Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel 2011 ★★★½

Over the course of 90 minutes or so a variety of Hollywood big shots line up to give Roger Corman a tongue bath. Martin Scorsese, Peter Fonda, William Shatner, Ron Howard among them. Even Jack Nicholson, who hardly ever gives interviews, breaks cover to give an illuminating and heart-felt contribution.

On the face of it it's surprising that this A-list love fest should be for a man who has made so many genuinely terrible, terrible films (some of which I have enjoyed enormously), but, as this warm and watchable little doc points out, Corman has been enormously influential from his self-imposed side-line, and he gave the first break to many of those listed above when no-one else in the industry wanted to touch them.

What's more, when self-styled Hollywood mavericks think they're rebelling when they turn up to the Oscars wearing a bolo tie instead of a bow tie, the softly-spoken, gentlemanly Corman shows them all what being truly anti-establishment entails. Sixty years (and counting) of absolute dogged refusal to conform to the mainstream, preferring his career remain on the margins than to bend to the will of others. Sixty years and hundreds of films done his way. Which counts for something.

Nothing about Battle Beyond the Stars though, which disappointed me.

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