Corman's 400 films have tapped into youth culture in ways that studios never could. This documentary traces his career with interviews and clips, but also explores his impact on the industry at large. Clearly, he's not only an important filmmaker, but he's also a genuinely nice man (at one point, Nicholson breaks down and cries while talking about him). We also get glimpses behind-the-scenes on 2010's hilarious-looking Dinoshark, proving that his filmmaking methods haven't changed much in nearly 60 years. And we discover that his favourite filmmakers include Bergman, Fellini and Truffaut, whose films he distributed in America.
The film also journeys through Corman's career, starting with his attempts to get into Hollywood before leaving the system to make 1954's Monster From the Ocean Floor. Without attending film school, Corman taught himself the craft through quantity, not quality. And along the way he discovered actors like Nicholson and Shatner and filmmakers like Scorsese and Bogdanovich. Not to mention inspiring everyone else.
Snappy and entertaining, the doc is packed with clips of Corman's fabulously over-the-top movies, notable for the rebellious attitude that has connected with audiences alienated by studio product. Along the way, he made a lot of forgettable bombs, but there were also classics, huge hits and even groundbreaking films like the shocking 1962 integration drama The Intruder or the controversial 1967 drugs drama The Trip. And he's still unequaled in combining serious subtext with crowd-pleasing mayhem.
This is a remarkably thorough documentary, not only exploring Corman's career but also the shifts and changes in the movie business over the past 60 years.
From the social connection of the 60s, to the exploitation formula studios co-opted for blockbusters from Jaws and Star Wars onwards. When he accepted his life achievement Oscar in 2009, he said, "The finest films being are done by filmmakers who have the courage to take a chance." And he should know.
Run time: 95 mins
In Theaters: Tuesday 21st February 2012
Box Office USA: $7.0k
Distributed by: Anchor Bay Films
Production compaines: Gallant Films, A&E IndieFilms, Far Hills Pictures, Stick 'N' Stone Productions
Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Fresh: 44 Rotten: 4
IMDB: 7.6 / 10
Director: Alex Stapleton
Producer: Mickey Barold, Stone Douglass, Izabela Frank, Jeff Frey, Alex Stapleton
Screenwriter: Alex Stapleton, Gregory Locklear
Starring: Martin Scorsese as himself, Robert De Niro as himself, Quentin Tarantino as himself, Jack Nicholson as himself, Ron Howard as himself, William Shatner as himself, Eli Roth as himself, David Carradine as himself, Brett Ratner as himself, Traci Lords as herself, Paul W.S. Anderson as himself, Roger Corman as himself, Eric Balfour as himself