Author Archives: albert

Albert Brooks on his new futuristic novel: I wanted it to read like a news story

Los Angeles Times | link ›
By Patrick Goldstein

It’s hard not to argue, with only the smallest apology to Larry David, that Albert Brooks has the most distinct comic voice of his generation. When we were talking the other day, just after the announcement that Osama bin Laden had been killed by U.S. special forces in an affluent suburb of Islamabad, near an elite military academy and a lush golf course, Brooks said dryly: “It would be like Hitler living in Burbank. You’d have to think the Burbank police were in on it, wouldn’t you?”

Even though he is best known for directing and starring in a string of groundbreaking comic films like “Modern Romance” and “Lost in America,” Brooks, 63, has helmed only one movie since 1999, finding it easier to get work as an actor — he’s costarring in a new Judd Apatow film that shoots this summer. He’s also been busy penning his first novel, “Twenty Thirty: The Real Story of What Happens to America.” Due out Tuesday from St. Martin’s Press, the novel is a revelation, painting a caustic, unsettling and only occasionally comic portrait of a country plumb down on its luck. Continue reading

New York Times: A Comedian Laughs All the Way To Dystopia

New York Times | link ›
By Dave Itzkoff

LOS ANGELES — For a guy who just wrote a whole book about the myriad catastrophes that could befall the United States in the next 20 years, Albert Brooks says he’s not interested in end-of-the-world scenarios and, more to the point, he’s too nervous to contemplate them.

“We’ve seen those stories where three people are left, and Denzel Washington’s wearing tattered clothes,” a spirited Mr. Brooks said recently at his Beverly Hills office. “It’s a great possibility, but I don’t want to imagine it. I try to keep it out of my imagination.”

Yet when he peers into the near future in his comic debut novel, “2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America,” which St. Martin’s Press will release next Tuesday, Mr. Brooks, the comedian and filmmaker, doesn’t necessarily find a lot to laugh about.

The good news is that cancer has been cured; the bad news is that this and other innovations have prolonged people’s lives to untenable lengths, draining the resources of a broke and broken United States, and polarizing relations between the young and the old, and between the merely old and the superannuated. With the economy and the American dream in shambles, a huge earthquake hits Los Angeles, testing the administration of the country’s first Jewish president. Continue reading

NEW YORK TIMES book review: A Wry Eye on Problems of the Future

New York Times | link ›
By Janet Maslin

In his most recent film, “Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World,” Albert Brooks can be seen as a stand-up comic trying to entertain an audience in India. He tells a few jokes. Nobody laughs. He wonders why. Then he has the bright idea that maybe the crowd simply can’t follow him. How many people in the auditorium understand English, he asks? Every person in the audience raises a hand.

There you have it: an only slightly exaggerated vision of Mr. Brooks’s thankless career on screen. For decades he has been creating, playing and directing characters whose gloom is justified by their failures, despite the great deadpan dialogue they deliver and the groundless optimism to which they cling.

A small but loyal audience deems Mr. Brooks brave, brilliant, obsessive, fanatical and pricelessly funny even when he falls flat. A much larger crowd, the “Finding Nemo” audience, knows him as the cute, fretful voice of an animated fish. He now finds himself courting a new demographic: people who like alarming books.

With “2030” Mr. Brooks has made the nervy move of transposing his worrywart sensibility from film to book. Two things are immediately apparent about his debut novel: that it’s as purposeful as it is funny, and that Mr. Brooks has immersed himself deeply in its creation. “2030” is an extrapolation of present-day America into the not-so-distant future, and it is informed by the author’s surprisingly serious attention to reality. Unlike the fantasy writer who foresees a gee-whiz future full of alluring gimmicks, Mr. Brooks has dreamed up escapism about problems we cannot escape.

“2030” has a large cast of characters, like the Nobel laureate who cured cancer and the American president who will change his country in profound, irreversible ways. It also has frightening prescience. A 9.1 earthquake hits the Pacific Rim, with devastating consequences. The dollar’s run as the world’s reserve currency is long over. Debt is the era’s overriding issue on both the personal and the political levels, because the cancer-free elderly have stopped dying on schedule. The young bitterly resent the old, and the old have good reason to be fearful.

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“DRIVE” Starring Ryan Gosling, Carrie Mulligan and Albert Brooks in Competition At Cannes Film Festival

Indiewire | link ›

Easily one of our most anticipated titles in a great year that’s lining up on the Croisette, we finally have our first official look at Nicolas Winding Refn‘s “Drive” starring Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan. Based on the novel by James Sallis, Refn’s reportedly lean and mean film follows a stunt driver who moonlights as a getaway driver-for-hire and gets mixed up with dangerous dudes. Sounds great and with this supporting cast—Ron Perlman, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks, Christina Hendricks and Oscar Issac—we can’t wait to see what kind of spin Refn puts on the material. Check out a larger version of the picture and synopsis below. The film hits theaters on September 16th.

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DEADLINE HOLLYWOOD EXCLUSIVE: Albert Brooks in Talks for Judd Apatow Pic.

Deadline Hollywood By Mike Fleming | link ›

EXCLUSIVE: Albert Brooks is negotiating to join the untitled comedy that Judd Apatow wrote and will direct for Universal Pictures. The film will star Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd, who are reprising the roles they played in Knocked Up. I’m told that Brooks is in talks to play Rudd’s father in a film that will also feature Megan Fox. It’s an interesting pairing, Brooks and Apatow, because they are both writer/directors whose comedies have a very auteurish voice. Brooks most recently played a mobster you don’t want to cross in Drive, the Nicolas Winding Refn-directed adaptation of the James Sallis novel that stars Ryan Gosling.

Brooks also has a May publication date on 2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America, a novel that will be published by St. Martin’s Press. That book takes a serious look at what might happen in 20 years, when cancer has been eradicated and life expectancies have been pushed up to 110, rendering 70 the new middle age. Brooks is repped by WME and managed by Herb Nanas.

From Publishers Weekly

“Comedian and filmmaker Brooks welcomes the reader to the year 2030 in his smart and surprisingly serious debut….Brooks’s mordant vision encompasses the future of politics, medicine, entertainment, and daily living, resulting in a novel as entertaining as it is thought provoking, like something from the imagination of a borscht belt H.G. Wells.” Pre-order now »

Defending Your Dystopia: Albert Brooks Visits the Near-Future in His First Novel

New York Times By Dave Itzkoff | link ›

Chris Carlson/Associated Press Albert Brooks

In his feature films, Albert Brooks has traveled across the country (almost eventually) and to the afterlife, so for his first novel, there was only one place left for him to go: the future.

“I’ve always liked to think ahead,” Mr. Brooks, the comedian, filmmaker (“Lost in America”) and actor (“Broadcast News”) said in a telephone interview. “Not stupid-far ahead. A hundred years doesn’t interest me. But 20 years interests me, and more for what happens to humans as opposed to things.”

That’s the not-too-distant future Mr. Brooks will explore in “2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America,” a novel that St. Martin’s Press will publish in May 2011, the publisher is to announce on Friday.
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Albert Brooks Plays Badass Role In ‘Drive’

Deadline Hollywood By Mike Fleming | link ›

This is a seminal year for Albert Brooks. After completing an ambitious science fiction novel 2030: The Real Story of What Happens To America and setting it to be published next May by St. Martin’s Press, Brooks has signed on for his first screen turn as a truly dangerous badass.

Brooks has joined the cast of Drive, the Nicolas Winding Refn-directed adaptation of the James Sallis novel that stars Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan and Bryan Cranston. Gosling plays a stunt driver who moonlights as a getaway driver and gets in over his head. Brooks will play Bernie Rose, a transplanted New York mobster who comes to L.A. and is not to be messed with. Continue reading