Archive of films American Splendor / American Splendor

2002, 100 min

Section: Horizons - Award-Winning Films
Year: 2003

Harvey Pekar works in a veteran hospital in his native Cleveland. His monotonous life begins to change when his tedious dead-end existence is transferred to the world of comics… The film was given the Main Jury Prize at the Sundance FF 2003 and was awarded the FIPRESCI Prize at the Cannes IFF 2003.


Harvey Pekar works at the VA Hospital in his hometown of Cleveland and fills his days with reading, writing, listening to jazz, and engaging in cerebral banter. When his buddy Robert Crumb earns wide acclaim for comic art, Harvey is inspired to write his own brand of comic books, and he makes the monotonous torture of his everyday foibles their focus. „American Splendor“ is hugely succesful, but Harvey still finds his life lacking. Enter the equally depressive Joyce Brabner, and united in codependence, the pair tackle life together. The film was given the Main Jury Prize at the Sundance FF 2003 and was awarded the FIPRESCI Prize at the Cannes IFF 2003.

About the director

Shari Springer Berman (b. 1964, New York) and Robert Pulcini (b. 1964, New York) began cooperating at Columbia Film School. Their documentary Off the Menu: The Last Days of Chasen´s (1997) took the Special Jury Prize in the documentary competition at the 1998 Newport IFF and was also screened at  the Karlovy Vary IFF. Their second film The Young and the Dead (2000) was screened at Venice in 2000 and broadcast on HBO. On her own Berman shot Velvet Elvis (1992) and Hello, He Lied and Other Truths from the Hollywood Trenches (2002, TV); Robert Pulcini made Love After Death (1993). American Splendor is their first feature collaboration.


HBO Films London
98 Theobald´s Road, WC1X 8WB, London
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 207 984 5048
Fax: +44 207 984 5052
E-mail: [email protected]

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Horizons - Award-Winning Films
Director: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini
Screenplay: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini
Dir. of Photography: Terry Stacey
Music: Mark Suozzo
Editor: Robert Pulcini
Producer: Ted Hope
Production: Good Machine
Cast: Paul Giamatti, Hope Davis
Contact: HBO Films London

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