Michael Almereyda

Michael Almereyda’s new documentary, William Eggleston in the Real World (at MoMA, January 17 and 19), begins with footage shot five years ago in Mayfield, Kentucky, where Eggleston was carrying out a commission from director Gus Van Sant to photograph the latter’s place of birth. Eggleston’s brilliantly colored, discomforting images have influenced not only photographers but some of the most subversive American filmmakers, including Van Sant, David Lynch, and Almereyda himself. Although best known for his New York–based fiction films—the contemporary, zip code 10021 Hamlet (2000) and the East Village Nadja (1994)—Almereyda hails from Kansas, and his first feature, Twister (1990), is set in an Eggleston-esque heartland. Almereyda is a pseudonym, lifted from another pseudonym, the one adapted by the anarchist father of French director Jean Vigo.

This by way of saying that Almereyda is attuned

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