Fri, 3 November 2017
It’s not a revelation to learn that any comedian offstage is a shy weirdo. What’s utterly revealing and totally fantastic about this film is seeing Gilbert Gottfried's marriage, which is a model of affection and good sense in the face of eccentricity. Every couple should see this. Every marriage should be more like his. This is the rare film where a look at a performer’s private life is not what you expect at all, and also weirdly inspiring. I loved this. Ira Glass
Legendary comedian Gilbert Gottfried has had quite the career. Rocketing to fame in the 1980s, he was thrust into the public consciousness almost immediately thanks to his brash personality, unique worldview, and off-kilter comic timing. Now, foul-mouthed and unapologetic after decades of flying solo in both his work and in his personal life, Gilbert has shockingly reinvented himself…as a family man.
Director Neil Berkeley’s Gilbert reveals an unexpected side to the iconic comedian. The film peeks behind the larger-than-life persona at a more personal story about growing up in Brooklyn and becoming a husband and father late in life. Gottfried’s singular outlook on life and his ability to bring humor to even the darkest situations has, at times, gotten him into trouble. Still he soldiers on, an expert craftsman at bringing his audience to the edge (and sometimes pushing them over). Gilbert strips the comedic character away to reveal the man behind it. Berkeley allows the audience an intimate — even vulnerable — view of Gottfried out of character.
On today’s show we talked with Director Neil Berkeley about his upcoming documentary Gilbert which will be showing on November 8th in Houston at The Alamo Drafthouse.
Neil Berkeley, Producer/ Director/ Writer
Neil Berkeley is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker and entrepreneur. His first feature film, Beauty Is Embarrassing, premiered at SXSW in 2012 and chronicles the life and times of the inspiring artist Wayne White. The film won several Best Documentary awards and was featured in PBS’ Independent Lens in January of 2013. His second feature, Harmontown, premiered at SXSW in 2014 and follows self-destructive TV writer Dan Harmon on an emotional, cross-country journey of self-discovery. He is currently in production on his fourth feature documentary, currently titled Death Is a Door. The film is the story of how American rock music became a lifestyle for many young Cubans in the late ’80s. The decisions they made led to rampant police abuse combined with oppression from the government and eventually drove several hundred of them to self-inject with HIV.
Berkeley is also a successful commercial and promo director and has worked with brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac and Kraft Foods. He is the owner of BRKLY, a design based production company focused on developing marketing campaigns for network and cable television. The company has helped launch some of TV’s most popular shows, including Brother vs. Brother, Scandal, Project Runway, Top Chef and many more.
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