Nearly 40 years after Robert B. Weide wrote a letter to Kurt Vonnegut asking for permission to make a documentary, Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time will finally see its release in summer 2021.
Co-directed by Don Argott, the film captures two decades of footage shot between 1988 and 2007, when Vonnegut died at the age of 84. It documents the author’s life, covering his childhood in Indianapolis, being a Prisoner of War in World War II, his personal life, and eventual success as a writer in 1969 with the release of Slaughterhouse-Five.
The 40-second teaser above features correspondence between Vonnegut and Weide, who became close friends. “I got your fax, and I can’t go to that screening,” Vonnegut tells him. “I think it’d scare me anyway. Screenings of my stuff scare the shit out of me.”
“When I first approached Vonnegut to authorize this film in 1982, I envisioned a fairly conventional author documentary,” Weide said in a statement. “As the decades rolled by, fate stepped in, and what I wound up with was far from conventional. As my friendship with my literary idol grew, full disclosure was called for, and Don Argott came on to document the meta element of this story, as I continued to focus on Vonnegut’s biography. What we wound up with was a hybrid that combined our respective strengths as filmmakers and will hopefully be seen as a worthy tribute by Vonnegut’s fans and a compelling introduction for the uninitiated. I’m grateful to IFC for stepping up and bringing this lifelong passion project to the public.”
“As a lifelong Vonnegut fan, it was an honor to be a part of this film,” Argott added. “Kurt’s unique voice has been sorely missed, and I’m looking forward to audiences re-discovering his genius.”