Writers on Film


Lynne Sachs: Portrait of a Filmmaker Who

Season 1, Ep. 23
John Bleasdale talks to Lynne Sachs, the Memphis born, Brooklyn based filmmaker on the eve of a season of her works being streamed on the Criterion Channel. Since the 1980s, Sachs has created cinematic works that defy genre through the use of hybrid forms and collaboration, incorporating elements of the essay film, collage, performance, documentary and poetry. Her films explore the intricate relationship between personal observations and broader historical experiences.With each project, sheinvestigates the implicit connection between the body, the camera, and the materiality of film itself.Over her career, Sachs has been awarded support from the Guggenheim Foundation, the NYFA, and Jerome Foundation. Sachs has made40films (includingTip of My Tongue,Your Day is My Night,Investigation of a Flame,andWhich Way is East). Her films have screened at the Museum of Modern Art, Wexner Center, the Walker, the Getty, New York Film Festival, and Sundance. In 2021, Edison Film Festival and Prismatic Ground Film Festival at Maysles Documentary Center awarded Sachs for her body of work.Sachs is also deeply engaged with poetry. In 2019, Tender Buttons Press published her first bookYear by Year Poems.In 2020 and 2021, she taught film and poetry workshops at Beyond Baroque, Flowchart Foundation, San Francisco Public Library, and Hunter.www.lynnesachs.comAfter comprehensive career retrospectives at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2020 and the Museum of the Moving Image in 2021, theCriterion Channel isdelighted to announce that director Lynne Sachs’ films will join the Channel in October 2021 along with a newly recorded director interview exploring her works. Sachs will be making her the Criterion Channel debut withseven earlier works followed by her latest feature,Film About a Father Who, recently released theatrically by Cinema Guild andreceiving its exclusive streaming premiere with the Criterion Channel.

Sam Wasson gives Chinatown The Big Goodbye

Season 1, Ep. 22
L.A. native Sam Wasson studied Film at Wesleyan University and at the USC School of Cinematic Arts before publishing his first book,A Splurch in the Kisser: The Movies of Blake Edwards, which film critic Andrew Sarris deemed “the critical resurrection of Blake Edwards."In 2010, Wasson's Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and the Dawn of the Modern Womanbecame a New York and Los Angeles Times Best Seller. The book has been translated into over a dozen languages, and was named by Entertainment Weekly one of the best pop-culture books of all time.Paul on Mazursky, Wasson’s 2011 book of conversations with the legendary writer-director of Bob & Carol & Ted & Aliceand Down and Out in Beverly Hills, moved director Quentin Tarantino to declare Paul Mazursky "one of the great writer-directors of cinema.”Fosse, Wasson’s award-winning 2013 biography of the legendary director-choreographer, appeared on over a half-dozen Best of the Year lists and was called “one of the most eloquent showbiz accounts in years” by the Chicago Tribune. In conjunction with the Paley Center for Media, Wasson unearthed "Seasons of Youth," a lost 1961 Fosse television special, now publicly available at the Paley Center's archives in New York and Los Angeles.In addition to his work as an author, Wasson has written for numerous publications including The New York Times,The Wall Street Journal, and The New Yorker. He’s served as a consultant for The National Comedy Center in New York and The Film Society of Lincoln Center, was a Visiting Professor of Film at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut and Emerson College in Los Angeles. As panelist and lecturer Wasson has appeared all over the world, from the 92nd Street Y in New York to The Second City in Chicago and the Rome International Film Festival, and has been a featured guest on CNN, BBC, Fox, ABC, NPR, and for The Criterion Collection.In 2017, The New York Times called Wasson's latest book,Improv Nation: How We Made A Great American Art, "one of the most important stories in American popular culture."His latest book, The Big Goodbye: Chinatown and the Last Years of Hollywood, was a New York Times Best Seller. “Sam Wasson’s deep dig into the making of the film,” Janet Maslin wrote, “is a work of exquisite precision. It’s about much more than a movie. It’s about the glorious lost Hollywood in which that 1974 movie was born.”

Gabriel Byrne

Season 1, Ep. 20
John Bleasdale talks to actor, producer, director and author Gabriel Byrne about his autobiography. Walking with Ghostsis the stunningly evocative memoir by Irish actor and Hollywood star, Gabriel Byrne.'Dreamy, lyrical and utterly unvarnished'–Colm TóibínAs a young boy growing up in the outskirts of Dublin, Gabriel Byrne sought refuge in a world of imagination among the fields and hills near his home, at the edge of a rapidly encroaching city. Born to working-class parents and the eldest of six children, he harboured a childhood desire to become a priest. When he was eleven years old, Byrne found himself crossing the Irish Sea to join a seminary in England. Four years later, Byrne had been expelled and he quickly returned to his native city. There he took odd jobs as a messenger boy and a factory labourer to get by. In his spare time he visited the cinema, where he could be alone and yet part of a crowd. It was here that he could begin to imagine a life beyond the grey world of ’60s Ireland.He revelled in the theatre and poetry of Dublin’s streets, populated by characters as eccentric and remarkable as any in fiction, those who spin a yarn with acuity and wit. It was a friend who suggested Byrne join an amateur drama group, a decision that would change his life forever and launch him on an extraordinary forty-year career in film and theatre. Moving between sensual recollection of childhood in a now almost vanished Ireland and reflections on stardom in Hollywood and on Broadway, Byrne also courageously recounts his battle with addiction and the ambivalence of fame.Walking with Ghostsis by turns hilarious and heartbreaking as well as a lyrical homage to the people and landscapes that ultimately shape our destinies.‘Make no mistake about it: this is a masterpiece . . . poetic, moving and very funny’ – Colum McCann, author ofLet the Great World Spin