CORMAN’S WORLD: EXPLOITS OF A HOLLYWOOD REBEL
I have to be honest, I had heard of Roger Corman but I never realized just how much of his work I was actually familiar with. He has over 300 films under his belt and he is still producing and directing with his wife Julie. They continue to work and distribute their films outside of the studio system. What’s even more amazing than that is the fact that he has never lost money on a film.
Roger Corman is a natural rebel so when the studios all told him “NO” he decided to start his own company. His films were raw, gritty, told real stories, told fantastic stories, amazing creatures, had people being eaten alive and the list goes on and on. After seeing this documentary I can understand where directors like George Lucas, Quentin Tarantino and Steven Spielburg all pulled inspiration from Roger Corman’s work.
Many Hollywood icons appear in this tribute to Roger Corman. They give him credit for giving them work when nobody else would and for helping launch their iconic careers. There’s even a point where Jack Nicholson is brought to tears. Corman believes in capitalizing on undiscovered talent and pushing the boundaries of independent filmmaking.
This documentary was very inspirational to me. I felt like I got to experience Corman’s drive and passion for filmmaking first hand. Along with his passion to strive for success no matter what the odds or who tells you “NO”. Failure just is not an option.
My favorite quote is the tail end of a statement when Roger Corman says “...my mind is a boiling inferno...” and he captures what’s in his mind on film. His movies were sometimes shot in a couple days with leftover film sets from something else and zero “real” script and tons of people love those films. I personally love the original “Little Shop of Horrors”. With the puppet plant and shot in black and white. Movies where monsters were real people in suits and not just computer generated fiction. I think the actors react better to a more hands on approach versus talking and reacting to tennis balls on a stick.
Learning how Corman produces movies gives me hope for my own film ideas. That inspiration, combined with Lloyd Kaufman’s quote that “ if you have a camera you can make your own damn movie” (check out his book), I’m now wondering what’s holding me back...
Director Alex Stapleton did a wonderful job splicing together archival footage following Roger’s career, interviews with stars (such as Paul W.S. Anderson, Robert DeNiro, Pam Grier, Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, William Shatner, and the list goes on & on...) and first hand commentary for the man of the hour himself, Roger Corman.
I highly recommend this kick-ass, bikini lady devouring documentary to every filmmaker and to anyone who has a true love for movies.
Keep on rockin’ Roger Corman!
Check out the trailer for this documentary and meet the rebel who brought his visions to the big screen.