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Really interesting, I didnt know much about Shandling but this documentary was fascinating and made me want to watch more of his stuff.
"He was everything he needed and was never given."
I think if I decide to look at this 4.5-hour documentary as something of a spiritual sequel to Funny People it will only make what is already a stunning achievement that much more impressive.
I didn't know much about Shandling prior to seeing this, but as of now I've already ordered the complete series of The Larry Sanders Show (for both the show itself and those DVD extras).
This documentary is one of the most beautiful and profound films I have seen in my long life. It's not "cinematic" but the lessons of Garry's life emerge through the most excruciating journey, filled with pain and disappointment, followed ultimately by love, enlightenment, and death. One indication of shandling's impact on his peers is the fierce love and tender anxiety they display in discussing their mentor. Shandling became, oddly - given the immense cynicism and vanity implicit in his on-stage persona -- the dhali lama of american comedy. one comment, by conan o'brien struck me. he said that Shandling saw what he did not as "show Biz" but rather comedy as an art form, his work as performance art. this film reveals shandling simaltaneously with life revealing itself to him. you come to understand, and echo, the love so many had for this profound, sad, intrepid man. When death comes to claim him, you feel the sense of losing a close friend. Apatow has made not just a moving tribute to a long-time friend, but a deeply meaningful instruction video on how to live life despite its harsh turns.
Unless you were a personal friend of garry shandling, you had no idea who he really was. this two-part documentary lets you into his spirit. At times, it is painful or sad to watch but the person you get to meet will enrich your life.