HAROLD AND LILLIAN: A HOLLYWOOD LOVE STORY, TrustMovies had never heard of the husband-wife team of storyboard artist Harold Michelson and film researcher Lillian Michelson, two of the unjustly unsung folk who labored for decades in film-making areas that the Motion Picture Academy has never seen fit to honor.
Daniel Raim, shown at right, the movie certainly honors the two, along with the fields in which they worked. Unless you are already a knowledgeable part of the motion picture industry, you'll come out of this film with a new understanding of exactly what a good storyboard artist and film researcher can contribute to a movie -- from helping a director and editor get exactly the right shots in the right sequence to learning what kind of underwear teenage girls might have worn in turn-of-the-century Russia.
Hitchcock, above (the director asked specifically for Harold to do his storyboards on for The Birds), to The Graduate (below), about which after reading the screenplay, Lillian tells us, Harold couldn't understand why folk found the film funny. That's what Mike Nichols with his keen understanding of humor, contributed. Harold's storyboards, it seems, contributed a lot of the film's best visuals. When we see a clip of Nichols accepting his Oscar for direction and thanking the "group effort" that made this possible, you'll be shaking your head white muttering, "Indeed!"
The Ten Commandments is one of the best known -- that by the end of the documentary we're utterly sold on the importance of the storyboard artist. We also come to better appreciate Lillian's research work.
David Lynch to Danny DeVito (above) -- are also on hand to sing the Michelsons' praises. Deservedly so. DeVito, especially, is a font of knowledge and fun. Comparing Harold's storyboard art to the finish film (as in Winter Kills, below) -- which the movie often lets us do, is is eye-opening, too.
The Artist and La La Land) and also how very good this new documentary is, I think I see an Oscar contender here.
Zeitgeist Films -- a company that doesn't release a hell of a lot of movies, but I am having trouble recalling even one of their films I didn't hugely appreciate -- Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story opens this Friday, April 28. in New York City at the Quad Cinema and on May 12 in Los Angeles, at Laemmle's Monica Film Center, Playhouse 7 and Town Center 5. To view all currently scheduled playdates, with cities and theaters listed, click here.