This So-Called Disaster

Release Date: April 21, 2004
Limited release

Thoreau's Walden rules!

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While Sam Shepard may not be the hugest name in Hollywood, he’s certainly recognizable. Probably most famous for his Academy Award-nominated performance as Colonel Chuck Yeager in The Right Stuff, his rugged face is also familiar for films such as Black Hawk Down, The Pelican Brief, and Steel Magnolias.

What many people don’t realize is that Shepard is also a remarkably talented playwright, even to the point that he won a Pulitzer Prize for his excellent Buried Child. He’s also responsible for the outstanding Fool for Love (which was made into a movie starring Kim Basinger), True West, and Paris, Texas.

The documentary This So-Called Disaster takes a look at the behind-the-scenes production of one of Shepard’s new plays, “The Late Henry Moss.” Production took place at San Francisco’s Magic Theater, and starred such notable performers as Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, Woody Harrelson and Cheech Marin. Documentary director Michael Almereyda gets up close and personal with these folks as he endeavors to uncover how actors envelop themselves in a character’s persona.

Though Shepard is known to be rather notoriously enigmatic, reports are that he opens up in the film, talking openly about his alcoholic father and his early infatuation with Burt Lancaster. On the actors’ side, Nolte notes that he became interested in acting after reading Constantin Stanislavsky while having a nervous breakdown.

This So-Called Disaster will appear in only a limited number of venues, but people who are interested in the process of putting a play on the stage will definitely want to give it a look. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Vital statistics for This So-Called Disaster
Main Cast Sam Shepard, Nick Nolte, Sean Penn
Supporting Cast T-Bone Burnett, James Gammon, Woody Harrelson, Cheech Marin, Sheila Tousey
Director Michael Almereyda
Distributor Independent Film Channel
Rating R
Running Time 90 minutes
Screen Count 1
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for This So-Called Disaster
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Lost in La Mancha 1/31/030.06 0.06 8 7913.00 7913.0 0.73 0.73 11.45



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