"An American Family"
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3 items from 2012

Cinema Verite | Review

12 May 2012 9:47 AM, PDT | JustPressPlay.net | See recent JustPressPlay news »

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 »

- Randall Unger

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Blu-ray Review: Diane Lane, James Gandolfini Shine in ‘Cinema Verite’

26 April 2012 4:49 AM, PDT | HollywoodChicago.com | See recent HollywoodChicago.com news »

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. »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Blu-ray, DVD Release: Cinema Verite

24 January 2012 7:41 AM, PST | Disc Dish | See recent Disc Dish news »

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, »

- Laurence

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3 items from 2012

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