The American Splendor Movie

Presented by Harvey Pekar.

No one was more surprised than Harvey Pekar at the interest certain producers such as director/producer Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia) took in his comic, American Splendor. Why, thought Harvey, would they want to option a book that only sold a few thousand copies a year? But it wasnít until Harvey was about to retire from his job as a file clerk in the Veteranís Administration, that an illustrator friend of his in New York told him Indie movie producer Ted Hope wanted to make an American Splendor film. Hope had many Sundance entries, and two had become Grand Jury Prize winners: What Happened Was and The Brothers McMullen.

With funding from HBO, American Splendor was produced, with Harvey, his wife, and friends playing themselves at times. A film that broke the fourth wall in ways no other film had done, American Splendor not only became Hopeís third Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner, but also won the FIPRESCI Award at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival, the Critics prize at the 2003 Deauville Film Festival, and was nominated for five Spirit Awards and one Academy Award. It also brought Harvey some much-needed income at a crucial time in his life.

Hear Harvey tell tales of his experiences making the American Splendor movie.

















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