The new Saturday Night Live (SNL) documentary, Live From New York! will be released at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival which runs from April 15th to April 26th. The documentary is set to be the opening film of the festival.
Live From New York! was directed by Bao Nguyen with Lorne Michaels’ cooperation. The documentary mostly focuses on the early years of SNL. Saturday Night Live is a comedy sketch show that first premiered on NBC in 1975. The show is currently running its 40th season. The television show is award winning, having received both Emmys and Peabody awards as well as awards from the Writer’s Guild of America.
Jane Rosenthal, co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival calls SNL an “institution” and reports that the documentary follows the show’s journey of creativity. Live From New York! is not the first documentary about SNL to play at Tribeca because back in 2010 Saturday Night was released by James Franco. This film followed a week in the life of the show. Saturday Night Live is present in the media this week not only for the new documentary but also because it will air its 40th anniversary special on this coming Sunday.
Live From New York! also explores how the TV show has become a “living time capsule.” The documentary will feature footage from the archives and “exclusive commentary” with the people who have worked on Saturday Night Live. This includes, writers, crew, actors, musical guests, and more.
Saturday Night Live has launched a great deal of comedy careers. One of these includes Tina Fey. Her show, 30 Rock was a sitcom mildly similar to the making of Saturday Night Live. 30 Rock featured the writers, actors, and the fictional NBC that were behind a live comedy show called TGS. SNL also has helped to give fame to actors such as Bill Murray, Steve Martin, John Belushi, Andy Samberg, Eddie Murphy, Amy Poehler and many others.
The show is of course known for its comedy. It presents everything from politics to tragedies to a Django Unchained parody featuring a revenge driven (D)Jesus. The magazine, Rolling Stone recently released an article about Saturday Night Live’s greatest sketches. The sketch it ranks as number one originally aired in 1993. It features Chris Farley playing Matt Foley, a motivational speaker hired by parent for their children. Sketches featuring Matt Foley popularized the phrase “la-dee-frickin-da.”
Saturday Night Live has made a constant contribution to the arts, comedy, and pop culture since the show’s debut. Nguyen said that he wanted to use his film to illustrate how significant Saturday Night Live has been to American society. Actor Robert De Niro, who has hosted SNL three times, also testifies about the show’s place in U.S. culture.
The Tribeca Film Festival was founded by De Niro, Craig Hatkoff, and Rosenthal after the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. They set it up with the desire to revitalize New York. The Tribeca Film Festival has screened more than 1,900 films for its attendees since it opened. The SNL documentary title has been announced and more titles of films that will play at Tribeca will be released in March.
By Emilee Prado
Photo by Wally Gobetz – Flickr License