A 5-Disc Set of Critically-Acclaimed, Award-Winning Films from Alan Berliner. Includes Bonus Features, Short Films, Interviews and DVD-Rom Features.
Alan Berliner’s uncanny ability to combine experimental cinema, artistic purpose, and popular appeal in compelling film essays has made him one of America’s most acclaimed independent filmmakers. The New York Times has described Berliner’s work as powerful, compelling and bittersweet…full of juicy conflict and contradiction, innovative in their cinematic technique, unpredictable in their structures… Alan Berliner illustrates the power of fine art to transform life.
The Sweetest Sound
In The Sweetest Sound, Alan Berliner (the filmmaker from New York) is tired of being mistaken for people who might share his name and decides to rid himself of the dreaded Same Name Syndrome. His solution: invite all the Alan Berliners in the world over to his house for dinner. In the end Berliner leaves us with a greater sense of the power and magic embedded in a name, and how all of our identities are inescapably shaped by what we call ourselves.
Intimate Stranger is a poetic and emotional jigsaw puzzle carved out of the voluminous memorabilia of his grandfather’s life story. Family members try to make sense of it all in this witty, candid and cinematically inventive documentary biography. In Nobody’s Business, Alan Berliner takes on his reclusive father as the reluctant subject of this poignant and graceful study of family history and memory.
The Family Album is a one-hour experimental documentary film utilizing a vast collection of rare 16mm home movies from the 1920s through the 1950s, that weaves into a composite lifetime, passing through the celebrations and struggles from childhood to adulthood, from innocence to experience. It is a universal yet intimate portrait of the American family, not scripted, not rehearsed, not immune to the conflicts and contradictions underlying family life and its rituals.
In Nobody’s Business, Alan Berliner takes on his reclusive father as the reluctant subject of this poignant and graceful study of family history and memory. What emerges is a uniquely cinematic biography that finds both humor and pathos in the swirl of conflicts and affections that bind father and son. Ultimately this complex portrait is a meeting of the minds – where the past meets the present, where generations collide, and where the boundaries of family life are pushed, pulled, stretched, torn and surprisingly at times, also healed.
A film that balances the precision of a Swiss watch with the messiness of a restless mind, WIDE AWAKE is Alan Berliner’s uniquely personal tour through his life-long obsession with insomnia. Berliner uses both metaphor and candid first-person observations to illuminate how an obsessive mind that won’t shut down at night leaves him feeling “jet lagged in his own time zone.”
By focusing on the effects of insomnia on Berliner’s creative process, WIDE AWAKE also becomes a film about the art of filmmaking. We see footage documenting the process of the film being made, a raucously caffeinated tour of his studio, and revelations about Berliner’s secret life as a night owl. With the birth of his son Eli, Berliner becomes torn between his love of the night and the emotional pulls of love and responsibility that he feels for his family.
A sophisticated blend of the hilarious and the deeply personal, WIDE AWAKE is a cinematically innovative film that pushes at the borders of documentary storytelling; a heartfelt portrait of the artist as insomniac.