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Info: HAL

1 hrs, 30 mins
Jeff Bridges, Ben Foster, Jon Voight, Judd Apatow, Lee Grant, Jane Fonda, Louis Gossett Jr., Pablo Ferro, Robert Towne, Rosanna Arquette
Amy Scott

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Director Hal Ashby was a singular genius and a real free spirit, who flourished in the 1970s with an unprecedented string of great films (Harold and Maude, The Last Detail, Shampoo, Bound for Glory, Coming Home, Being There)—and yet the obsessive and uncompromising nature that brought us these films led to his downfall. He constantly warred with studio executives, and was unable to make the movies he wanted in the 1980s, despite his great track record. Dramatic readings of his heartfelt letters by Ben Foster are hilarious and sad. On camera interviews with Oscar-winning actors Lee Grant, Jane Fonda, Jon Voight, Louis Gossett Jr., Jeff Bridges and more recall how they were empowered by Ashby and granted collaborative freedom. Contemporary directors including Alexander Payne, Judd Apatow, Lisa Cholodenko and David O. Russell attest to the quiet but powerful influence Ashby has had on their own filmmaking. Behind the camera colleagues Norman Jewison, Robert Towne, Haskell Wexler and Pablo Ferro stand witness to Ashby’s brilliance as a filmmaker and the forces that led to his undoing, an archetypal story of art versus industry. Directed by Amy Scott, who, like Ashby, is a former editor.

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