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And So It Goes: Vonnegut Documentary Hopes to Become Unstuck in Time
February 12, 2015  | By David Bianculli

To date, TV Worth Watching has actively backed only one Kickstarter campaign – LeVar Burton’s Reading Rainbow revival. Now there’s another: a long-simmering documentary on Kurt Vonnegut…

The Kickstarter campaign, which was launched Wednesday, is the latest effort by Robert Weide to find a way to complete his film biography of Vonnegut – a project he first envisioned when he was a 22-year-old filmmaker, contacting the author for permission to film and interview him 33 years ago.

Vonnegut eventually agreed, and the first filmed interview took place in 1988, six years later. Weide continued to meet with the author over the decades, in a relationship that blossomed into friendship, until Vonnegut’s death in 2007. Since then, Weide has teamed with another filmmaker, Don Argott, whom Weide enlisted to film the larger story of Vonnegut and Weide as they worked on their ever-elusive project.

That film needs help to be completed, which explains the Kickstarter campaign. Weide, though, has finished plenty of wonderful projects without asking for help from the kindness and support of strangers. His first was The Marx Brothers in a Nutshell, the documentary that piqued Vonnegut’s interest – and since then, Weide has directed and produced, just to name three impressive projects, the launch of Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, and the American Masters documentaries on Mort Sahl and Woody Allen.

Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time is the proposed film by Weide and Argott – and having discussed this project with Weide over the years, I can assure you to expect a quality, significant project, with lots of rare and enlightening footage. Here’s a brief video by Weide, providing background:

Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time teaser from 9.14 Pictures on Vimeo

You can go to the Unstuck in Time website to glean more information, or directly to the Kickstarter page to choose from among the levels of financial support – and the respective gifts.

I was fortunate enough to have interviewed Vonnegut a few times over the years, and I couldn’t be happier that this documentary may, at long last, come to fruition. I also couldn’t be happier if, with help from similarly minded TVWW readers, we can help make that happen…

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Good news, TVWW readers: David’s new book from Doubleday, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific is available on Amazon for $20. (Paperback will be available September 5th, here.)

Doubleday says: “Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his. Bianculli's theory has to do with the concept of quality television: what it is and, crucially, how it got that way."

"The Platinum Age of Television is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era of quality TV. For instance, animation evolved from Rocky and His Friends to South Park; variety shows moved from The Ed Sullivan Show to Saturday Night Live; and family sitcoms grew from I Love Lucy to Modern Family. A high point is the author’s interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer and many others...Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post


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