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

User Reviews:
Looking for Maleness 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

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)
See more »
Rated R for some language
USA:89 min | Argentina:90 min (Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente)


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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
Looking for Maleness, 29 April 2004
Author: noralee from Queens, NY

"This So-Called Disaster" (the on-screen credits had an additional, secondary title that I can't find documented on line) is a fascinating look at the rehearsal process, particularly between actors and a director.

It would make a terrific double feature with Al Pacino's "Looking for Richard" because here we have the additional angle that the playwright is very much alive -- Sam Shepherd-- and he actively cuts lines based on what the actors can embody without words.

He trusts these actors because they include Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, Woody Harrelson, and James Gammon, who has channeled Shepherd's alcoholic father in other plays before finally expiating his Eugene O'Neill-like obsession in this play, "The Late Henry Moss," as produced in 2000 at San Francisco's Magic Theater.

The fly-on-the-wall camera work is supplemented by Shepherd's first-time willingness to discuss the autobiographical elements of his work, with details on his family, including photographs and film, and some informal discussion by and formal interviews with the actors. (We also see him not providing the same information to a very nervous AP reporter.)

Documentarian Michael Almereyda has captured an important element in Shepherd's and these particular actors work: their roaring masculinity and how they have and are continuing to struggle with the themes of the play in their art and in their lives, how to be sons, brothers, and fathers.

Working on this play is forcing all these sexy, combative guys to come to grips with mortality and family, even though the play itself doesn't seem particularly effective at expiating that for the audience. For example, we get a languid yet intense Penn protesting that the heavy rehearsal schedule has to allow time out for him to take his kids trick-or-treating, as clearly this play has heightened all of their consciousness about parental responsibilities. I now would certainly like to see Russell Crowe take on a Shepherd play.

T-Bone Burnett is also interviewed about the background music he put together for the production.

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