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The Paris Review…: Early Chapters
The Paris Review…: Early Chapters
About the film
  • Year
  • Categories
  • Duration 53 minutes
  • Producers Edgar Howard, Katrina Cary, Arvid Nelson
  • Directors Paula Heredia, Edgar Howard, Albert Maysles

In the summer of 1953, an expatriated trio of young Americans — Peter Matthiessen, Harold “Doc” Humes and George Plimpton — founded the international literary quarterly, The Paris Review.

Designed to welcome “the good writers and good poets, the non-drumbeaters and non-axe-grinders,” as then 28-year old novelist William Stryon wrote in an inaugural essay, the Review has continued in this ecumenical spirit ever since.

This documentary, on what has become one of the 20th century’s most influential and enduring avant garde literary institutions, is based on extensive interviews with founders Plimpton, Matthiessen, Styron, Donald Hall, and others, as well as early contributors Mary Lee Settle, James Salter, and Harry Mathews, whose careers began in the pages of this journal.

Shot by award-winning cinematographer Albert Maysles, and directed by Paula Heredia, The Paris Review …Early Chapters revisits a time of extraordinary creative energy and fun.

Guided by the commanding, witty, mischievous presence of George Plimpton, we roam the streets and cafés of Paris, glimpse the expatriate literati world of the 1950s and 60s, and step into the bustling New York offices of the Review, meeting people, past and present, who remain central to this singular literary endeavor.

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