An American Family (1973) - News Poster

(1973– )


Top Women Cinematographers Reveal 7 Best Tips for Career Success

Top Women Cinematographers Reveal 7 Best Tips for Career Success
What does it take to succeed in a man’s world? A Los Angeles Film Festival panel of women cinematographers ivealed what it took to make it to the top of a competitive industry.

1. A shot of LSD. Cinema verite shooter Joan Churchill (“Last Days in Vietnam”) started out by recovering from an eight-hour acid trip, she admitted, to shoot some of the most iconic images from the Rolling Stones Altamont doc, “Gimme Shelter.” That led to the assignment of shooting the Louds in PBS’s “An American Family.” A documentary cameraperson, often working with a hand-held camera and natural light, has to have “people skills,” she said. “You have to be interested in your subjects.” When she moved to London, she couldn’t get work until she joined the Asc—and became its first woman member. Her membership card read: “Lady Cameraman.”

2. Read and reread the script. French-born Maryse Alberti
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HBO’s Lgbt History: Cinema Verite (2011)

Last week we reminisced about Vito Russo with two related docs: the essential The Celluloid Closet and the 2011 HBO doc Vito. This week we turn from a pivotal figure in silver screen Lgbt history to a pivotal one for the small screen. I’m talking, of course, of Lance Loud, who famously came out in An American Family in 1973 when the Loud family became the subject of a PBS docuseries, what many deem to be one of the first reality shows in American TV. Directed by Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini, Cinema Verite (watch on HBOGo) follows the behind-the-scenes drama behind that infamous and breakthrough program.

For Americans, as we saw last week, many of the images they saw of homosexuals on movie screens were outright stereotypes. But they really paled in comparison to the images they were getting from the media. In 1967, CBS aired The Homosexuals an episode of CBS Reports.
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Unscripted Television Led the Charge in Embracing Lgbt Community

Unscripted Television Led the Charge in Embracing Lgbt Community
When Caitlyn Jenner revealed her transgender truth to Diane Sawyer on primetime TV, Lgbt issues were thrown under an ever bigger spotlight than ever before. And while scripted series have sporadically featured gay characters, unscripted television embraced the Lgbt community a long time ago.

Certainly television, in general, is far from having evenly distributed representation, with GLAAD’s 2014 annual report of diversity in television calculating only 3.9% of primetime scripted series regulars as members of the Lgbt community.

On all sides of equation, scripted or otherwise, television is experiencing an influx of Lgbt awareness, including Jenner’s new docu-series “I Am Cait” on E!, Laverne Cox’s recurring role in the scripted series “Orange Is the New Black,” Oyxgen’s docu-series “The Prancing Elites Project,” above, which follows an African-American, gay and gender non-conforming dance team, and TLC’s upcoming show “I Am Jazz” about 14-year-old trans teenager Jazz Jennings.

See full article at Variety - TV News »

Against casting crazy people on reality TV shows

  • Hitfix
Against casting crazy people on reality TV shows
Jeff Probst is trolling us again. For "Survivor"'s 29th season, CBS and Probst--who's the show's executive producer, showrunner, and host--have cast John Rocker. Yes, that's the former baseball player who said all those awful things in Sports Illustrated back in the 1990s, and who has continued to say awful things, from using anti-gay slurs in a restaurant in the early 2000s to arguing last year that the Holocaust would never have occurred if Jewish people had and used guns. Probst defended Rocker's casting by calling him "a perfect fit for this show because of all the baggage he brings in" and arguing that because Rocker "made some very controversial, polarizing comments about how he views the world. That is in its core, when you take away all the strategy and all the challenges — that is what Survivor is about." I hate to take the bait here and react to such obvious trifle,
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James Gandolfini: 9 other great roles for 'The Sopranos' star

  • Pop2it
James Gandolfini, who died suddenly at 51 on Wednesday (June 19), will forever be remembered for playing Tony Soprano. And rightfully so -- together with writer David Chase, he created one of the deepest and most compelling characters in recent TV history.

Gandolfini also had a varied and often very interesting film and stage career. Pre-"Sopranos" he often played heavies, and even after his star turn on the show he remained a character actor at heart, but later in his career more leading roles came his way. Here's a look at some of his more memorable roles.

"True Romance": After a few small roles in movies and a supporting part in the 1992 Broadway revival of "A Streetcar Named Desire" opposite Alec Baldwin and Jessica Lange*, Gandolfini got his first breakout role in the Quentin Tarantino-written thriller. He played Virgil, a mob enforcer who makes a mild first impression (see
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Cinema Verite | Review

Reality television is one of today’s most consumed forms of entertainment. One of the first forays into this genre was by PBS in 1973 with a show called An American Family. A small camera crew followed and documented the Loud family, a suburban middle-class family which seemed like the perfect average American family. PBS was hopeful audiences would tune in to see this revolutionary show and the rest is history. HBO Films released a TV movie called Cinema Verite, shedding light on the inner workings of the reality show’s production as well as its impact on pop culture.

Craig Gilbert (James Gandolfini) is a TV producer who selects the Loud family as the first American family to be filmed and documented for mass audiences to see. The family consists of the patriarch Bill (Tim Robbins), matriarch Pat (Diane Lane) and five children. The film shows the progression of the
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Blu-ray Review: Diane Lane, James Gandolfini Shine in ‘Cinema Verite’

Chicago – HBO’s under-appreciated original movie recalls the moment when entertainment-seeking Americans averted their eyes from actors to their neighbors over the fence. Voyeurism had a new name, “cinema verite,” and one-time producer Craig Gilbert was determined to take it from art houses to small screens in homes across the country.

His target was the Loud family—a large and popular clan headed by the philandering Phil and the strong-willed Pat. Their son Lance was openly gay and his flamboyant exuberance was celebrated within the walls of his home but proved to alarm conservative viewers once it was broadcast on TV. The show resulted in the dissolution of Pat and Bill’s marriage, which was already ailing but wasn’t at all aided by Gilbert’s manipulative strategies to intensify their domestic conflict.

Blu-ray Rating: 3.5/5.0

The enormous timeliness of the subject matter makes “Cinema Verite” a fitting entry in HBO’s ever-impressive filmography.
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Blu-ray, DVD Release: Cinema Verite

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: April 24, 2012

Price: DVD $19.97, Blu-ray $24.99

Studio: HBO/Warner Home Video

Tim Robbins and Diane Lane live their lives on camera in Cinema Verite.

Starring Tim Robbins (Green Lantern), James Gandolfini (Welcome to the Rileys) and Diane Lane (Secretariat), the 2011 HBO Original Film Cinema Verite is a fictionalized account of the production of the 1973 PBS documentary series An American Family.

A revolutionary piece of television programming for it’s time, An American Family catapulted a seemingly ordinary family to notoriety and captivated audiences with their first taste of reality TV.

Believing that the lives of an everyday family would be relatable to Americans in a way that existing TV shows were not, a filmmaker (played by Gandolfini in the movie) sets out to chronicle the life of the Louds, a seemingly “perfect family” in Santa Barbara, Calif. Once filming begins though, the strain in Pat and Bill Loud’s (Lane and Robbins) marriage,
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An American Family: 2011 Attention Span Edition debuts tonight on PBS

Tonight, PBS will air a two-hour version of An American Family. The "Anniversary Edition" has been condensed from its 12-hour version by its original filmmakers, Alan Raymond and Susan Raymond, and debuts at 8 p.m. Et. If you haven't yet seen the series that gave birth to reality television, which earlier this year was rebroadcast in its entirety on some stations, this is your best bet, as it's not on DVD or available elsewhere. Check
See full article at Reality Blurred »

An American Family Anniversary Edition: Short, Still Not Sweet

A colorful 70's time capsule and an immersion into the beginnings of reality television, the groundbreaking doc An American Family still grabs our attention today. But let's face it, the 12-hour version is a lot of Louds, even though suburban couple Bill and Pat Loud dealing with their five children and breaking up their marriage on camera quickly draws you in and keeps you around for more. The 2-hour version being shown on PBS tonight (and channel 13 in New York tomorrow) is just as gripping an alternative. This version is edited by Alan and Susan Raymond, who photographed the…
See full article at James on ScreenS »

Two-hour version of An American Family, edited by original filmmakers, will air on PBS

An American Family has been turned into a fictional film for HBO and has been rebroadcast on a few PBS stations, but now viewers nationwide will be able to watch the 12-hour series compressed into a two-hour version called An American Famiy: Anniversary Edition that was edited by Alan and Susan Raymond, the people who filmed the series in 1971. PBS announced that the Raymonds have "adapted the 12-hour series into a new two-hour feature-length
See full article at Reality Blurred »

Ask the Flying Monkey: Could a Gay English Prince Marry a Man?

Have a question about gay male entertainment? Contact me here. (And be sure and include your city and state and/or country!)

Q: So Lance Loud was the first openly gay person on reality television, on An American Family in 1973. I assume The Real World’s Pedro Zamora was the second. So who was the third? – Martin, Philadelphia, Pa

A: Norman Korpi (who is gay, but was portrayed as bisexual on the show), appeared on the first season of The Real World in 1992 and actually preceded Zamora, who didn’t appear until the third season, in 1994.

In the U.S., the first non-Real World reality show participant was Survivor’s Richard Hatch in 2000.

Since then, there have literally been hundreds. It’s surprising how far we’ve come so quickly, isn’t it?

Q: With the royal wedding fever gripping England two weeks ago, a question struck me, in terms of gay rights.
See full article at The Backlot »

Hoberman, HBO's "Cinema Verite," More

  • MUBI
 This evening at 92Y Tribeca, J Hoberman will be introducing a screening of Anthony Mann's Reign of Terror (1949, also known as The Black Book) and signing copies of his new book, An Army of Phantoms: American Movies and the Making of the Cold War. For Not Coming to a Theater Near You, Leo Goldsmith writes that "Hoberman's particular interest here is the cinema that captured and often prodded the pathologies of the day: reactionary exposés of the lurking Red Menace, crypto-socialist satires and sympathetic docudramas, and those scads of B-grade Cold War allegories presented in the genre guise of science fiction, the biblical epic, the western. With a cast of characters including G-men, fact-finders, space invaders, coonskin kids, Christian soldiers, and 'white negroes,' and with cameos from the likes of Ronald Reagan, Nick Ray, Orson Welles, and Joe McCarthy, it's a densely detailed, near-hallucinatory history, irradiated with Hoberman's inimitable,
See full article at MUBI »

Movie Review: Cinema Verite – Before Reality TV was Fake

Cinema Verite is the true story of the Loud family, America’s first reality TV family. In the 70s, documentary filmmaker Craig Gilbert (James Gandolfini) and PBS embarked on the groundbreaking task of creating An American Family, a series that helped change the way Americans looked at themselves and their ideals. Pat Loud (Diane Lane) and Bill Loud (Tim Robbins) agreed to let Gilbert’s camera crew shoot their family and see hopefully show the world how a true family unit lives. Sadly, the “experiment” backfired on the Louds, showing off only the negative aspects of their relationships. The series was tragic in its innovation, drawing 10 million viewers to watch the series on PBS. Yet, it served as the basis for warped reality TV shows today like Jersey Shore and The Real World.

Cinema Verite brings to life what happened behind the camera. Off camera moments are mixed in with
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Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini Talk 'Cinema Verite,' Reality TV & Ethics In Filmmaking

Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini Talk 'Cinema Verite,' Reality TV & Ethics In Filmmaking
Husband and Wife Directing Duo Also Give Details On Upcoming 'Imogene' Comedy With Kristen Wiig In 1971, PBS and documentarian Craig Gilbert inadvertently birthed reality television thirty years before the culture was ready for it with the 12-episode-long documentary series, "An American Family." Culled down from 300 hours of footage, "An American Family" chronicled the experiences of the Louds, a relatively normal, nuclear family in Santa Barbara, California. Making TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time list in 2002, the show was groundbreaking for peeling back the layers of privacy in a way now prevalent and accepted on…
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'An American Family' was the original reality TV program

"An American Family" is a 1973 documentary filmed for PBS that followed the Loud family for seven months of their lives, showcasing a real American family living in Southern California, instead of the idealized "Brady Bunch" and "Patridge Family" units seen on TV at the time. It was named one of TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time in 2002.

"Cinema Verite" is a new movie from HBO that chronicles the making of "An American Family." Diane Lane and Tim Robbins star as the Loud family parents and James Gandolfini is Craig Gilbert, the documentary filmmaker who was often at odds with his crew over what was appropriate to shoot.

The title of the HBO movie literally means "truthful cinema" and is a style of documentary filmmaking that is known for taking a provocative stance toward its subjects. It combines naturalistic techniques with editing and camerawork, staged set-ups and using the camera to provoke the subjects.
See full article at Zap2It - From Inside the Box »

'Cinema Verite's' Diane Lane: 'No one was prepared for the backlash'

"Cinema Verite" premieres Saturday night (April 23) on HBO. It chronicles the seven-month process back in 1973 when documentary filmmaker Craig Gilbert (James Gandolfini) filmed the Loud family for the PBS documentary "An American Family."

Diane Lane stars as Pat Loud, the family matriarch who agreed to let her family be filmed despite the fact that her marriage was not rock solid. It was what the filmmakers wanted - to show a real family and not the "Brady Bunch"/"Partridge Family" ideals that were the popular TV families of the day. But the American TV audience was not prepared for such a hard look at real life.

"No one was prepared for the backlash that resulted. The family was, in essence, stoned in the town square, burned in effigy," says Lane. "They were a tool in a machine that didn't know what to do with them, and the public and press were
See full article at Zap2It - From Inside the Box »

TV Review: HBO’s ‘Cinema Verite’ With Diane Lane, Tim Robbins

Chicago – How did we get here? How did the reality TV craze start? Some would have you believe that it is a modern trend and its popularity in the ’00s and ’10s has certainly been striking, but it’s much older than that. In 1973, when a film crew showed up at the Loud family household to shoot the 12-part series “An American Family,” which has been credited as being the start of the trend, do you think they envisioned a future that contained “Real Housewives of Orange County”?

TV Rating: 3.5/5.0

HBO’s “Cinema Verite” chronicles the making of the PBS documentary series and the impact it had on the Loud family. It’s led by Pat (Diane Lane) and Bill Loud (Tim Robbins), who struggled with marital issues including the specter of a looming divorce while the cameras rolled. Bill obnoxiously acted up in front of the camera and baited
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Truth vs. Fiction in HBO's Drama Cinema Verite; Diane Lane, Alan Raymond, Kevin Loud Talk

Truth vs. Fiction in HBO's Drama Cinema Verite; Diane Lane, Alan Raymond, Kevin Loud Talk
Diane Lane was eight when An American Family first aired on PBS in 1973. She remembers people talking about the twelve-part reality show, the first ever. Ten million people watched it. The Loud family would never be the same. Nor would American television. But the show did more than break the rules. Back then Svengali producer Craig Gilbert could lure an attractive Santa Barbara family like the Louds into putting themselves in front of the cameras--wielded by the husband and wife team of Alan and Susan Raymond, who became Oscar-winning documentarians--for seven months without guile. They had no idea how their messy lives would be edited and manipulated into a juicy narrative, one that was eventually dissected and roundly criticized by the American public. "They ...
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TV Review: One Person’s Verite Was Another’s Cinema

Typical biopics, even good ones, end by flashing images of the real people who have been turned into fiction on screen; Cinema Verite dares to reverse that ploy. From the start and scattered throughout we glimpse Bill and Pat Loud and their five children as they appeared on An American Family, the jaw-dropping documentary that created reality TV. In HBO’s colorful film about the making of the series, Diane Lane is Pat, Tim Robbins is Bill and James Gandolfini is producer and instigator Craig Gilbert, a man who has no idea what long-term mischief he is about to set in…
See full article at James on ScreenS »
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