Los Angeles Times By Patrick Goldstein
Albert Brooks, who satirized America’s voyeuristic streak two decades ago, ponders the world of ‘Survivor’ and ‘Millionaire.’
ALBERT BROOKS first feature film, “Real Life,” made 21 years ago, was about a madcap filmmaker who attempts to document the everyday world of a model suburban family of four. But what begins as cinema verite ends up as cinema carnival as the director, played by Brooks, proceeds to pester, manipulate and ultimately destroy their lives. The satire was loosely based on a popular 1970s PBS documentary series “An American Family,” where a filmmaker chronicled the day-to-day life of the Loud family of Santa Barbara.
Not everyone got the joke. Brooks says that Rex Reed lambasted “Real Life,” saying, “Why would a studio give this idiot the money to do this kind of nutty experiment?”
People Online JACQUE JONES
Albert Brooks thinks about inspiration
Ask writers their biggest fear in life and most will undoubtedly reply “writer’s block.” Try to imagine the frantic feeling that your creative well has run dry at the same time that your livelihood depends on it flowing and you’ll get the panic behind Albert Brooks’s new comedy The Muse. Brooks plays a Hollywood screenwriter desperate for inspiration who finds it with a little help from a real-life Muse (Sharon Stone). (The Muses, according to Greek mythology, were the nine daughters of Zeus, who inspired artists with boundless creativity.) She turns out to be so powerful that even such real-life directors as Rob Reiner, Martin Scorsese and James Cameron appear in cameos for a quick consult. Brooks talked with PEOPLE Online’s Jacque Jones about his inspiration for the film, his own muse, writer’s block and being an inspiration to others.
Q: How did the idea for The Muse come about?
A: I always felt that one of the best bits I ever did on “The Tonight Show” was where I literally ran out of material. I was only five years into my career and I just sat in a chair and looked at the camera and said, “I have no more material left. Now don’t think I couldn’t do the cheap stuff because I could. I could drop my pants and draw a face” and I wound up doing all the stuff I said I would never do. That idea of running out and finding someone to come up with stuff is a gift. It’s such a romantic fantasy notion that there’s this goddess looking over you to make sure you can write. Continue reading
Rolling Stone by Bill Zehme
Hello and welcome. You have begun to read something we like to call the Albert Brooks Celebrity Profile. This is an exciting opportunity for you to learn about Albert Brooks, a man most experts believe to be the funniest human being currently living. You say, If Albert Brooks is so funny, why haven’t I seen more of him? The answer is not simple, but let me ask you this: Is it necessary to see more of someone in order to appreciate how funny he or she is? In fact, aren’t most people actually funnier in retrospect than they are when you’re with them? And whats funny, anyway? It’s a foolish word, when you think about it. Funny. How would you like to be called funny? It’s not exactly dignified, is it? Therefore, if people were running around calling you the funniest man alive, maybe you wouldn’t want to be making a public spectacle of yourself. Maybe you’d like a little privacy and prefer to stay at home and watch a great deal of television and think about death. Well, thats what comedian-auteur Albert Brooks has done, and now he’s ready to talk about it – just in time to coincde with the release of his fourth film in twelve years, Defending Your Life, in which he and Meryl Streep portray two very funny dead people.