The world premiere of “Live From New York!,” Bao Nguyen's documentary exploring 40 years of American politics, tragedy and popular culture through the comedic lens of the television institution, will open the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival on Wednesday, April 15.
“'SNL's' contribution to the arts and to pop culture has been – and continues to be – groundbreaking, and 'Live From New York!' offers an inside look at the show's inimitable ability to both reflect and impact American news, history and culture,” said Jane Rosenthal, co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival. “This is the story of a creative journey from pilot to institution and a tribute to the moments that kept us laughing and talking long after the episodes aired.”
Rosenthal's partner Robert De Niro added that the selection is “personally gratifying…having hosted 'SNL' three times, and guested on several occasions.”
Nguyen's film explores the early years of the show, an experiment from a young Lorne Michaels and his cast of unknowns, following its evolution into a comedy landmark. It looks at “SNL” as a living time capsule, archival footage interwoven with stolen moments and exclusive commentary from “SNL” legends, journalists, hosts, musical guests, crew and more. Though not apparently related to James A. Miller and Tom Shales' invaluable oral history tome “Live from New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live,” it clearly seems like it will be a wonderful companion piece.
Meanwhile, “Saturday Night Live” will be celebrating its 40th anniversary on Sunday, Feb. 15 with a live episode featuring the likes of Dan Aykrowd, Alec Baldwin, Robert De Niro, Betty White, Kanye West, Eddie Murphy and a whole lot more.
The 14th annual Tribeca Film Festival runs April 15-26.