Walsh had just entered “voluntary” retirement—he had been offered some westerns to be shot in Yugoslavia but turned them down—at the moment when Labarthe and Knapp went to film him in his Los Angeles home. All around the city was smoldering: the Watts riots had broken out just a few days before the crew’s arrival, and tensions were still high. Perhaps not coincidentally, Walsh’s conversation remains firmly in the past: his work with D.W. Griffith; his beginnings at Warner Brothers; his adventures with Bogart, Flynn, Gable and Cooper. Questions about his films—illustrated by clips from High Sierra, Gentleman Jim, White Heat, et al.—inevitably lead to memories for a man clearly more comfortable in Hollywood’s past than present. (62m)

Screening with:
Josef von Sternberg: From Silence Comes the Other/D’un silence l’autre
André S. Labarthe | 1967 | France | 50m
In an article published in the French magazine Trafic, Labarthe recounted how, after arriving at Joseph von Sternberg’s hotel and setting up his camera and lights, the director began to adjust the lights, turning them or changing their intensity until he got the look he wanted. The interview itself follows suit: Von Sternberg speaks with great precision about his films, the importance of each composition, and his work with actors, yet there’s a note of sadness throughout. At the end of his career, the master director claims simply that his work was never really understood, neither by critics nor the public.

Images courtesy of THE KOBAL COLLECTION