The Alan Berliner Collection [5 Discs] [DVD]

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Special Features

  • Bonus features
  • Short films
  • Interviews
  • Dvd-rom features


The Sweetest Sound (The Ultimate Name Game)
Documentary filmmaker Alan Berliner has a name, just like everyone else, but he's not sure just what it's supposed to mean, and in this film he looks at his own moniker and those of a number of other people, as he tries to get to the bottom of the mystery of human names. Berliner humorously explores the heritage of his Christian name (depending on what language source you consult, "Alan" can mean "peace" or "rock"), interviews his short-tempered father about how he was named (he offers little useful insight), documents his own frustration when people confuse him with French filmmaker Alain Berliner, and even organizes a dinner party for 12 different men who share the name "Alan Berliner." Along the way, Alan also visits a society for women named Linda, studies which names were most popular in particular decades, and explores the myths and realities about how some immigrants had their names changed at Ellis Island. The Sweetest Sound was shown in competition at the 2001 Berlin Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

The Family Album
American life. A collection of 16mm home movie clips showing the lives of American families from the 1920's through the 1950's. ~ John ?, Rovi

Nobody's Business
This documentary is the companion piece to New York filmmaker Alan Berliner's 1991 film Intimate Stranger which followed the fascinating life of his grandfather, a seemingly average man with an extraordinary life. This time Berliner's camera focuses on the life of his curmudgeonly father Oscar who resists his son's efforts nearly every step of the way because he feels his life has not been interesting or important enough to film. Still Berliner presses on and presents a bittersweet and insightful portrait. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Wide Awake
One man's lifelong quest for a restful night of sleep is explored as filmmaker Alan Berliner turns the camera on himself to explore the effects that insomnia has on a man who just can't seem to slow his mind down. Berliner is a man who has fallen victim to his own restless conscience. From as far back as he can remember sleep has been an elusive goal that seems ever farther from reality, but despite his best efforts Berliner just can't seem to find a cure for his condition. Whether the result of simple neurosis or the many demands of his life and family, Berliner's insomnia remains his cursed companion through thick and thin. But Berliner's condition affects more people than just himself, and as the sleep-deprived documentarian interviews family and friends, viewers are treated to an intimate glimpse at how one man's condition can have an unsettling ripple effect on nearly everyone around him. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Intimate Stranger
This documentary is about the efforts of the family of an eccentric patriarch to understand more about this largely absent man. He was also the documentarian's maternal grandfather. A Palestinian Jew, Joseph Casuoto was a trader fluent in seven languages and generous with his advice. He lived the better part of his life each year in Japan and left his family behind in Brooklyn, dying some years after the end of World War II. To this day, there are so many mysteries about him that the only thing family members could agree about was that he was far kinder to those he did business with than to them. This hour-long documentary is not to be confused with the 1991 thriller with the same name directed by Allan Holzman. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Alan Berliner
    Alan Berliner - Himself
  • Alain Berliner
    Alain Berliner - Himself
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