Jose Muniain Discussion

November 4, 2009

Filmmaker Jose Muniain will be at IUP on Wed., Nov. 11 to introduce his work An Independent Portrait and talk about it with the audience afterwards.  Students and faculty can also use this space to ask Muniain questions about making and distributing the film; ideas in the film; the artists he focuses on; or any other questions about his career.  You can also just say what you liked in the film or what else you wanted to see.  You can start by going to his website www.anindependentportrait.com  for more information if you’d like.



  1. You filmed an artist painting a portrait of a biographer. In the video clips of Bob’s films you see a lot of anguish and sadness, and in the portait the painter seems to capture Bob’s age and the wear and tear and anguish in his face. Did you intend to show the correlation of these two independent artist’s abilities to capture emotion and feeling in their artworks or was there some other motivation behind it?

  2. In the film you showed a clip of an older film named (Caught) from 1995 i believe and the scene that you showed was very similar to one in a newer film (I am Legend) when the guy was standing on the dock or ledge of some sort of platform looking over the city. In I am Legend Will Smith is in a atmosphere almost identical to that awaiting to see if any survivors will come after the disease has turned everyone into zombie like creatures. I was wondering was it any relavance or reasoning behind that or did you just randomly select that clip to show in your film?

  3. I was wondering if you have any other projects that you are currently working on? If so is the film similar to “An independent portait”?

  4. Something I didn’t realize until we shot how similar in their approach to the work are Bob and Felix. They both like to capture the reality the way is there.
    I haven’t seen I’m a leged, so is pure chance.
    You can see here my latest video

  5. Robert Young had so much to say in this film. He told stories of the past and related them to the conversation between Felix and himself. One of my favorite things that Robert said was that he feels most alive when you loose yourself in the the moment.. that as we experience things we become more and more aware. These are great things to think about. When you chose Robert for the main narrative structure of your film did you think that his age and passion for what he has accomplished would bring so much to the film? Or was age not necessarily a factor?

  6. I just watched your film on Huang Xiang, I found him to be very fascinating. I could really feel his passion, the way that he expressed himself and spoke of his struggles in China were very interesting. To think that at one time in his life he was on death row and now is free living in Pittsburg is amazing.

  7. In the film you included segments of Robert’s documetaries, and I was wondering if you chose the segments to include, if you asked Robert which ones he would like you to include or if it was a collaboration of what you both wanted to include?

  8. Robert did not participate in the selection of the films, he always wanted me to make the decisions in how to portrait him. The same way Felix did with the painting.
    About Huan Xiang, I’m you share the same fascination for the work of City of asylum, Pittsburgh

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