Thursday, 30 August 2012


The Indie Comics/Indie Film series continues this week as Dru and Dave are joined by Ian Dawe to take a look at the 2003 comedy/drama American Splendor, written and directed by Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman.

American Splendor is an adaptation of the underground comic of the same name, created by Harvey Pekar. Beginning publication in 1976, American Splendor is an autobiographical work, looking at the day to day struggles of the working class Pekar, with glimpses at his relationships with his various wives, friends, and co-workers, as well as including Pekar's ruminations upon various topics.

While the writer and self-publisher (most of the time) of American Splendor, Pekar was not an artist, and the art of the comic was illustrated by various collaborators, including Robert Crumb, Drew Friedman, and Ty Templeton, amongst others.

As noted, the 2003 film is directed by Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman, who began as documentary filmmakers prior to making the move into narrative filmmaking. After the critical success of American Splendor, the pair decided to make another unconventional, artistically challenging film: The Nanny Diaries.

Following up upon the, um, critical and financial “success” of The Nanny Diaries, the duo directed the 2010 comedy The Extra Man, which met with about the same reception as their previous film.

2011 saw the Berman and Pulcini return to more familiar territory and critical success with Cinema Verite, a drama looking back on the production of the influential PBS television series An American Family, which aired in 1971.

However, join us next episode as we look at the filmmakers' 2003 effort, American Splendor! 

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