From dustbowl troubadours to suicidal romantics and the dangers of celebrity, the films of Hal Ashby capture a moment in America’s timeslip from ’60s rebellion readjusted for compulsive mid-life shirks. In observance, director/producer David O. Russell captures my sentiments when he says, “People younger than me would ask, ‘You haven’t seen Harold and Maude? You have to see it!’” I avoided it for years; then, on my 30th birthday, I sat through it and found it to be the most life affirming experience captured on film. Through Bound For Glory, Shampoo, Being There and The Landlord, I’m a huge fan of Ashby’s work. Director Amy Scott relies on remembrances from his colleagues – Jon Voight, Beau and Jeff Bridges, Yusuf Islam, Norman Jewison, Robert Towne, Alexander Payne – plus readings excerpted from Ashby’s letters to confidants and friends to reveal how improv and rebellion figured throughout his career, butting heads with studio honchos defending his obsession with the art of film in pictures as pertinent as Coming Home and The Last Detail.