9 months ago


Filmmaker John

Filmmaker John Mulholland’s documentary, “Cooper & Hemingway: The True Gen,” focuses not simply on one fascinating subject, but two: Gary Cooper and Ernest Hemingway. This film explores the differences and surprising similarities between these two cultural giants. 12

Mulholland’s first break was in the 1980s, at the Arts network (A&E). Mulholland was brought in to write and direct documentaries by visionary Curtis Davis, who headed the network. “It was the beginning of cable television,” Mulholland explains. “There were no set running times, and whether our pieces were 27 or 38 minutes, we were allowed whatever it took to tell the story.” His documentary subjects varied from Van Gogh, to Charles Dickens, to Macbeth, to many more subjects he loved. Cooper and Hemingway’s friendship is such a subject. “When I was a teenager, my father introduced me to Hemingway, and I was immediately taken by his simple, no artifice style,” Mulholland reminisces. “I also really liked Gary Cooper— he truly became his characters.” Part of why he chose to make this documentary was because of the way these two men were opposites, yet mirrors, of one another. Hemingway’s public image was that of an academic, war lover, misogynist, and alcoholic. In contrast, Cooper was thought of as dim, a cowboy type who was an overall nice person. Mulholland began wondering how two such apparent opposites could have become so close. The research he began on this ultimately turned into “Cooper & Hemingway: The True Gen.” >>> IN ENTERTAINMENT MAGAZINE 13