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Gil CatesLinda LavinSamantha MathisDennis Doty

The Source
From Stage to Screen
The Job of Directing

Director Gil Cates
Director Gil Cates:  The Source

We try to tell the story so it's honest and real, and leave out the parts that don't have a specific purpose.

Gil CatesI first saw Collected Stories in New York, at the Manhattan Theater Club, and I was terribly moved by it, by its question of who owns your life, of who has the right to tell your story. I was very excited about getting it to the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, where I directed it with Linda Lavin and Samantha Mathis starring. We had a very successful run and when my partner, Dennis Doty and I decided we wanted to make it into a film, we were fortunate to find that PBS was interested.

      Geffen Playhouse Stagebill

What's sensational about this work is that Donald really takes no sides. You can't help but feel badly for Ruth at the end of the movie obviously. But if you are honest with yourself you will recognize a little of you in both those characters. Margulies is a very wise and adroit writer. He writes these characters with great strength but also with their weaknesses as well.

Underlying Themes

Linda Lavin and Samantha Mathis
Donald Margulies is an amazing writer, with an ability to write women that very few have. These two women, Ruth and Lisa, are extraordinary. In a way it's a mother/daughter relationship -- the younger generation versus older generation -- and there's an All About Eve quality to it.

Right in the middle of this story of young and old and ambition and desire, there is the small yet equally interesting fact of what does it take to become successful in your own terms. In Ruth's terms, a writer is a writer, whatever you write -- fair argument. But in America, now in the 21st century, is a writer a writer? Can you become a really major writer unless you have written a successful novel?

The movies that really touch me are the ones that deal with a battlefield of individuals. The war between people and ideas. Between young and old. That's what we can identify with. That's what we deal with in our own lives. The first film I ever made, I Never Sang For My Father, with Gene Hackman and Melvyn Douglas, had a son trying to break away from his father and now, curiously enough, 35 years later, is a young woman trying to break away from her mentor. And the mentor having to deal with what that means to her own life. Personally, emotionally, this is a significant movie for me.  [ Next Page ]


The Director at Work
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