Description from TIFF 2006 catalog by Thom Powers:
Today, Adrian Grenier is best known as a film and television star, seen most recently in The Devil Wears Prada and HBO~s “Entourage.” But he~s long had an interest in moving behind the camera. Before his success as an actor, he began work on this touching personal documentary about tracking down his distant father. In Shot in the Dark, we get a privileged view of a young man discovering secrets about his family and his own identity.
Raised in New York City by his mother, Karesse, Grenier grew up knowing little about his biological father. Just before his twenty-third birthday, Grenier resolves to reconnect. He begins his journey at Yankee Stadium on Father~s Day, asking men the meaning of fatherhood and what it means to grow up without a dad. He interviews his mother and learns things he never knew about her past. Then he travels with a buddy to his father~s home state of Ohio for a family visit full of surprises.
The family interviews take us back to the seventies, when Grenier~s mother and father met at a commune. It was a period open to experimentation; in other words, not necessarily conducive to lasting relationships. Family members offer varying accounts of the couple~s breakup; we~re reminded that personal history is susceptible to very different interpretations. The more we learn about his parents~ choices, the harder they are to judge. Grenier approaches his mission with a feigned nonchalance about what he might find, but it becomes clear that the personal stakes are high for everyone.
For those accustomed to seeing Grenier under the gaze of professional Hollywood cameras, this ve~ rite~ video has a raw and vulnerable style. But Hollywood could learn a lot from the emotional content of this film. The scenes between Grenier and his father, two emotionally complicated men trying to cross the gap of so many lost years, will stay with you for a long time to come.
About the director:
Adrian Grenier was born in Brooklyn, New York. An acclaimed actor, he first gained widespread recognition for his role in The Adventures of Sebastian Cole, which screened at the Festival in 1998. Since then, he has worked with several renowned filmmakers, including Woody Allen, Steven Spielberg, James Toback and John Waters. He is currently the star of the HBO television series “Entourage” and recently appeared in The Devil Wears Prada (06). Shot in the Dark (06) is his feature directorial debut.
Visit the film’s official website: www.hbo.com/