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An Evening with Haskell Wexler and his film “Who Needs Sleep?”

Haskell Wexler comes to the TCA
An Evening with Haskell Wexler and his film “Who Needs Sleep?”
Friday, May 21 at 7:30 PM
Taos Community Auditorium

Milagro at Los Luceros – a collaboration between Robert Redford, Governor Bill Richardson, the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, and the New Mexico Film Office, which is part of the state’s Economic Development Department – and the Taos Center for the Arts are excited to present an evening with Haskell Wexler.

The free event will consist of a screening of Mr. Wexler’s documentary film “Who Needs Sleep” and a discussion of the film and its content.

Haskell Wexler is one of the most important cinematographers working in the film industry today. Wexler has photographed a wide range of films that have earned him five Academy Award nominations and two Oscars for Best Cinematography. In 1965, Wexler was chosen to shoot Mike Nichols' screen version of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Wexler won an Academy Award for the film's brutal, black-and-white cinematography in 1967. He won a second Oscar in 1976 for Bound for Glory, a biography of Woody Guthrie (whom Wexler had met during his time in the Merchant Marine). Bound for Glory was one of the earliest feature films to use the Steadicam in a famous sequence that also incorporated a crane shot. He was also credited as additional cinematographer on Days of Heaven in 1978 which won a Best Cinematography Oscar for Nestor Almendros. He has also worked on documentaries with human rights activist Saul Landau. The 1980 documentary Paul Jacobs and the Nuclear Gang earned an Emmy award.
Wexler has directed only a handful of movies, but among them was the influential Medium Cool, a film written by Wexler and shot in the cinéma vérité style. It incorporated riot footage from the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
Haskell was awarded the International Documentary Association's 2006 Career Achievement Award, and in January of 2007 he won The SOC’s Board of Governors Award for Lifetime Achievement. His most recent documentary Who Needs Sleep? was inspired by the 1997 death of assistant camera operator Brent Hershman in a car crash caused by the fatigue of up to 19-hour work days, Wexler and co-director Lisa Leeman's documentary is part of a movement within the industry to make "12 hours on, 12 hours off" the norm, an idea the labor unions have yet to get behind. The film incorporates comments from crew members and from stars such as Paul Newman, Julia Roberts, Tom Hanks, Annette Bening and Billy Crystal; directors Sam Mendes, John Sayles, Andy Davis and Richard Donner; and top cinematographers Roger Deakins, Vittorio Storaro and Caleb Deschanel. There's also a considerable amount of time spent with Wexler's late best friend Conrad Hall, with speculation that the difficult conditions and long hours on his last film, "Road to Perdition," may have helped do him in.
For more information about the film and Haskell Wexler’s blog visit
“Who Needs Sleep?” Running time: 78 MIN.

For information contact Dancer Dearing at 758-2052 or email
Taos Center for the Arts
133 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, Taos, NM 87571
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