“Cinema Verite” premieres Saturday night (April 23) on HBO. It chronicles the seven-month process back in 1973 when documentary filmmaker Craig Gilbert (James Gandolfini) filmed the Loud family for the PBS documentary “An American Family.”
Diane Lane stars as Pat Loud, the family matriarch who agreed to let her family be filmed despite the fact that her marriage was not rock solid. It was what the filmmakers wanted – to show a real family and not the “Brady Bunch”/”Partridge Family” ideals that were the popular TV families of the day. But the American TV audience was not prepared for such a hard look at real life.
“No one was prepared for the backlash that resulted. The family was, in essence, stoned in the town square, burned in effigy,” says Lane. “They were a tool in a machine that didn’t know what to do with them, and the public and press were so unforgiving for violating the image of the American family that people wanted to believe about themselves. I think America just didn’t know how to separate the hall of mirrors that this art form reveals. They didn’t like what they saw in the mirror.”
“Cinema Verite” premieres at 9 p.m. ET on HBO. You can watch the trailer below.