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I AM The Documentary

December 22, 2010
Hollywood director Tom Shadyac gives away his fortune, produces new documentary.

[Tom Shadyac] Once the most celebrated comedy director in the business, having made a fortune with hits like “The Nutty Professor,” “Liar Liar” and “Bruce Almighty,” Shadyac is now a Hollywood dropout.

Now 51, he hasn’t made a feature film since “Evan Almighty” in 2007. He sold a 17,000-square-foot mansion in Pasadena and moved into a trailer park in north Malibu. He’s been giving away most of his money and was well on his way to shedding his possessions several years ago when he took a serious fall while bicycling in Virginia, breaking his hand and suffering a concussion.

The hand healed, but Shadyac ended up with a nasty case of post-concussion syndrome, an ailment common among professional athletes that can cause depression, disorientation and has even prompted some victims to commit suicide.

It took Shadyac months to recover. When I visited him Friday at his trailer park home, he pointed to a closet in his tiny bedroom. “That’s where I would sleep a lot of the time,” he says. “Everything felt too loud and too bright because my brain had lost the ability to filter things out.”
When Shadyac finally returned to health, he decided that he needed to make a film that could explore why today’s culture is so obsessed with competition and separation instead of community and cooperation. Due in theaters early next year, “I Am” features interviews with all sorts of wise men and women, including well-known cultural figures such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the late historian Howard Zinn as well as lesser-known scientists, poets and evolutionary biologists.

They all grapple with Shadyac’s central theme, puzzling over why man is often more competitive than cooperative, more aggressive than empathetic — in other words more like Donald Trump than like Gandhi. The film is crammed with intriguing ideas, but Shadyac earns his keep as a filmmaker. He illustrates the serious talk with provocative images, emphasizing our sense of connectedness, for example, with a great scene of dozens of skydivers, holding hands as they plunge earthward.

From the LA Times, read the rest HERE

Visit the official movie site

HT: Dangerous Minds

6 Comments leave one →
  1. December 22, 2010 1:45 pm

    They all grapple with Shadyac’s central theme, puzzling over why man is often more competitive than cooperative, more aggressive than empathetic — in other words more like Donald Trump than like Gandhi.

    Sooo… Dude wants everyone to be more like a self-serving fraudster than a self-serving entrepreneur? Doesn’t make sense to me. At least Trump is honest.

    • Jake permalink
      December 22, 2010 4:26 pm

      Someone upped his dose of cynical pills to maximum this morning…

      That said, is it just me, or is anyone else curious about the Bill Gates foundation and how he’s getting all those people to part with billions of dollars? There’s gotta be some end game. Like an army of cyborg robot clones from the future sent to enslave us or something. Colour me suspicious.

      • Jon Hendry permalink
        December 22, 2010 9:06 pm

        Well, it is kinda the ultimate status symbol.

  2. Nicola permalink
    December 22, 2010 1:46 pm

    Thanks for sharing that. I hope the movie makes it to New Zealand!

Trackbacks

  1. I Am shares uniquely similar traits of the human condition | Lilywhitewash's Blog
  2. I Am – The Human Condition | Lilywhitewash's Blog

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