In 1975 a group of New Zealand filmmakers decided the best way to get to Cannes was to make a film about Cannes. And so they went to France and shot their experience. They went to movies and they also talked to filmmakers who were there that year, and what a group they got on film: Paul Bartel, Tobe Hoper, a very young Steven Spielberg (interviewed on the spot where he came up with some of the most famous moments in Jaws, which was still a new film), Werner Herzog with his family, Martin Scorsese all twitchy and Dustin Hoffman looking very relaxed.
The film they ended up with was Lost In The Garden of the World, and it’s a remarkable look at some of the greatest talents of late 20th century cinema when they were young. These are relaxed interviews with people who hadn’t yet been interviewed to death; revealing, casual and fascinating, this documentary (which aired on New Zealand TV)is a must watch.
And now you can. Here! Embedded below is the entire film. It starts off slow in part one, but once the interviews begin, things get great fast.
Thanks to Ant Timpson for the heads up on this.
Part 1: Paul Bartel talks Death Race 2000 and why the car is the perfect thing for an American death sport. Tobe Hooper talks Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and pulling thorns from his actresses’ breasts. Both discuss starting in exploitation.
Part 2: Steven Spielberg, just after Jaws, talks about how he thinks it’s a sequel to the novel, not an adaptation, and why he cut the love story out of the film. He also talks about how filmmakers think they’re immortal, illustrated by an incredible story of danger - and seeing the world in 1.85.
Part 3: Werner Herzog talks earning scars.
Part 4: An amped up Martin Scorsese talks about working with a kid on Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore while an impish Dustin Hoffman, promoting Lenny, talks about being famous.