Director-writer Chuck Workman is teaming with producer Charles S. Cohen on “What Is Cinema?,” a documentary feature about the art of filmmaking with Cohen Media Group on board to distribute.
Workman is at the Sundance Film Festival completing interviews for the project, which already includes David Lynch, Mike Leigh, avant-garde film pioneers Jonas Mekas and Yvonne Rainer, contemporary video artist Bill Viola and documentarian Michael Moore. The film, which will include over 100 film clips, uses the same title as French critic Andre Bazin’s book about film.
“Cinema is something we all grew up with and we think we know it,” Workman said. “Or we don’t think about it much, just sit down and enjoy the film. But it changes daily, and this is an attempt to chronicle where it is today and where it will be, or should be, tomorrow.”
Chuck Workman won an Oscar for his 1986 short “Precious Images,” which included memorable moments of a century of cinema.
Workman’s created the montages seen on 20 Oscarcasts, including the In Memoriam segment, along with trailers. His documentaries include “The First 100 Years: A Celebration of American Movies,” “Visionaries,” “Superstar: The Life and Times of Andy Warhol” and “The Source,”: which appeared at Sundance in 1999.
Cohen has also asked Workman to develop two more theatrical documentaries on great figures in American cinema.