Director Tom DiCillo and John Densmore Interview WHEN YOU’RE STRANGE

Mystery and lore have always surrounded The Doors. To uncover the personal truth behind the legend and reveal it as accurately as possible, independent filmmaker Tom DiCillo drew upon a wealth of original documentary footage shot by Paul Ferrara, frontman Jim Morrison’s UCLA film school buddy, and wove into it scenes from HWY, Morrison’s unreleased experimental film from 1969, in which he starred and made with a group of filmmaker friends. The end result is When You’re Strange, a riveting account of the creative journey of one of the most revolutionary bands seen through the unique prism of America 40 years ago. Narrated by Johnny Depp, the film provides an amazingly perceptive perspective on The Doors.

We sat down with director Tom DiCillo and former Doors drummer John Densmore at a recent roundtable interview to discuss their new film. DiCillo’s most recent feature film, Delirious was released in 2007. When You’re Strange is his first full-length documentary. Densmore was far more than merely the rhythmic engine of The Doors. He brought a highly evolved sense of dynamics, structure and musicality to his beats. DiCillo and Densmore talked to us about the challenge of combining an overwhelming amount of 40-year-old footage into a cohesive narrative to capture the zeitgeist and fraction of an era while providing insight into who The Doors were, what they became and what they meant to our culture.

Q: How long have you been working on this project, from the point of conception until now?

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