Despite his famous last name, documentarian Robert Anderson Clift never met his famous uncle, actor Montgomery Clift. Yet that has never stopped him from being fascinated with the man who many said lived in a world of agony over being gay. With that in mind Clift and his partner, Hillary Demmon, decided to lift the veil on this perception of Clift, documented in the insightful Making Montgomery Clift. Clift and Demmon sat down with Film Radar to discuss their wealth of Clift information, the struggles to make a Clift biopic, and more.
The tragedy and sadness of Montgomery Clift’s life is well-documented. As a montage in Robert Anderson Clift and Hillary Demmon’s documentary, Making Montgomery Clift, shows, the actor with the impossibly chiseled face was referred to as a “beautiful loser,” “tortured,” and suffering “the longest suicide in Hollywood history.” But Clift and Demmon, who never met the actor before his passing in 1966, set out to tell a story wholly divorced from those assertions. Indeed, Making Montgomery Clift isn’t the story of the rise and fall of a man fractured by his homosexuality, as has been repeated through the decades. Instead, their documentary seeks to look at how personas are shaped after death, and how the need to promote homosexuality as something to fear fueled much of what we know about Clift, leading to a documentary more intrigued at looking at the lives left behind, then the one lived.
Lisa Immordino Vreeland is a woman who enjoys the the world of art. Vreeland has already shined her light on two creators already, in her 2011 debut Diana Vreeland: The Has to Travel as well as her 2015 work Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict, and looks at the man who made nearly every facet of popular culture turn. Love, Cecil is an incisive look at author and designer Cecil Beaton, lifting the veil to explore a man fraught with insecurities. Vreeland talked to Film Radar about Love, Cecil, falling in love with the “bright young things” of the 1930s and more.