Nelson Algren: The End is Nothing, the Road is All is an in-depth feature length documentary of one of America's greatest and least understood authors, Nelson Algren. This never before told compelling life story reveals a unique literary voice through rare interviews, historic archival footage and the gritty noirish voice of Algren on Algren. Kurt Vonnegut and Studs Terkel, literary giants in their own right, sing songs of praise along with many of his old friends, which makes this film seem like a hymn from the grave. Algren’s touching love affair with Simone de Beauvoir weaves it’s way through his life and helps to buffer the damaging impact of FBI and CIA surveillance, blacklisting and the rejection of his work by certain academics.
This stylishly produced film embeds us in the 1950’s cold war world when Algren worked. While we anticipate it’s appeal to cinephiles and general audiences; appearances and interviews with Algren scholars Bettina Drew (Nelson Algren: A Life on the Wild Side) , Brooke Horvath (Understanding Algren), Paul Buhle, Meghan Emory and James Giles provide concise literary, social, and historic perspectives.
Nelson Algren wrote five novels, two collections of short stories, several road books, and countless other stories, reviews, and essays along with the prose poem Chicago: City on the Make. His work spanned six decades and speaks to generations of readers. While his best writing took place over 50 years ago his focus on the fears and disenchantment with our consumer culture were prophetic and still hit the mark today. Our experienced production team has been working intensely for over a decade on this project, it is nearly finished and NOW we need your support. Your contribution will make our film a reality and we promise a highly charged biography of one of America’s most important and almost forgotten writers.
Our crowdfunding campaign needs you to help us build a community and from this outreach we will create awareness in a new generation to celebrate the work of Nelson Algren. This younger generation of readers and thinkers will join with those post war babyboomers who knew of Algren and will provide a base of support for screenings around the country.
With your help we can finish the film and prepare for a release date in 2014. There will be no long wait for completion. Your support will be rewarded with fun gifts and the knowledge that you were instrumental in bringing this project to fruition. We will be premiering in Chicago in 2014. With your support we are mounting an innovative distribution plan that includes traditional venues such as festivals, campus screenings, television, book and literary club screenings and direct to consumer digital streaming.
We need $12,000 to help us complete the post-production of Nelson Algren: The End is Nothing, the Road is All. It is you we are turning to and your contribution will make this film possible. This money will go toward paying for the licensing of archival photographs and historic stock footage that are fundamental to illustrating and illuminating our story. Here is what we need:
HOW WE INTEND TO USE THE FUNDS
Making a film is expensive! We want to make the best one possible and with your support we will. Below are the areas of post-production to which we will be directing campaign funds. With your support for post-production, we are done
- Composer & Original Soundtrack
- Film Graphics & Animations
- Color Correction & Picture Work
- Audio Mix & Sound Sweetening
- Music Licensing
- Archival Film Licensing
- Archival Photographic Licensing
Nelson Algren: The End is Nothing, the Road is All has been a labor of love for twenty-five years. First, Mark Blottner caught lightning in a bottle by video taping literary luminaries like Studs Terkel and Kurt Vonnegut along with old Algren friends while their memories were still fresh. He invested time, energy, and thousands of dollars to the project. Next, Denis Mueller came in and created a narrative - working nearly pro bono. Finally, Ilko Davidov brought his expertise as producer/editor of an award winning film on another cultural icon, William S. Burroughs. Nelson Algren’s story about the past hovers over the present like an eerie ghost, but you can help us bring it to fruition by donating now.
Ed Asner reveals Nelson Algren's impact on his life and work.
Television legend, winner of 7 Emmy's for acting, Ed Asner is a convincing voice in support of our film: Nelson Algren; The End is Nothing, The Road is All. The momentum is building. Join us now so we can celebrate together at the 2014 premiere!Please spread the word about our film and make sure you share the news on Facebook and Twitter using the tools below to help.
Denis Mueller (co-producer/director) has been making documentaries since 1986. His most popular film Howard Zinn: You Can’t be Neutral on a Moving was short-listed for an Academy Award nomination in 2005, the film was theatrically released in over sixty cities across North America. It also appeared in film festivals across the world and won Audience Awards at the Provincetown Film Festival, among others. You Can’t Be Neutral has been aired on the Sundance Channel, Link TV, Alberta Public Television and Free Speech TV. It is distributed by First Run Features in North America. He produced many films for MPI Home Video from 1987 until 2001. Including, The FBI’s War on Black America, 1990, 48 min. (distributed widely, winner Best Documentary Athens Independent Film and Video Festival). It is considered the definitive account of the FBI program COINTELPRO. The film enjoys a widespread underground following twenty-five years after it was produced.
Ilko Davidov (co-producer/director/editor) Ilko has produced and edited many award-winning documentaries, such as: Sacred Sounds (2000), a feature documentary about sacred world music; About Face (2005), a feature documentary about German and Austrian Jewish refugees who fought in the Second World War; producer and director of Unauthorized and Proud of It shown on Free Speech Television (2005), a documentary on Todd Loren, the publisher of Rock ’N’ Roll Comics; and Children in Exile (2007), a film on the children exiled to the Soviet Gulag prison camps. Davidov’s most recent film, the documentary William S. Burroughs: A Man Within, a biography of the beat writer, which Davidov co-produced and edited has been distributed theatrically and broadcast on Independent Lens and European television.
In 2008, Davidov co-founded the Chicago International Movies and Music Festival (CIMMfest), an annual 4-day, multi-venue event highlighting the crossover of film and song.
Mark Blottner (co-producer/director) has worked on independent video productions ranging from community-organized documentaries to the 1997 BBC TV documentary A Walk on the Wild Side as a researcher/fixer. Mark has an extensive history in corporate interactive design and development for a variety of distribution channels including mobile, web, and desktop digital media.