Nobody loves Albert Brooks more than myself…nobody. I’ve worshipped him since the early ’70s…a long time. In fact, please listen or re-listen to this relaxed 2012 phoner I did with him…sounds good, nobody’s trying too hard, only 11 years old.
Rest assured I’ll be watching Albert Brooks; Defending My Life (HBO, 11.11) without fail, but I wish these tribute docs could occasionally be different or surprising in some way. You know what I mean. I wish they could somehow unfold without the same old talking heads delivering the same old praise cliches. Make no mistake — Brooks deserves all praise and more, but he also deserves ingenuity and unusualness from his admirers.
I would rather watch an essay piece in which some bright person analyzes Brooks’ best material (stand-up, SNL, self-directed movies, performances for other directors) and then ties them all together…ties his life together in terms of universal themes and how his films reflected the changing zeitgeist, etc. I’d like to see an Albert Brooks tribute doc that’s conceived, written, performed and directed by Brooks himself…how about that?