Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director


USA, 1990 (MIFF 1990, Documentaries)

Director: Dale Ann Stieber

Maverick: 1. An unbranded animal: esp: a motherless calf. 2. An independent individual who refuses to conform with his group. - Webster's Dictionary

Upon receiving the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award in 1975, Orson Welles accepted it on behalf of all the "maverick" filmmakers who, like himself, did not always fit comfortably within the Hollywood system: "What we do come up with has no special right to call itself better, it's just different."

The definitions of what it means to be a maverick in the American film industry have evolved over the decades; but regardless of the era, a great many of the most original, innovative, exciting and influential films have come from directors who have produced their own work regardless of the pressures of the marketplace.

This feature-length documentary examines cutting-edge American filmmaking from Erich von Stroheim to David Lynch using first hand testimony of the artists themselves. Martin Scorsese, Peter Bogdanovich and Paul Schrader, all directors with keen perceptions of film history, aesthetics and the realities of the industry, explore the triumphs and vicissitudes of Hollywood's rebels and iconoclasts. Using both original filmed material, exceedingly rare interview footage, and drawing from interviews done over twenty years, the film shows how King Vidor persuaded MGM to make the all black early sound musical Hallelujah!, how Orson Welles pieced together Othello over three years in between acting assignments; how Samuel Fuller pushed his bold ideas through on low-budget films; how John Cassavetes survived in Hollywood without succumbing to the studio's power; and how such filmmakers as Coppola, Hopper, Scorsese, Bogdanovich, Schrader, Rudolph and Lynch have, with varying degrees of success, co-existed with the system while still trying to maintain their independence and distinctive voices.

See also...


Ireland/UK/Australia, 1990
Behind The Mask is a unique collaborative production commenced in London, shot in Belfast and completed here in Melbourne. The film initially started life as a project to be made for British televisi… More »


USA, 1990
This film is one of the first comprehensive looks at the student movement of the 1960s as seen from the Berkeley campus. A small student movement becomes a cause celebr√© when the House Un-American A… More »


USSR, 1988
If perestroika seems slow to influence Soviet features, its effect on documentaries is clear in Black Square, an original and lively look at 20th century avant-garde painting in the USSR. ... Directe… More »


USA, 1989
Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt is impressive as a singularly moving and sympathetic account of people whose lives have been profoundly altered, or cut short, by AIDS. ... The 75 minute docume… More »


UK, 1989
Men and women offer us an unknown view of World War II. The quality of the 'head shots' approaches the vivacity of Rosie the Riveter. Using in addition archival footage and enacted segments, we are p… More »

© Melbourne International Film Festival 2013.

Site by MeccaMedialight. Powered by Textstem CMS.