This So-Called Disaster (2004)
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Critic Reviews for This So-Called Disaster
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.
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.
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.
Audience Reviews for This So-Called Disaster
[font=Century Gothic]"This So-Called Disaster" is a documentary directed by Michael Almereyda about the 2000 San Francisco production of Sam Shepard's play,"The Late Henry Moss", which was inspired by his father's life. Shepard directed Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, Woody Harrelson, James Gannon, Cheech Marin and Sheila Tousey(what a cast!) in the play. The documentary shows the rehearsal process and sheds a good deal of light on how the actors created their performances for the stage. We also get to see how a play is directed. There are thoughts here on what it means to be a father and what it means to be a son, too.[/font]
Following the play rehearsals is only mildly entertaining. It's the reminiscent interviews with Shepard and Nolte that make it. And yes, Sean Penn really is a jerk.
A really fasctinating look at the inner workings of what it takes to get a huge stage show produced. The talent here! Sam Shepard, Nick Nolte, Sean Penn, Woody Harrelson, James Gannon, Cheech Marin. (One of these things is not like the other!) My favorite part / most surreal moment: when Woody Harrelson lies down in the aisles while getting notes from Sam Shepard.
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