Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley
This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.
Welcome to a Conversation with History. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our guest is movie director Robert Wise, who has just been awarded the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award.
For over fifty years Robert Wise has made great movies. He won the Academy Award for West Side Story and for The Sound of Music. But his movies have done more than just entertain us. Working in all genres, he has helped us think about the human condition. Racism, capital punishment, power and purpose in the corporate boardroom, questions of war and peace, the dangers of nuclear and biological weapons -- all have been addressed at one time or another in his films, and often ahead of his time. After watching a Robert Wise film, we leave the theater not only entertained but also enlightened by a director who uses his mastery of cinema not so much to leave us conscious of his style as to tell us a story so that we might better understand the world around us.
In addition to being a film editor at one time, and a director, Mr. Wise was also President of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, and a winner of the Irving Thalberg Award. A retrospective of his work is being shown at the Pacific Film Archive on the Berkeley campus.
Robert Wise appeared at the Pacific Film Archive on February 27 and 28, 1998, during PFA's tribute to the distinguished career of this director, producer, and former editor.
© Copyright 1998, Regents of the University of California
Photos by Jane Scherr. Site questions: Email iis_webmgr at berkeley.edu.