Interview with Matthew Mishory, director of A Portrait of James Dean: Joshua Tree, 1951

Matthew Mishory’s debut feature length film is a speculative biopic of one of Hollywood’s most iconic actors. Set during the years preceding his brief film career, it is an unconventional telling, concerning itself more with tone and poetry, rather than plot. Set primarily in the desert of Joshua Tree national park, the film presents James Dean as a young poet finding his voice; a man on the cusp of greatness, but in many ways innocent to all that surrounded him. Ali Gardiner talks to the director to find out the inspiration and motivation behind the movie.

A Portrait of James Dean: Joshua Tree 1951 – DVD Review

Even if you've never seen a James Dean film, there is one thing you can say for sure: the man was, without a doubt, an icon. That as a stand-alone statement, however, leaves a question open: if we take the definition of icon as “a person or thing that is regarded as a representative symbol of something”, what, then, is James Dean an icon of?