PN 43: Laurent Bouzereau & Mark Harris on “Five Came Back”
Steven Spielberg is the executive producer for the new 3-part Netflix series “Five Came Back” about the Hollywood directors who put their fiction careers on hold during World War II as they went to make propaganda documentaries for the U.S. government. The five were Frank Capra, John Ford, William Wyler, George Stevens and John Huston.
On this episode, Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers speaks with the key creators of the series, writer Mark Harris and director Laurent Bouzereau. The series is based on Harris’ book “Five Came Back.” Bouzereau has a long career directing documentaries about the making of Hollywood films, including several of Spielberg’s.
For the Netflix series, they enlisted contemporary Hollywood directors to talk on camera about their predecessors: Spielberg on Wyler; Guillermo Del Toro on Capra; Paul Greengrass on Ford; Lawrence Kasdan on Stevens; and Francis Ford Coppola on Huston.
Among the films discussed are Capra’s “Why We Fight”; Ford’s “The Battle of Midway”; Wyler’s “The Memphis Belle”; Huston’s “San Pietro” and “Let Their Be Light”; and also the lesser known contributions of African-American writer Carlton Moss to the film “The Negro Soldier.” All these films are streaming on Netflix for a limited time.
Pure Nonfiction is distributed by the TIFF podcast network. This interview was recorded at the School of Visual Arts’ MFA Social Documentary program.