Taking advantage of an unexpected day off, I ventured out to Metrograph to catch a screening of Filmworker, a documentary about Leon Vitali, an actor that entered the orbit of famed auteur Stanley Kubrick when he landed a role in Barry Lyndon. Instead of drifting back into the cold void of space or burning up in the atmosphere, however, he remained a permanent satellite, becoming the sort of jack-of-all-trades assistant that enables a genius to be a genius by focusing on logistical details and handling the less glamorous responsibilities that might drive a lesser man insane.
This movie spoke to me on a deeply personal level. I’ve always dreamed of building a career as a writer/director, but over the years, I’ve learned that there’s pleasure to be found in simply being involved in the filmmaking process, regardless of one’s specific job title. Filmworker is a beautiful, heartfelt celebration of those unsung heroes who are motivated solely by their love of the industry, rather than a thirst for fame and glory.
[Originally written May 16, 2018.]