This So-Called Disaster: Sam Shepard Directs the Late Henry Moss (2003)
Average Rating: 7.3/10
Reviews Counted: 29
Fresh: 26 | Rotten: 3
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Average Rating: 7.2/10
Critic Reviews: 14
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 2
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Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 834
In 2000, director Michael Almereyda brought his film crew to San Francisco to document the rehearsal process for the Magic Theater's production of Sam Shepard's play The Late Henry Moss, as directed by the playwright himself. The resulting film, This So-Called Disaster, is partly a study of the magic of theater, as well as a study of the fascinating Shepard, who is nearly universally considered one of the most influential American dramatists of the past century. Shepard and Almereyda's first
Apr 21, 2004 Wide
Dec 14, 2004
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In its vision of the push-and-pull of rehearsal and the revelation of how a play comes to breathing, snorting life onstage, Almereyda's video brings us close to the act of creation.
Ultimately, you leave This So-Called Disaster with renewed respect for Shepard, who comes off as a kind of quiet hero: a man of words, confronting his past with little fuss, and from it creating a legacy.
Theater lovers are likely to find the film interesting even when it zigs and zags.
It's fun to see actors doing what they do and to see them through the eyes of a director.
Will appeal mostly to those who love theater and relish the opportunity to see a production being built, scene by scene.
Consistently engrossing, with nary a dull moment, and very enlightening on what is popularly called "the actor's process."
Lets us hang out with, and really meet for the first time, artists we thought we already knew.
In the end, what takes shape is not just a significant unraveling of Shepard's taciturn mystique, but a potent sense of the pain and rigor of revealing oneself through art.
As a portrait of a collaborative artist at work, the film is an invaluable document, not to be missed by anyone with more than a passing interest in theater.
One imagines that Almereyda thought he could simply act as a fly on the wall ... and have a compelling document on the creation of live theater.
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