Is this real life? Is this just fantasy? This week, Michael and Nakea celebrate the 40th anniversary of Albert Brooks’ influential (and absurdly prescient) comedy Real Life (1979).
First, we’re having a discussion about the history, charms, and limitations of reality TV, from An American Family to The Real World to Botched.
Then, The Unenthusiastic Critic is watching the seminal but overlooked mockumentary Real Life, in which writer, director, and star Brooks not only predicted but skewered the entire genre.
We’re caught in a landslide, no escape from reality. Join us to see whether Michael or Nakea gets the villain edit this week.
0:00: Prologue: from Real Life (1979)
1:14: Preliminary Discussion: Reality TV
20:16: Interlude: from the Original Trailer
21:34: Cultural Osmosis: Pre-Viewing Discussion
30:48: Interlude: from Real Life
32:54: The Verdict: Post-Viewing Discussion
1:08:27: Outro and Next Week’s Movie
Notes and Links
—Movie Reviewed: Real Life (dir. Albert Brooks, Paramount, 1979).
—Articles Mentioned: “Bill Loud, the Father of TV’s ‘An American Family,’ Is Dead at 97,” William Yardley, New York Times; “Reality Replay,” Laurie Winer, The New Yorker; “Movies You Might Have Missed: Albert Brooks’ Real Life,” Darren Richman, The Independent; “Albert Brooks Knows the Whole, Hellish Truth,” Scott Raab, Esquire; “Observing the Real Life of Albert Brooks,” Paul Slansky, Washington Post; “The Real, Live Comic and his Real Life,” Gary Arnold, Washington Post; “Review of Real Life,” Roger Ebert, rogerebert.com; “Our Mr. Brooks,” Judd Apatow, Vanity Fair; “Review of Real Life,” Josh Larsen, Larsen on Film; “Three Reasons: Albert Brooks’ Real Life,” Matt Zoller Seitz, Indiewire.
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