Albert Brooks: Defending my life
Wow! I just watched one of the best documentaries I've seen in a while. It's on HBO Max. It was mostly a conversation between two legends in their own right, Rob Reiner and Albert Brooks. Both were friends from a young age with parents in show business. Rob directed this and at times it feels very honest... because it's just a conversation, but does have a lot of interviews scattered between it.
I wouldn't say Albert Brooks was an inspiration, but I always liked him and respected him. I also have only seen very little of his work. The more I learned about his stand up and comedy life the more I felt he kind of preceded Andy Kaufman in a way. Definitely different, but still had a way of kind of not preparing and just kinda doing something he felt funny whether the audience liked it or not. He liked it and that was enough for him. At least thats my thought any way.
He was a juggernaut in a way that... he wrote, directed and starred in a lot of his own films... very similar to Woody Allen. He'd play an exaggerated version of himself but was really raw and honest with his writing. He's had to fight for his vision and really defend himself against some of the studios wanting to change things. But Al stuck to his guns. I always find these stories to be so interesting.
Hearing how he inspired people like Larry David, and Chris Rock, Ben Stiller was really neat. Because in my opinion, Al isn't talked about as much as he should be. He is revered as a genius but I always find that in conversation about comedy no one really mentions him, at least in my social circles. Maybe that says a lot about the crowds I hang with. "If you don't like Al Brooks... then I'M OUT!
My first introduction to Albert Brooks, like most people my age was of course through the film Broadcast News! What, you were probably thinking I was going to say Nemo? Naw, I saw Nemo but I remember seeing broadcast news on AMC as a kid. I didn't understand it but... the sweating scene was hysterical. I later learned he was on the Simpsons multiple times.I saw nemo and loved it, and when youtube became more of the entity that it is I saw a lot of his early short films for SNL. But the role that really got me thinking... wow what an actor... was his role in Drive. He plays a great bad guy, which you don't really expect from him.
The documentary goes over his life, his family, his career and was definitely inspiring. Not only do I want to sit down and watch some of the films that he made that I missed, but I also wanna do more comedy, jump on the stage and just do whacky stuff. If you have MAX check it out, it's well worth it's weight in gold fish crackers!
Any way, It's late. I'm tired and I am going to bed... but not with out posting a gross photo of myself! Enjoy!