“I was 23 when I first approached him about making this film,” filmmaker Robert Weide says in the trailer for his IFC Films documentary Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time.
“I became obsessed. What high school kid isn’t going to gobble this up?” Weide continudes, holding a copy of the author’s dark comic novel Breakfast of Champions, “He thinks what I think about the world.”
Thirty-nine years ago, Weide reached out to his literary idol proposing a documentary on Vonnegut’s life and work. Shooting began in 1988 and the docu reflects the friendship and bond Weide and Vonnegut formed over the decades.
“I was always filming on and off with him over the years,” says Weide in the trailer. Vonnegut died on April 11, 2007.
Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time dives into the author’s upbringing and his creative output, spanning his childhood in Indianapolis, his experience as a prisoner of war in World War II, his marriage, family and divorce, his early careers as a publicist for General Electric and a car salesman, and his long years as a struggling writer, leading to eventual superstardom in 1969 following the publication of his lightning-bolt anti-war novel Slaughterhouse-Five (which would later be adapted into the 1972 movie from George Roy Hill).
The documentary follows Weide’s odyssey as he examines the impact of Vonnegut’s legacy on his own life, extending far beyond the printed page.
Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time was announced as part of the lineup for Doc NYC today. IFC is releasing the documentary in theaters and VOD on November 19.
Weide produced and wrote Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time and he co-directed with Don Argott.
Weide was nominated for a Documentary Feature Oscar in 1999 for Lenny Bruce: Swear to Tell the Truth. He would go on to win a Primetime Emmy for that docu in Non-Fiction Programming, Picture Editing, as well as two other Emmy wins for Directing in a Comedy Series (Curb Your Enthusiasm) and Outstanding Informational Special (W.C. Fields: Straight Up). He is the EP of HBO’s award winning comedy series Curb Your Enthusiasm and has directed 29 episodes throughout the series’ 10 seasons.