Haskell Wexler: n/c
Owen Gleiberman
May 25, 2005 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Tell Them Who You Are

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
95 minutes
Limited Release Date
05/13/05
director
Mark Wexler
distributor
THINKFilm
author
Robert DeMaio, Mark Wexler
genre
Documentary

We gave it a B

Tell Them Who You Are is a fluky and revealing portrait of the veteran cinematographer Haskell Wexler. A spry 80 when most of it was shot, Wexler is a rude and imperious man, yet he’s possessed by art and life — he’s a sacred monster of testiness. Directed by Wexler’s son Mark, in a therapeutic personal-vérité style, the movie offers up a smattering of tasty yarns about the making of In the Heat of the Night, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and Bound for Glory, but the heart of it consists of Wexler berating his son right on camera, telling him how to direct his movie. More often than not, he’s right. Beneath its exploration of fatherly distance, this is really a portrait of why cranks make better artists than earnest nice guys.

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