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 »
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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 »
Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?
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What is it with HBO and dramatic recreations of classic documentaries? Last year there was Grey Gardens, and now the network is lining up Cinema Verite, which will be a dramatized behind the scenes take on the 1973 PBS doc An American Family. The original series was a big deal; it frankly portrayed family troubles for the first time on television, and one of the family sons was the first openly gay character/personality on American television.
Cinema Verite is written by David Seltzer, with Tim Robbins and Diane Lane set to play parents Bill and Pat Loud; James Gandolfini will play An American Family producer Craig Gilbert. Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini (American Splendor) are directing, which automatically makes the endeavor a bit more interesting. [THR]
After the break, Toni Collette will work again with her Muriel’s Wedding director, and Horrible Bosses gets some good talent. Read More »
American Splendor directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini return to Sundance with The Extra Man, a comedy which will screen in the Premieres section. Based on a novel by Jonathan Ames (Bored to Death), the film tells the story of a down-and-out playwright who escorts wealthy widows in Manhattan’s Upper East Side takes a young aspiring writer under his wing. The cast includes Kevin Kline, Paul Dano, John C. Reilly, and Katie Holmes. After the jump we have photos, a poster, and a very extended plot synopsis from this upcoming film.
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The upcoming Sam Kinison biopic Brother Sam has been written by American Splendor‘s Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, and stars Dan Fogler in the lead role. Judging from Fogler’s turns in Balls of Fury, Good Luck Chuck and School for Scoundrels, that’s a two steps forward, one step backward scenario by my reckoning. Factor in that Ace Venura and Patch Adams perpetrator Tom Shadyac is directing, and we’re back at square one.
What might calm my nerves is some indication that when cut free from such insultingly puerile material, Fogler can rise above his scabrous record and actually draw me into a film, not repel me from it. Film School Rejects today found that wondrous thing – Fogler’s screen test as Kinison, as uploaded to YouTube. See the video below the break.
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HBO has announced that Evan Almighty director Tom Shadyac will helm television movie about comic Sam Kinison. And who will play the great manic comic? Dan Fogler. You probably know him as the annoying fat guy they hire when they can’t afford Jack Black or Jonah Hill. That said, he has an uncanny resemblance to a young Kinison. The film will be based on Brother Sam: The Short, Spectacular Life of Sam Kinison, a memoir written by Sam’s brother and manager Bill Kinison. The official description for the book reads:
“A brother recalls the excessive and flamboyant life of the late comedian who died in an April 1992 car crash, portraying Kinison’s checkered early years, his road to fame and fortune, and his personal struggles.”
Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, the writer/directors of American Splendor, have penned the teleplay adaptation. I would have much rather seen Berman and Pulcini direct. Shadyac was responsible for the launch of Jim Carrey’s movie career (Ace Ventura, Liar Liar), but hasn’t produced a good movie in the last decade. Years ago, Howard Stern in talks to develop a film based on comic Kinison’s life, but for one reason or another, it never gained momentum.
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The Weinstein Company is moving the big screen adaptation of The Nanny Diaries (trailer) back FIVE MONTHS. The new Scarlett Johansson chick flick was scheduled to hit theaters on April 20th, but will now bow on September 7th 2007.
While a last minute release move is usually a bad sign, Harvey Weinstein claims the movie was made to push the film in awards contention. The movie will be released right at the beginning of “Oscar Season”, and the DVD release will coincide with the Golden Globes. The studio head also claimed that he didn’t want the film to get lost in the Summer of Sequels. I’ve seen the trailer, and I’m not buying the “awards season” excuse. Something smells fishy.
The Nanny Diaries was helmed by Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman (American Splendor) and co-stars Laura Linney, Paul Giamatti, Chris Evans and Alicia Keys.