Documentary filmmaker and author Michael Henry Wilson died of lung cancer June 26 in Westlake, Calif. He was 67.
Known for his deep knowledge of film history and close relationships with filmmakers, Wilson directed documentaries including “A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies,” “In Search of Kundun” with Martin Scorsese and “Le Franc-Tireur” on Clint Eastwood. He also wrote the documentaries “Hollywood Mavericks” (with Todd McCarthy) and “Reconciliation: Mandela’s Miracle” as well as Alan Rudolphi’s 2002 film “Intimate Affairs.”
His books included works on Eastwood, Scorsese, Jacques Torneur, Raoul Walsh and his latest, “At the Gate of Paradise,” about 58 American directors from D.W. Griffith to David Lynch, with a forward by Scorsese.
Wilson was born in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France, and in his twenties published a book on German expressionist cinema and a book on Frank Borzage. He also served as producer Anatole Dauman’s assistant at Argos Films.
For many years, he was a contributor to French cinema magazine Positif. “His books of interviews with Clint Eastwood and Martin Scorsese reveal an immense empathy and understanding of his subjects.He was a master of conversation and analysis, the latter in his monumental magnum opus, ‘At the Gate of Paradise.’ And above all a gentleman and a true and faithful friend,” said Michel Ciment for the board of Positif.
He is survived by his wife Carole, a documentary filmmaker, and three children.