The Detroit Institute of Art presents ALGREN on Virtual Cinema. When you buy a ticket, 50% of the proceeds go straight back to the DIA to support them during this difficult time.
The new feature documentary ALGREN is a journey through the gritty world, brilliant mind, and noble heart of Nelson Algren. Exploding onto the national scene in 1950 after winning the first-ever National Book Award for The Man with the Golden Arm, Algren defined post-war American urban fiction with his gritty, brilliant depiction of working class Chicago.
Hemingway declared him second only to Faulkner; Vonnegut dubbed him a literary groundbreaker. Hollywood soon came calling, immortalizing his breakout novel with none other than Frank Sinatra in the lead role. Algren even won a notorious place in both the heart and work of France’s premiere feminist, Simone de Beauvoir.
Including never-before-seen archival footage, newly uncovered audio recordings and his own rarely seen, personal photo collages, ALGREN charts the rise and fall of a man whose transgressions, compassion and thirst for justice pushed him to dedicate his life and career to giving a voice to the voiceless. Through interviews with Algren’s friends, literary experts and artists – including William Friedkin, Russell Banks, Philip Kaufman, Billy Corgan and John Sayles – the film is an intimate, witty and even antagonistic portrait of a tireless champion of America’s most marginalized.
"A riveting, comprehensive depiction of an author that Ernest Hemingway declared second only to William Faulkner in the pantheon of U.S. writers." -Hollywood Reporter
"Enlightening for those who don't know Algren at all and thrilling for those who knew the man or his work and his life." -Chicago Tribune
A film by Michael Caplan
85 minutes | color | In English
Optional English captions for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing