Category: Press & News

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

So an Imam Walks Into a Mosque . . .

New York Times By Dave Kehr

FRESHLY returned from the Middle East, where his new film, “Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World” had its world premiere as part of the second annual Dubai International Film Festival, Albert Brooks sounded exhausted, elated and relieved.

“This had never happened before,” said Mr. Brooks from Los Angeles. “There’s been no other American comedy that’s made light of anything after 9/11. Nobody knows what will happen. The audience could stand up and walk out, they could boo, who knows? I don’t have any road map here. I was told that, ‘We think it will be O.K.,’ but I was also told that people don’t mince words here. If you hit the nail wrongly, it’s like your thumb: you know it right away.” Continue reading

Diplomatic Mission

Indian Express/Arts Etc By Sanjukta Sharma

Albert Brooks samples Muslim laughter from Delhi streets in his new film.

YOU’VE seen him in Martin Scorcese’s Taxi Driver. In The Ed Sullivan Show, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and in The Muse, where Sharon Stone played the title role. Twenty-six years after comedian Albert Brooks played himself in Real Life, another idea for a self-portrayal unfolded in his head. The plot: Politician-actor Fred Dalton Thompson summons Brooks to Washington DC. He must be a diplomatic emissary for the US government. His brief: ‘‘Go to India and Pakistan and file a 500-page report on what makes the over 300 million Muslims in the two countries laugh.’’ Unable to resist the prospect of a ‘Medal of Freedom’ that the effort would fetch him, Brooks arrives with a big crew in Delhi in early 2005.
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American comedy in Dubai

Guardian Unlimited

Middle Eastern settings are unsurprisingly writ large over the lineup of the second Dubai Film Festival this weekend. The Film festival, which has livened up the Gulf city’s cultural life, is seen as a venue for new filmmakers to present their often quite challenging fare to audiences of considerable ethic diversity.

Top of the bill is Albert Brooks’s satirical Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World, in which Brooks plays a man sent to Pakistan at the behest of the US Administration to forge a more harmonious post-911 world. Although the film sends up US policy and American ignorance about the region and its inhabitants, Brooks told Reuters news agency that its eye-catching title had caused Sony to pass on distribution rights for fear of arousing Muslim suspicion and reprisals.

Also screening are the Israeli-Palestinian co-production and drama Paradise Now, and a documentary about the Christian Lebanese Forces militia that slaughtered Palestinian refugees in 1982.

Comedy in the Muslim world?

Rediff India Abroad By Arthur J Pais

The script called for a shot of the exterior of the Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi but writer, actor and filmmaker Albert Brooks, who says he had received ‘unprecedented access to mosques, temples and monuments,’ quickly discovered that his list did not include the embassy.

Brooks’s film, now known as Looking For Comedy In The Muslim World, did not even have a title during the shoot. Or, if it did, hardly anyone knew of it. For one thing, he was afraid the title would create controversies. The film, which also stars America-raised Sheetal Sheth, revolves around a comedian (Brooks) who has to spend a month in India and Pakistan, write a 500 page report, and tell Washington what makes the over 300 million Muslims in the region laugh. But he finds people aren’t opening up. He is also surprised to discover there are no comedy clubs in India or Pakistan. So, he decides to put on the first comedy concert in New Delhi. His problems continue. Continue reading

Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World By John Stossel

Sony Pictures got upset about a “bad” word. They demanded it be taken out of the title of a movie. The word is “Muslim.”

Give me a break. Do we have to be that sensitive? Or fearful?

The movie is “Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World.” The writer and star of the movie, Albert Brooks, says he made the movie because he was concerned that, in the wake of 9/11, Americans hated even the word “Muslim.” “A part of me always thought,” Brooks said, “what are there, a billion-and-a-half Muslim people on this planet, and I never thought that all of them wanted us dead.”
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Funny choices

Los Angeles Times By Patrick Goldstein

Something’s wrong when a studio balks at a comedy this inspired.

Albert Brooks performs a stand-up comedy concert in "Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World." (Lacey Terrell)

In the days after the calamitous 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, there was a brief flurry of soul-searching in Hollywood, focusing in part on how much of a role our movies played in stirring Muslim rage against America. As innumerable cultural historians have discovered, many devout Muslims are horrified by the sexual innuendo and crass materialism in Hollywood films and music videos, not to mention Vanity Fair, whose salacious cover spread this month of Paris Hilton pretty much says it all when it comes to celebrating even the tawdriest members of our celebrity culture.
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Brooks Reveals His ‘Muse’

New York Daily News By BART MILLS

Albert Brooks has been kicking around Hollywood for more than three decades. But the way he tells it, it’s more like Hollywood has been kicking him around.

Despite having developed a signature comedic style as an actor, writer and director with such stellar films as “Defending Your Life” and “Lost in America,” Brooks still thinks Hollywood doesn’t, well, really get him.

Film roles don’t drop in his lap and script offers don’t ring his phone off the hook, which explains why he often writes for himself and let’s the chips fall where they may.
“I don’t generally see Albert Brooks comedies written by other people,” he says with his singular brand of irony. “That’s why I have to make ’em myself. I’m a lazy guy. If they were all around, I’d go act in ’em.”
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