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Posts Tagged ‘Joyce Brabner’

American Splendor, the film

Available on Amazon

From the beginning of Berman and Pulcini?s American Splendor (2003), we are presented with many versions of Harvey Pekar:

  • A comic strip frames Harvey Pekar (Daniel Tay), an uncostumed kid on Halloween in 1950. When asked what he?s dressed as, we learn that this kid is no super hero. He cranks off, ?I?m Harvey Pekar. I?m just a kid from the neighborhood? and storms off with the voices of kids mocking his name in fading echos.
  • If memory serves correctly, we hold that same external comic frame and fade the content to actor Paul Giamatti walking that same street?playing the film?s character “all grown up.”
  • A voiceover of the real Pekar tells us Harvey Pekar is also a real guy and we eventually meet that guy in a sound studio being interviewed, documentary style, by Shari Springer Berman.
  • Interspersed are comic renditions of the character talking to us in bubbles, telling us about who he is.
  • Giamatti thinks in bubble text at the supermarket where the idea for American Splendor was born.
  • We meet?the comic renditions?of Pekar again at the the train station when Joyce Brabner (Hope Davis) arrives for the first time.
  • Later, we get clips of the real Pekar on ?Late Night with David Letterman.?
  • Giamatti?also stages Pekar?s volatile GE/NBC blast on the same show.
  • Last but not least, we see one more permutation when Giamatti acts repulsed while watching a play about Pekar played by Donal Logue when the voiceover adds that he, the real Pekar, wonders how he?ll feel seeing Giamatti play him in this movie.

The genious mix of reality and fiction is?enough to make my head spin…

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