Cinema Verite

Cinema Verite

Masterpiece  |  July 20, 2017

Cinema Verite tells the behind-the-scenes story of the ground breaking documentary An American Family, which chronicled the lives of a Santa Barbara family, the Louds, in the early 1970s, catapulting them to notoriety while creating a new television genre: reality TV. The story dramatises the genesis of the original PBS series when Pat and Bill Loud (Diane Lane and Tim Robbins) are approached to participate in the project by film maker Craig Gilbert (James Gandolfini), and agree to have cameras follow their family in and around Santa Barbara, CA for several months. Gilbert believed that the struggles of an everyday family would be relatable to Americans in a way that The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family were not. Yet over the course of filming, the strains on this seemingly perfect family come sharply into focus. In addition, Pat and the films' crew, Alan and Susan Raymond (Patrick Fugit and Shanna Collins), find themselves at odds with Gilbert about what is appropriate to film, and the lines between truth and 'reality' become more murky.

Cinema Verite tells the behind-the-scenes story of the ground breaking documentary An American Family, which chronicled the lives of a Santa Barbara family, the Louds, in the early 1970s, catapulting them to notoriety while creating a new television genre: reality TV. The story dramatises the genesis of the original PBS series when Pat and Bill Loud (Diane Lane and Tim Robbins) are approached to participate in the project by film maker Craig Gilbert (James Gandolfini), and agree to have cameras follow their family in and around Santa Barbara, CA for several months. Gilbert believed that the struggles of an everyday family would be relatable to Americans in a way that The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family were not. Yet over the course of filming, the strains on this seemingly perfect family come sharply into focus. In addition, Pat and the films' crew, Alan and Susan Raymond (Patrick Fugit and Shanna Collins), find themselves at odds with Gilbert about what is appropriate to film, and the lines between truth and 'reality' become more murky.

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