Photo Stories

The Friendship Is Off-Camera And Not On-Camera

Abhishek Srivastava - 78 weeks ago

It might come as a shock to many that a portion of Scarface was directed by Steven Spielberg. It was only at Spielberg’s request that his name was not mentioned in the final credits of the film. Behind this sweet gesture also lies years of friendship that Spielberg shares with Brian De Palma, the maker of cult classics like Scarface, Dressed to Kill, Carrie and Mission Impossible. We often get to see bonhomie and camaraderie between actors as they are very much in our face but behind the camera it’s a different world where directors share a close bond with members of their own fraternity sometimes even beyond the shores.

(Steven Spielberg and George Lucas during the shooting of Indiana Jones And The Raiders of The Lost Ark)

George Lucas and Steven Spielberg met each other for the first time in 1967 during the debut of Lucas’ THX 1138 at a student film festival in UCLA. The movie left a deep impression on Spielberg and it was only after four years when they met again. The occasion was screening of Duel at Francis Ford Coppola’s house. According to Lucas who had initially planned for catching ten minutes of the film was hooked on for the entire length of the film. The friendship of 52 years is still intact. 

(Akira Kurosawa and Martin Scorsese enjoying a lighter moment during the Cannes Film festival in 1990)

Akira Kurosawa, the famed director from Japan, through his films managed to influence a generation of filmmakers including Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese. One of his lesser known film titled Dreams had Martin Scorsese in the role of Vincent Van Gogh. Dreams had eight vignettes based on eight dreams and the fifth episode had Martin Scorsese as Van Gogh. 

(Filmmakers John Boorman, Billy Wilder, Michelangelo Anotnioni and Satyajit Ray enjoying a tea break during the 1984 Cannes Film Festival (Image Courtesy – Cannes Film Festival)

Satyajit Ray in his recorded speech for the Oscar had mentioned that he had written a letter to Billy Wilder expressing his admiration for his direction after he saw Double Indemnity and Sunset Boulevard but he never bothered to reply back to his letter. Sitting among the audience during the 1992 Oscar ceremony was also Billy Wilder when the recorded speech was being played on the stage. Few days after that speech Satyajit Ray got an Air Mail which mentioned the name of Billy Wilder as the sender. It was letter in which he had apologized for not replying back to Ray’s letter and had wished him a speedy recovery. The letter also had an invitation to visit Hollywood as his guest. But Ray did get a chance to meet his ‘friend’ during the 35th Cannes Film Festival and two other directors to join them for their ‘tea session’ were John Boorman and Michelangelo Antonioni. 

(Alejandro Inarritu and Alfonso Cuaron posing together at an event)

Alejandro Inarritu was bit sceptical about his dark comedy Birdman and thus wanted a voice of reason to vet the film. To get an honest opinion, Inarritu’s first port of call was Alfonso Cuaron. And this was not the first time as Inarritu had made those calls several times in the past. Cuaron and Inarritu along with Guillermo Del Toro are the Mexican wave which have currently taken Hollywood by storm and one common thread which bind them together is their close knit friendship.  

(Jean Luc Goddard and Francois Truffaut during the 1968 Cannes Film Festival which was curtailed midway due to turmoil in France)

Jean Luc Goddard and Francois Truffaut were the torch bearer of French new wave cinema and apart from being great filmmakers they also shared a close bonding with each other. After the two auteur started making film, they were close friends for over a decade before they went separate ways. The French new wave cinema was almost synonymous with Goddard and Truffaut. When they were together, they wrote the grammar but when they parted ways it also showed the loopholes. The two met each other in late 40s while watching a film at the Cine Club du Quartier Latin in Paris. 

(Jim Jarmusch and Wim Wenders together at an event)

Jim Jarmusch’s baptism to the world of cinema happened through Wim Wenders. Jim could make his short film only after Wim helped him with black and white unused stock footage. The same short film was later remade as as Stranger Than Paradise which changed the trajectory of Jim’s career.


Steven Spielberg / Brian De Palma / George Lucas / Satyajit Ray / Billy Wilder / Martin Scorsese / Akira Kurosawa / Jim Jarmusch / Wim Wenders / Jean Luc Goddard / Francois Truffaut / Alejandro Inarritu / Alfonso Cuaron

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of The Film Hashery.

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