Cinéma-vérité: A style of filmmaking characterized by the realistic. It is typical of documentary motion pictures that avoid artificiality and artistic effect, generally made with simple equipment, the style of a “living vision” on film.
The reality television show: every day, millions of American and International viewers sit down with their families and watch everything from everyday people to would-be stars go through the motions of trying to obtain their dream or deal with life’s issues. We watch religiously as we root for our favorites and hope for their good fortune, while thanking our lucky stars that we don’t have their problems, or wishing we had that one break at fame. One concept that eludes the viewer, the underlying fact that we all seem to miss: the camera is always watching. What secrets would be exposed to the masses if we were on the other end of the all seeing eye of the Panaflex.
In 1973, PBS aired the documentary series An American Family, which chronicled the daily lives of the Loud Family. It all started out as a look into the lives of regular people: a mother, a father, children and all that comes with living in our cities and being regular people with regular times, both good and bad. However, with the continual roll of the celluloid, came the exposure of every little “this and that”, every little secret, and then every big secret, every moment of distain and every “horror” that is hidden within a family from the outside world.
The docu-drama Cinema Verite will premiere on HBO April 23, 2011 – and with an all star cast. It will take you back to 1973, into the lives of the Louds; you will see and feel what the first “Reality Family” TV Show was, and you will witness the seen and unseen in vivid detail. The HBO film stars Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe nominee Diane Lane, and Oscar and multiple-Golden Globe winner Tim Robbins as the Louds, the California couple who agreed to let their family’s lives become the first "reality" TV show, an unvarnished look at a typical American family.
James Gandolfini co-stars in Cinema Verite as the director of the documentary who's determined to keep the cameras rolling, especially as the dysfunction of the Louds begins to turn the documentary into a full-fledged drama.