production designers Henry Bumstead, left, Albert Nozaki and Robert Boyle revisit the Paramount backlot. Credit: Haskell Wexler.
Movie review: 'Something's Gonna Live'
Daniel Raim's splendid, deeply moving documentary "Something's Gonna Live," 10 years in the making, takes its title from a remark from its central figure, the eminent production designer Robert Boyle. It is an expression of confidence that the films to which he and his colleagues contributed will live on and on.
Considering that Boyle's friends and co-workers in the film are production designers Henry Bumstead and Albert Nozaki, cinematographers Conrad Hall and Haskell Wexler and storyboard illustrator Harold Michelson and that their combined credits include "North by Northwest, "Vertigo," "The Birds, "In Cold Blood," "The War of the Worlds," "The Ten Commandments," "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" "To Kill a Mockingbird," " Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "Flags of Our Fathers" and "Letters From Iwo Jima," which Bumstead completed in 2006, the year of his death at 91, the legacy of these men surely will endure.
Boyle, Nozaki and Bumstead were USC graduates in architecture who could not get jobs in their field during the Depression but found work at Paramount. Raim follows them from a reunion luncheon and a visit to their old studio, intercutting clips of their work there. Michelson joins Boyle on a return to Bodega Bay, the principal setting for Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds." It is there that Boyle makes a remark, one of many in the film, that lifts it beyond reminiscence and technical history. He says that "The Birds" had "lots of imperfections" that in today's digital age could have been avoided. To him such flaws allow the audience accessibility, a feeling of humanity and uncertainty. For Boyle the unseen is as important — perhaps even more important — than what is seen.
In conversation with Boyle, Wexler, the only member of the group who is still alive and working today, observes of the remake of "The Thomas Crown Affair" — the two men worked together on the original — that its unwillingness to leave anything to the audience's imagination is symptomatic of what's wrong with too many Hollywood movies today.
The committed artists of "Something's Gonna Live," while grateful for their remarkable careers, are not sentimentalists. What a challenge their body of work presents to current and future filmmakers!
"Something's Gonna Live." MPAA rating: Unrated. Running time: 1 hour, 20 minutes. At Laemmle's Music Hall, Beverly Hills.
Something's Gonna Live
Presented by Norman Jewison
Featuring Robert F. Boyle, Henry Bumstead, Conrad L. Hall, Harold Michelson, Albert Nozaki and Haskell Wexler
Written & Directed by Daniel Raim
Executive Produced by Tommy G. Warren
In Association with SPIDERWOOD STUDIOS
Something's Gonna Live Official Website: www.SomethingsGonnaLive.com
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