Gary Leva’s Documentaries About Filmmaking

Filmmaker and film historian Gary Leva has distinguished himself as the creative force behind scores of documentaries, broadcast programs and Special Features, many of them focused on the cinematic arts. Leva’s documentaries have made a lasting contribution to the history of film. His award-winning A Legacy of Filmmakers premiered at the Telluride Film Festival and received a New York Film Society screening at Manhattan’s Guggenheim Museum. This documentary illuminates the creation of Francis Ford Coppola’s landmark film company American Zoetrope, set against the changing landscape of American cinema in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The film is now a part of the curricula at several top universities. Leva’s celebrated documentaries on the cinema of George Lucas span the entire range of Lucas’ career, from his earliest student films to his first feature, THX 1138, to the Star Wars series and beyond. His collections of documentaries on filmmakers Alfred Hitchcock, Clint Eastwood and Stanley Kubrick are often regarded as the top anthology on each of these master’s works. Having earned a distinguished reputation as a leader in his field, Leva continues to work with the top filmmakers of our time, including Christopher Nolan, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee, Robert Redford, Oliver Stone and many others. Leva is an adjunct professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts as well as Pepperdine University.

A LEGACY OF FILMMAKERS: THE EARLY YEARS OF AMERICAN ZOETROPE

Winner of numerous awards, this one-hour documentary received its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival, followed by a New York Film Society screening at Manhattan’s Guggenheim Museum. The film illuminates the creation of Francis Ford Coppola’s landmark San Francisco film company American Zoetrope, set against the changing landscape of American cinema in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Narrated by Richard Dreyfuss.


CASABLANCA: AN UNLIKELY CLASSIC

How a movie destined for disaster overcame impossible odds to become a classic.


MICHAEL CURTIZ: THE GREATEST DIRECTOR YOU NEVER HEARD OF

This first-ever video biography of one of Hollywood’s greatest—but least known—filmmakers illuminates the work and life of the man who made such classics as Captain Blood, Yankee Doodle Dandy, The Adventures of Robin Hood and Casablanca.


CABARET: THE MUSICAL THAT CHANGED MUSICALS

When Cabaret opened in 1972, movie musicals were at an all-time low, following the failure of big-budget projects like Hello Dolly! Bob Fosse reinvented the movie musical, injecting Cabaret with a sense of gritty realism and paving the way for a new generation of films. On the film’s 40th anniversary, Liza Minnelli, Joel Grey, Michael York and their collaborators look back at the creation of this cinematic landmark, winner of eight Academy Awards.


VISION OF A FUTURE PASSED: THE PROPHESY OF 2001

In 2001: A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick showed us what the future might look like. Discover how much of Kubrick’s vision predicted a world of fantasy—or today’s reality.


STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF KUBRICK: THE LEGACY OF 2001

For filmmakers like George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey was life changing, redefining what cinema could be.


THE VISIONS OF STANLEY KUBRICK

As much as any film he ever made, The Shining illustrates Kubrick’s talent for using the language of pure cinema to tell his stories.


VIEW FROM THE OVERLOOK: CRAFTING THE SHINING

In 1966, Stanley Kubrick mused to a friend about his desire to make “the world’s scariest movie.” In 1980, he did it.


GREAT BOLSHY YARBLOCKOS: MAKING A CLOCKWORK ORANGE

Follow Stanley Kubrick as he fearlessly creates one of the most controversial and misunderstood films of all time.


TURNING LIKE CLOCKWORK

An absorbing look back at the cultural impact and lasting influence of Stanley Kubrick’s uncompromising masterpiece, A Clockwork Orange.


FULL METAL JACKET: BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL

Follow Stanley Kubrick as he creates his savage and brilliant Vietnam film, hewing closely to the theme that dominated his creative life for four decades—the duality of human nature.


LOST KUBRICK: THE UNFINISHED FILMS OF STANLEY KUBRICK

Narrated by Malcolm McDowell, this documentary examines the films Stanley Kubrick developed but didn’t live long enough to make.


FOG CITY MAVERICKS: THE FILMMAKERS OF SAN FRANCISCO

From the creation of the motion picture by Eadweard Muybridge in 1879… to Charlie Chaplin… to George Lucas, Francis Coppola and Pixar… the filmmakers of San Francisco have done nothing short of change the world. Gary Leva’s feature documentary explores the rich cultural heritage of cinema in the San Francisco Bay area. Through interviews with such filmmakers as George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola, Philip Kaufman, Saul Zaentz, Clint Eastwood, John Lasseter and many others, Fog City Mavericks uncovers the independent spirit and unique vision that characterizes this extraordinary collection of cinema pioneers. This renowned film also examines how the DNA of San Francisco affects—and reflects—the lives and work of its artists, mirroring the culture of individuality and innovation that makes San Francisco a unique creative community.


FILM NOIR: BRINGING DARKNESS TO LIGHT

Film Noir burrows into the mind; it’s disorienting, intriguing and enthralling. Noir brings us into a gritty underworld of lush morbidity, providing intimate peeks at scheming dames, mischievous misfits and flawed men—all caught in the wicked web of a twisted fate. Bringing Darkness to Light is the definitive Film Noir documentary, exploring the roots of the genre, its expressions and meanings, and its influence on world cinema. Lavishly illustrated with clips from great Noir classics, the film explores the genre through interviews with filmmakers, actors, and writers such as Christopher Nolan, Sydney Pollack, Paul Schrader, Michael Madsen, Gordon Willis, William Goldman and James Ellroy.


VICTOR FLEMING: MASTER CRAFTSMAN

Ask film fans about the great directors of Hollywood’s Golden Age and the names come spilling forth… Frank Capra, John Ford, Cecil B. de Mille, Alfred Hitchcock… Yet the man who directed two of cinema’s unquestioned masterpieces, Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz, remains largely unknown. This first-ever documentary on the life and work of the great Victor Fleming means to change all that.


THE SOUND OF HITCHCOCK

Join Academy Award-winning sound designers as they reveal how Alfred Hitchcock employed sound to make audience members leap from their seats in fright or crawl under them from excruciating suspense.


PURE CINEMA: THROUGH THE EYES OF HITCHCOCK

Director Martin Scorsese is our guide into the power and mastery of Hitchcock’s visual style, breaking down landmark sequences from Vertigo, The Birds and Psycho.


IN THE MASTER’S SHADOW: HITCHCOCK’S LEGACY

Martin Scorsese, Guillermo del Toro, William Friedkin and many others celebrate the enduring legacy of the man many consider the greatest filmmaker the medium has yet produced. Discover why Alfred Hitchcock’s movies thrill audiences and inspire filmmakers, who continue to employ his cinematic techniques to this day.


BERNARD HERRMANN: HITCHCOCK’S MAESTRO

An illuminating portrait of one of Alfred Hitchcock’s most important collaborators, film composer Bernard Herrmann.


SAUL BASS: TITLE CHAMP

Directors Martin Scorsese, Guillermo del Toro and others pay tribute to Saul Bass, who revolutionized the art of movie titles.


DELIVERANCE: THE CAST LOOKS BACK

On the 40th anniversary of the film’s release, the cast of Deliverance gathers to remember the film that changed their lives.

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