Open Book/ Open Mind: Robin
David Itzkoff in Conversation with Alan Sepinwall
Sunday, June 2nd at 4 PM
This event will be part of the week-long Montclair “Bounce” Festival of Optimism and Resilience programming partnerships with Toni’s Kitchen and The YMCA in Montclair.
Dave Itzkoff is a culture reporter for The New York Times who writes frequently about film, television and comedy. He is the author of four books including, most recently, Robin, a biography of Robin Williams, and Mad As Hell: The Making of Network and the Fateful Vision of the Angriest Man in Movies. He will be in conversation with Alan Sepinwall, chief TV critic for Rolling Stone. Prior to that, Alan covered television for The Star-Ledger, HitFix and Uproxx, and is the author of books including The Sopranos Sessions, The Revolution Was Televised, Breaking Bad 101 and TV (The Book).
Dave’s book, Robin, is the definitive biography of Robin Williams – a compelling portrait of one of America’s most beloved and misunderstood entertainers.
From his rapid-fire stand-up comedy riffs to his breakout role in Mork & Mindy and his Academy Award-winning performance in Good Will Hunting, Robin Williams was a singularly innovative and beloved entertainer. He often came across as a man possessed, holding forth on culture and politics while mixing in personal revelations – all with mercurial, tongue-twisting intensity as he inhabited and shed one character after another with lightning speed.
But as Dave Itzkoff shows in this revelatory biography, Williams’s comic brilliance masked a deep well of conflicting emotions and self-doubt, which he drew upon in his comedy and in celebrated films like Dead Poets Society; Good Morning, Vietnam; The Fisher King; Aladdin; and Mrs. Doubtfire, where he showcased his limitless gift for improvisation to bring to life a wide range of characters. And in Good Will Hunting he gave an intense and controlled performance that revealed the true range of his talent.
Itzkoff also shows how Williams struggled mightily with addiction and depression – topics he discussed openly while performing and during interviews – and with a debilitating condition at the end of his life that affected him in ways his fans never knew. Drawing on more than a hundred original interviews with family, friends, and colleagues, as well as extensive archival research, Robin is a fresh and original look at a man whose work touched so many lives.
Watchung Booksellers will have copies of Robin and other relevant books for purchase at the event. The event is free to the public, thanks to the support of Series sponsors, The Montclair Foundation and Investors Foundation. Please register below to ensure a seat.