‘Cinema Verite’ Trailer

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 »


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 »

JJ Abrams’s Earthquake Disaster Movie

Universal has announced that JJ Abrams (Lost, Star Trek) is developing an Earthquake disaster film with Omen screenwriter David Seltzer. As with any project Abrams is involved with, details are being kept under wraps. What we do know is that it isn’t a remake of Universal’s 1974 film Earthquake, and that it will focus more on the relationships between people caught in the disaster. We’re not even clear if this is a potential directing vehicle for Abrams, as the trades only mention that he is collaborating with Seltzer and producing the project.

I’ve always loved disaster movies, but the contemporary attempts have done a very poor job of making you care about the characters. Instead it’s all about the big budget special effects. Imagine how much better a film like The Day After Tomorrow would be if you actually cared if Dennis Quaid’s character would reach his son (Jake Gyllenhaal). Relationships, and character are something JJ Abrams brings to the table. It’s also worth nothing that this is the second film (that I know of) that is now in production with a backdrop of an Earthquake. The other film is Brad Bird’s live action adaptation of 1906. But I’m pretty sure that both will be very different films, and we won’t suffer a repeat of dueling films like Deep Impact / Armageddon.

source: THR