James Gray: The Immigrant

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Filmmaker James Gray grew up in New York City. His grandparents immigrated from Russia, coming through Ellis Island and setting up a life on the Lower East Side. But their life wasn't like the 'American Dream' stories Gray had heard as a kid. "There was a kind of a melancholy that pervaded their house," he says, "and I got the sense that they never got over missing the old country and the old culture." Gray has made the family melodrama his metier, but with his latest film, The Immigrant, the story gets personal. He talks about how opera and painting have influenced his filmmaking, and shares a great lesson he learned from Alfred Hitchcock: the plot doesn't need to make sense in order for a film to be great.

Banner image: Anne Joyce



Jenny Radelet