Angela Ismailos is an attractive blonde who suggests the young Melina Mercouri. She is front and center in Great Directors, her unstructured collection of interviews with filmmakers whose work is better known on the art-house circuit than at the multiplex.
From the relaxed and thoughtful responses of her subjects - who are Bernardo Bertolucci, Catherine Breillat, Liliana Cavani, Stephen Frears, Todd Haynes, Richard Linklater, Ken Loach, David Lynch, John Sayles, and Agnes Varda - Ismailos clearly has their respect.
Yet her generic questions about the politics, economics, and aesthetics of film yield predictably generic responses from her subjects.
Still, Frears (Dangerous Liaisons, The Grifters, The Queen), Sayles (Eight Men Out, Matewan, Lone Star), and Varda (Cleo From Five to Seven, Vagabond, The Gleaners and I) are such natural storytellers that their responses transcend Ismailos' questions.