This So-Called Disaster 

After playing the ghost in Michael Almereyda's underrated modern-dress-Manhattan film of Hamlet (2000), Sam Shepard invited Almereyda to film his own rehearsals for the San Francisco stage production of his autobiographical play The Late Henry Ross, featuring Nick Nolte, Sean Penn, James Gammon, and Cheech Marin. The play holds relatively little interest for me even after this unpacking, yet Almereyda's judicious observation and careful editing keep Shepard's serious work with actors and honest wrestling with personal demons fascinating and instructive throughout. 89 min. Facets Cinematheque.

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