Posted on Monday, April 11th, 2011 by Angie Han
These days, reality television may be considered by some to be a blight on our cultural landscape, but there was a time when it offered a more honest counterpoint to the idealized families being portrayed on American sitcoms. Back in the early ’70s, filmmaker Craig Gilbert conceived of a documentary series about a California household as a response to shows like The Brady Bunch. The show, “An American Family,” was considered groundbreaking at the time, and is now thought of as one of the earliest examples of reality television.
HBO Films’ Cinema Verite, directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini (American Splendor), tells the story of the making of “An American Family.” James Gandolfini stars as Gilbert, while Diane Lane and Tim Robbins play the parents of the Loud family. We’ve featured spots for the movie here before, and a new trailer has just been released. Check it out after the jump.
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Long before The Real World, Survivor or Jersey Shore, producer Craig Gilbert created An American Family. The PBS documentary special that aired in 1973 was unlike anything ever put on television. It chronicled the real life, daily struggles of the Louds, a seemingly perfect California family who were not only catapulted to fame by the film, but helped usher in a whole new genre: reality television. Cinema Verite is an HBO Original Film that tells the behind the scenes story of this groundbreaking piece of popular culture, starring James Gandolfini as producer Craig Gilbert along with Diane Lane and Tim Robbins and Mrs. and Mrs. Loud, the main subjects of the film.
Directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini (American Splendor), Cinema Verite premieres on HBO April 23. We recently highlighted a first glimpse at the film but you can check out the full trailer after the jump. Read More »
Saoirse Ronan isn’t just in one movie about a teen assassin. The first one is Joe Wright’s Hanna (trailer), in which the actress plays a girl raised by her ex-CIA father (Eric Bana) to undertake a cross-continental assassination mission.
The other is Violet & Daisy, which was written by Oscar-winning Precious screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher, who is also making his directorial debut. The film co-stars Alexis Bledel and James Gandolfini. It shot last year and photos and video have been elusive, but some first snippets of footage have come online via the demo reel for the film’s cinematographer, Vanja Cernjul. Check out the very nice-looking moving images after the break. Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, February 16th, 2011 by Angie Han
Reality stars are a dime a dozen these days, but HBO Films’ Cinema Verite takes us back to a time when that wasn’t the case. The film dramatizes the behind-the-scenes action surrounding PBS’ 1973 documentary series An American Family, which HBO’s marketing team is referring to the first reality show. The series followed a Santa Barbara family called the Louds as parents Pat and Bill filed for divorce.
Cinema Verite stars Diane Lane and Tim Robbins as Pat and Bill, Thomas Dekker (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) as son Lance, and James Gandolfini as producer Craig Gilbert. It was directed by husband and wife team Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini (American Splendor, Wanderlust), and written by David Seltzer (1976’s The Omen). Pretty good pedigree, right? Watch the trailer and read the official synopsis after the jump. Read More »
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Briefly: Every piece of news on Andrew Dominik’s new project Cogan’s Trade makes the film sound better and better. We’ve got the Assassination of Jesse James reunion of the director, Brad Pitt, Sam Rockwell and reportedly Casey Affleck. Then there are James Gandolfini and Bella Heathcote playing additional roles.
Now Richard Jenkins has been added to the cast, playing a lawyer who has inside info on a high-stakes card game that gets robbed, leading mob enforcer Brad Pitt to track down those responsible. The film is based on a crime novel by George V. Higgins, and the film is said to have some comedy elements as well. The Weinstein Company will distribute the film early next year. [Variety]
Four years have passed since The Sopranos cut to black and in that time, series creator David Chase has been laying low. He waited until last year to announce that he’d make his feature film writing and directing debut with an untitled coming-of-age, period rock drama and since then tiny bits of information have slowly formed a bigger picture. That picture is now as complete as it’s going to get as Paramount has announced the full cast for the film.
Once rumored to be called Twylight Zones, we recently learned that Sopranos star James Gandolfini and comedienne Lisa Lampanelli were part of the film, and Variety has now announced that the remaining cast includes Brad Garrett, Bella Heathcote, Christopher McDonald and Molly Price. Read who each actor is going to play, the full cast list and some quotes from Chase after the break. Read More »
While appearing on the Howard Stern Show on Sirius/XM Satalite Radio, comedian Lisa Lampanelli revealed that she had been cast in Sopranos creator David Chase‘s highly anticipated feature film project. The story has been kept under wraps, but Lampanelli gives us an interesting bit of info: she will be playing David Chase’s mother in the movie, because she believes this is a movie about Chase’s teenage years (I’m assuming that it might be inspired by his experiences, much like Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous).
EDIT: In fact, Paramount informs us that her character is an aunt, and that the mother is being played by Molly Price of Third Watch.
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Don’t call it a Sopranos reunion, but James Gandolfini is poised to work with Sopranos creator David Chase once more. The actor has taken a role in Mr Chase’s new project Twylight Zones, aka the film previously referred to as the Untitled David Chase Rock and Roll Movie. In addition, Mr. Gandolfini is circling roles in two other potentially big films: Andrew Dominik‘s Cogan’s Trade, and Stephen Daldry‘s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Read More »
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James Gandolfini is about to start work on Violet & Daisy but is lining up work to take on after that film wraps. One possibility is Great Hope Springs, the matrimonial drama that will re-team director Mike Nichols and Meryl Streep. Jeff Bridges was one possible candidate for the same role over the summer, but he’s out of the picture.
If Gandolfini signs on, he’d also join Philip Seymour Hoffman in the Vanessa Taylor-scripted film about “a husband and wife (Gandolfini and Streep) undergoing an intense weekend of counseling to decide their future after 30 years of marriage.” Streep sparring with Gandolfini with Hoffman as the ref? Yep, I’ll take that. Vulture says the trio is keen to work together, and the film could shoot in March if deals come together.
After the break, the fourth Mission: Impossible gets a new Russian agent, and a spot is held At the Mountains of Madness for Ron Perlman. Read More »
Difficult to believe that, just as Joe Wright’s film Hanna, about a teenage girl trained as an assassin, is readying to hit theaters, post-production will be under way on Violet & Daisy, about two teenage girls trained as assassins. And now, confirming a report from a few days ago, we know that Alexis Bledel will co-star as one of the two killer lassies, alongside Saoirse Ronan. Read More »