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ANNIVERSAY ISSUE 0717 ver2A

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M ulholland was fascinated to learn that both men were highly influential to the nation as a whole—not just as icons, but specifically as males. “For better and worse, both Cooper and Hemingway are responsible for defining what American masculinity meant in the first half of the twentieth century,” Mulholland elaborates. Both men put forth an image of being strong, silent, and ready to face danger, yet never vulnerable. Mulholland’s film shows how such cultural pressures were at points damaging to their careers, as well as to American men as a whole. Mulholland was also intrigued whenever he discovered things about these men that were unexpected. Some of Hemingway’s lesser-known works belied the image the world had of him. His stories “Cat in the Rain” and “A Canary for One” deal with marital dysfunction, while “Up in Michigan” focuses on date rape—and he did not approach these topics in way that would a misogynist. The supposedly unintelligent Cooper, in turn, had many artistic and intellectual friends, entirely outside of the realm of Hollywood. In different ways, both Hemingway and Cooper were forced to repress their more empathic, sensitive sides for the American public at large. There is so much that can fit into a two hour and fifteen-minute documentary. However, when the film is focused on two people and the relationship between them, it can be a struggle to balance all the information on both. “There was much I shot that ended up on the cutting room floor,” Mulholland notes. “For example, they were seemingly opposite politically—Cooper a Republican, and Hemingway a Democrat. However, they were closer aligned than people realized.” One of Mulholland’s favorite anecdotes is about how 14

the iconic fashion designer Bill Blass not only knew Gary Cooper—he considered the actor to have been one of the most powerful fashion influences in the twentieth century. Upon further research, Mulholland was surprised to also learn that fashion also mattered to Hemingway. Although Hemingway lived in Cuba for the last twenty years of his life, he still had shorts crafted from the finest stores in New York. While some of these details were cut from the 2013 final film, fortunately, the upcoming Blu-ray holds them all. W hen asked how he felt as a director working on this film, Mulholland’s response is emphatic: “Anybody who makes documentaries and tells you that they’re a director is full of themselves.” He expounds, “Making a documentary entire relies upon the people you got on camera.” Fortunately for Mulholland, he got many great people to appear. He wanted Joan Didion to be part of the documentary, and while she was unavailable, she was happy to be quoted in it. Charlton Heston was instrumental, showing Mulholland first editions of Hemingway in dozens of languages, and being interviewed on camera. Sam Waterson, of “Law & Order” fame, narrates the film. Actor Chris Pratt has seen the documentary and loved it, for Gary Cooper is whom he studies when he is about to take on a role. Finally, Mulholland is also thrilled to have worked with premiere documentarian Craig Gilbert, who was integral to the production of the documentary. “He helped me pick out where I wasn’t being objective,” Mulholland smiles. “He made sure I didn’t make a film that forced the viewer to see things in a certain way.” Mulholland is excited for the Blu-ray release of “Cooper & Hemingway: The True Gen,” particularly since it holds so many extra features. He is also mid-way through production on his next film, which focuses on the American writer Elmore Leonard (who, incidentally, was mentored by Ernest Hemingway). Mulholland is particularly excited to do a film about Leonard, >>> IN ENTERTAINMENT MAGAZINE 15