Char·ac·ter, a documentary by Drago Sumonja featuring Dabney Coleman, Peter Falk, Charles Grodin, Mark Rydell, Harry Dean Stanton and Sydney Pollack

After a recent talk with filmmaker Shaun O’Banion where we talked about our wishlists for podcast guests, Shaun recommended to me a 2009 documentary called Char·ac·ter by Drago Sumonja. Shaun did say he wasnt sure how easy it would be to track down the documentary but it was definitely worth seeking out. Well I found it on the free platform Plex and I’ve placed the link at the bottom of this review for you to check it out. 

Char·ac·ter is a candid ‘talking head’ type documentary about the life and craft of acting from such talented souls as Dabney Coleman (Wargames, Tootsie,On Golden Pond)  Peter Falk (Columbo, The Princess Pride, Cookie), Charles Grodin (Midnight Run, Beethoven, Heaven Can Wait), Mark Rydell (Director of On Golden Pond, The River, and The Cowboys) , Harry Dean Stanton (Alien, Repo Man, Big Love)  and Sydney Pollack (Director of The Way We Were, The Firm, and Out of Africa). Drago Sumonja’s documentary (which he calls a document) takes us into the hearts, minds, and living rooms of some of America’s greatest storytellers and legendary actors and its so wonderful to hear their stories of their memories of the start of their working lives that would expand into such fantastic careers that would span decades. I also read that this documentary contains the final official interviews of Sydney Pollack and also Peter Falk.

I loved the way that this documentary was crafted, not just with the stories shared by these legendary screen actors but the way it is filmed, with a great black and white tone which I feel enhances the faces of those on screen as well as the backdrops of the shots. Is there a downside to it? Well the greedy film fan part of me thinks that the only downside is that this documentary isn’t 100 hours long because I could have watched so much more of this than was created. But I’m greedy for great people sharing great stories. Shaun was right when he said this documentary worth tracking down, and I urge you to check it out too. 

Directed by Drago Sumonja

You can watch the documentary here on Plex

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