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American Splendor (2003)

Cast: Paul Giamatti, Hope Davis, Harvey Pekar, more...
Director: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini
    see all cast/crew...
Rating:
Studio: HBO Home Video
Genre: Cult, Independent, Biopics, Comic Books, Alternative Press, Dysfunctional Families
Running Time: 101 min.
Languages: English
    see additional details...

Synopsis
The documentary directing team of Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman makes their narrative feature debut with the biographical comedy drama American Splendor. Harvey Pekar (Paul Giamatti) is a comic book writer inspired by the work of his friend Robert Crumb (James Urbaniak). Pekar writes his comics about the sad monotony of everyday life, based on his own life in Cleveland, OH, working as a file clerk at a veteran's hospital and spending his time reading books and listening to jazz. He meets up with Joyce Brabner (Hope Davis) and they enjoy a depressive relationship together. The filmmakers employ a combination of live-action film, video, and animation, including narration and commentary from the real-life Harvey Pekar. The screenplay was based on Pekar's comic book series American Splendor, which he has been writing since 1976 on Dark Horse Comics, and the 1994 book-length comic Our Cancer Year, written by Pekar and Brabner. American Splendor won the Grand Jury Prize in the Dramatic Competition at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, All Movie Guide

Special Features:

  • Group audio commentary with directors and cast (including Harvey Pekar)

You might also enjoy:
Crumb
We can't think of a better double-feature than this one.

Comic Book Confidential
A fine comix primer




Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini are best known as the duo behind American Splendor, a brilliant little indie that seemed to come out of nowhere. It didn't. The couple had been screenwriting for some time in Hollywood, where they also shot two docs, Off the Menu: The Last Days of Chasen's and The Young and the Dead. Craig Phillips gets them to talk about Splendor, a few of their favorite films and their plans for the future. Full article >>

GreenCine Member Reviews

Fascinating, innovative, but not fun... by MBreslau April 22, 2012 - 7:41 AM PDT
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1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
The film is made in a variety of novel styles - comic-book illustration (static and animated), live action, and surreal. It breaks the forth wall by mixing real people and the actors portraying them in the same shot.
Thus far, highly original.

However, Pekar spend a total of ONE SECOND smiling; the rest of the time he looks depressed, indifferent, or angry. Why should I spend my screen viewing time on a product that doesn't make me feel happy or at least informed?

American Genius by AcmeFilmCompany January 16, 2006 - 10:45 PM PST
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5 out of 5 members found this review helpful
Paul Giamatti got a bit attention for this movie.
It became something of a launching pad for this guy (the son of Former Baseball commisioner Bart Giamatti). If you somehow missed seeing this biopic on Harvey Pecar then by all means give it a look. He's an important voice in a part of America that is more real than anything Reality Television will every find. Hope Davis is wonderful as well. Check it out.




GreenCine Member Rating
12345678910

(Average 7.39)
1120 Votes
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Cannes Film Festival & More - 2003
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Official Selection, Certain Regards... and more. Here is a bit more information on the films screened at the Cannes. I have attempted to list all the films that were considered for an award as well as any special screenings.
kraigpdx
100 Best English Language Films That I've Seen
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Alphabetical Order: Best English Narratives in the World
MDallum

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