Thursday, May 17, 2012
BILL W.: AN INTERVIEW WITH THE MAKERS OF THE NEW DOCUMENTARY ON THE CO-FOUNDER OF AA
Bill W.: The First Intimate Documentary
The AA co-founder had to wait 40 years after his death for an up-close and personal documentary, complete with a never-before-seen archival trove. The filmmakers explain what took so long.
By Heather King
In 1999, AA co-founder Bill Wilson was listed by Time magazine in its “100 Persons of the Century” issue. Amazingly, however, we have very little on film about his life and work. There are two Hallmark productions: 1989’s My Name Is Bill W., which tells his story, and 2010’s When Love Is Not Enough, which tells the story of his wife, Lois Wilson, a co-founder of Al-Anon Family Groups. There’s a 1946 “March of Time” newsreel, with photos or footage of AA’s offices but not of the man himself.
Enter producer Dan Carracino and director Kevin Hanlon (both of Page 124 Productions) who, way back in 2003, became fascinated both by Bill’s story and by the phenomenon of AA. Almost a decade in the making, their documentary, Bill W., opens Friday in a host of theaters in New York City, New Jersey, Orange County and Los Angeles.
Neither of you are alcoholics. Why Bill Wilson?
Kevin Hanlon: Dan and I have been friends since high school and always wanted to make a film together. About eight years ago we got serious about it and at that time I just happened to be reading Ernest Kurtz’s book about AA history, Not-God. I found it to be a page-turner—from the first scene where Kurtz describes Bill W. and Ebby [Thacher, an old drinking buddy of Bill’s and, by some accounts, his eventual sponsor] sitting at the kitchen table in front of a bottle of gin, I wanted to know who this guy was and what happened.
Read the rest here!...
*Friends and fans. I'm gonna put off that sequel money-post till next week. But it's a-comin...