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David Chase's goodbye to TV

By JAKE MULLIGAN  |  December 21, 2012


With The Sopranos, David Chase kicked off a revolution, revitalizing the hour-long serial drama, and creating a benchmark for the genre. But when you ask the 67-year-old about his masterwork, he treats it as a digression: "I got sidetracked!"

"I never wanted to work in TV," he deadpans, when asked whether it's daunting to make his feature-length debut so late in his career. "It was a nice ride; I raised a family, all that. But it was the movies I was betided with originally." Ask him who influenced his switch of formats, and he's equally flippant: "You know, the usual suspects — Fellini, Welles, Antonioni, Hawks. Dead white males."

Whatever the reason, the writer-director makes the shift to the big screen with Not Fade Away, a 1960s-set inquiry into America's dueling obsessions with celebrity and pop music. It's an audacious debut; characters drift in and out of the narrative, and a great many ellipses leave large swaths of time unexplained.

"Yeah, it's surprising this movie even got made in this environment," he jokes, in light of its difficult construction. So was he never tempted to stretch it out, and do it as a series? "People do say, for writing human stories, TV is the best place right now," he laments, perhaps realizing he's switched careers at the wrong time. "But I'm not going back."

  Topics: Features , The Sopranos, tv, David Chase,  More more >
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