THERE'S A SCENE in Daniel Raim's documentary Something's Gonna Live in which two doddering old men revisit Bodega Bay, California, where Alfred Hitchcock shot 1963's The Birds. The men are production designer Robert F. Boyle and storyboard artist Harold Michelson, and they seem gently befuddled by the changes in the landscape. There are more trees than there were before. The houses all look different. ("The nerve!" says Michelson.) The Birds could never be made today, they agree; it would be ruined by computers, and everything's made with computers nowadays, ever since that movie with the dinosaurs.
This kind of free-rambling confusion and complaining is the charm of Something's Gonna Live, which documents six very, very old men and their remembrances of moviemaking. Boyle is the centerpiece, a relatively spry geezer who taught at the American Film Conservatory up until his death, in August, at age 100. There's also Albert Nozaki, a genius production designer who was interned at a camp during World War II and who went blind at the peak of his career in the mid-'60s. The others are cinematographer Conrad L. Hall, director Haskell Wexler, and production designer Henry Bumstead; through their memories, Something's Gonna Live evokes the Hollywood of years ago. If they're to be believed, it ain't like it used to be.