With one week to go before Sundance kicks off, my profiles of this year’s Doc Premieres are headed into the homestretch: NOTHING LEFT UNSAID: GLORIA VANDERBILT & ANDERSON COOPER, Liz Garbus’ dual portrait of the famed mother and son.
Sundance Program Description:
Privilege, love, loss, and survival are all deftly examined in NOTHING LEFT UNSAID, which turns a lens on the expansive life of Gloria Vanderbilt. At 91, Vanderbilt herself provides a rich living history on the experience of growing up within a storied American family. Her youngest son, Anderson Cooper, peppers his still-vibrant mother on camera with questions about her complex public and private personas.
Ms Vanderbilt recounts how, as a young girl, she was raised by a nurse who she adored and was later involved in a highly publicized custody battle. While in prep school, she traveled to Hollywood and soon found herself married to an older man. From then on, her life revolved around a series of famous suitors, her children, an acting career, and eventually a successful fashion business. Yet all the while, she quietly created art that revealed themes most resonant to her. Veteran director Liz Garbus delicately weaves archival footage and home movies that supply the backdrop to Vanderbilt’s stories of a rich, yet complicated life.
Director/Producer: Liz Garbus
Garbus has had several of her past films debut at Sundance, most recently last year’s Day One film WHAT HAPPENED, MISS SIMONE?, which was just nominated for the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. Other alumni titles she has directed include BOBBY FISCHER AGAINST THE WORLD (2011), SHOUTING FIRE: STORIES FROM THE EDGE OF FREE SPEECH (2009), THE EXECUTION OF WANDA JEAN (2002), and THE FARM: ANGOLA, USA (1998), for which she received the Documentary Grand Jury Prize and was later nominated for the Academy Award.
Executive Producer: Sheila Nevins; Senior Producer: Nancy Abraham
As head of HBO Documentary Films, Nevins is also represented at this year’s festival by US Doc Comp title SUITED, and fellow Doc Premieres titles BECOMING MIKE NICHOLS, UNLOCKING THE CAGE, and MAPPLETHORPE: LOOK AT THE PICTURES. Her most recent of extensive past Sundance docs include last year’s GOING CLEAR: SCIENTOLOGY AND THE PRISON OF BELIEF, LARRY KRAMER IN LOVE & ANGER, KURT COBAIN: MONTAGE OF HECK, and THE JINX: THE LIFE AND DEATHS OF ROBERT DURST.
Nevins’ associate Abraham counts among her recent previous Park City credits LIFE ACCORDING TO SAM (2013), MANHUNT: THE SEARCH FOR OSAMA BIN LADEN (2013), MARINA ABRAMOVIC THE ARTIST IS PRESENT (2012), ETHEL (2012), and Garbus’ BOBBY FISCHER, among several others.
Editor: Karen KH Sim
Sim previously edited and co-produced the Sundance alums SHOUTING FIRE and WATCHERS OF THE SKY (2014), receiving the US Documentary Editing Award for the latter.
Why You Should Watch:
Garbus elegantly presents the complex family history of the Vanderbilt/Cooper clans, conveying a warmth by grounding the film in an intimate conversation between the legendary mother and her equally distinguished son. Their bond opens up avenues of inquiry that prove illuminating and at times surprising, despite living lives in the public eye.
For Sundance screening dates and times, click the link in the first paragraph.
Presently, the film does not have a website, Facebook page, or trailer. Should this change before the festival kicks off, I’ll update that information here.
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