IMDb > This So-Called Disaster: Sam Shepard Directs the Late Henry Moss (2003)

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This So-Called Disaster: Sam Shepard Directs the Late Henry Moss -- Trailer


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Director Michael Almereyda's documentary on the weeks just prior to Sam Shepard's stage production of his play "The Late Henry Moss." Full summary » | Add synopsis »
(2 articles)
Experimental thinking by Anne-Katrin Titze
 (From 2 October 2015, 11:21 AM, PDT)

Hawke Hits Dublin Stage
 (From WENN. 6 March 2003)

User Reviews:
Interesting Look at Acting See more (10 total) »


  (in credits order)

Sean Penn ... Ray

Nick Nolte ... Earl

Cheech Marin ... Esteban
Sheila Tousey ... Chonchella

T Bone Burnett ... Himself (as T-Bone Burnett)

Sam Shepard ... Himself
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

James Gammon ... Himself

Woody Harrelson ... Taxi Driver
Ann Militello ... Herself
Shona Mitchell ... Assistant Stage Manager

Directed by
Michael Almereyda 
Produced by
Holly Becker .... executive producer
Callum Greene .... producer
Anthony Katagas .... producer
Cinematography by
Andrew Black 
Adam Keker 
Michael McDonough 
Film Editing by
Kate Williams 
Sound Department
Antonio L. Arroyo .... sound editor
Editorial Department
Laurie Butler .... additional editor
Michael Taylor .... additional editor
Aimée Toledano .... assistant editor
Jonah Zeiger .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"This So-Called Disaster" - USA (short title)
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Rated R for some language
USA:89 min | Argentina:90 min (Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente)


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14 out of 14 people found the following review useful.
Interesting Look at Acting, 30 April 2004
Author: Jeff Makepeace from Minnesota

This So-Called Disaster basically documents the pre-production of Sam Shepard's 2000 play, `The Late Henry Moss', from about the third week of rehearsals to opening night. The movie is overall very engaging in its presentation of the featured actors involved, and because the visual style makes the viewer feel as though they were in the audience during the play's preparations.

Because `Henry Moss' is partially autobiographical, this movie provides some scenes of Shepard providing anecdotes about growing up with his father. I liked these scenes very much, because Sam Shepard's relationship with his father did was not typical of some relationships that alcoholic fathers had with their sons. There is a sense that Shepard accepted the way in which his father acted while drunk, and did not seem to have too much of a problem maintaining a relationship with him.

But the parts of Disaster that I particularly liked were everything involving the rehearsals of the play. It is very interesting to see the contrasting styles of preparation seen in the different actors, such as Nick Nolte, Sean Penn, Cheech Marin, Woody Harrelson, and John Gammon. It was amazing to see that these actors were able to nail their performances every time they rehearsed their lines.

Along with their preparations, I was able to see these people in a much different light than I ever had before. In this movie, I wasn't seeing Sean Penn, bad boy actor, or Nick Nolte the oddball (though he does have his moments). The actors in the play are presented in this movie as people who are actors, not Hollywood movie stars.

Michael Almereyda does the viewer a favor by keeping the camera pretty much stationary throughout the picture. Early on, I thought I had to prepare myself for some sort of home video visual style, which is very amateurish in that it shakes all over the place and never settles down. But thankfully, the camera allows the audience to see this movie as though they were in the theater, watching people like Penn, Nolte, and others get ready for their performances.

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