My Dinner With Alan: A Sopranos Session teaser released
The Sopranos is a much-loved crime drama series which made its debut on HBO in 1999, and it continued for six seasons until 2007. The timeless series follows Tony Soprano (played by James Gandolfini), a high-profile Italian-American criminal and his family. The show received international critical acclaim and a new documentary film has been created, discussing its success.
Why did The Sopranos end?
The series has been ranked as one of the best of all time by various titles like TV Guide and Rolling Stone.
The multi-award-winning show sadly came to an end after six seasons, and in 2018 it was revealed a film telling the family’s backstory would be made.
Now, Kristian Fraga has produced an insightful documentary called My Dinner With Alan: A Sopranos Session, which will give viewers a unique insight into the show.
Critics, cast and the creator David Chase have all offered their thoughts on the marvel that is Sopranos as part of the new show.
Fraga spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about why the series was so popular, and why fans were sad to see it come to an end.
Speaking about why the series remains so relevant for so long, he said: “I believe people continue to connect with David Chase’s search for the truth. An emotional truth.
“The series is full of ambiguity and narrative threads that payoff when looking at the totality of a season’s theme or narrative arch. It doesn’t serve up easy answers on an episode by episode basis and in many ways I believe this series taught viewers a whole new way of watching television and digesting story.
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“Chase was brilliant in that the hook is giving the audience an inside look at the seedy underbelly of the mob, the rivalry between families and the cat and mouse with the Feds. It’s a blast to watch. But within that exciting backdrop, he was able to Trojan-horse ideas about racism, the environment, politics, family dynamics, psychoanalysis…the stuff he really wanted to talk about.”
There was no definitive reason as to why the series came to an end, but the most obvious reason is that the story was wrapped up by the sixth season.
Chase simply decided six seasons was enough to tell the story, and the main roles had started to take their toll on the actors.
Fraga said: “It’s clear that from start to finish, Chase was in control of his vision. At the end of the day beyond money, cast negotiations, and all the rest he finished his story on his terms. I believe it was that simple.
“He told the story he wanted to tell in the amount of time he felt was necessary. The emotional and physical toll a series like The Sopranos takes on the creator, writing staff, crew and especially the actors is staggering.
“It’s great to watch but it’s a grind to make and all-consuming.” Fraga said the goal with the new documentary was to give audiences a look behind the curtain as the actors talk about what it takes to be in a series like The Sopranos.
He said: “My biggest takeaway about the series is just how intuitive David Chase’s filmmaking process is.
“As he says in the film, he knew something had to change. He wrote The Sopranos as a feature film not caring in the sense of continuing in
“He switched to a different wavelength and struck gold. I was also intrigued by how his conception of Tony Soprano and the series changed with the casting of James Gandolfini. A perfect example of Chase understanding the organic nature of his creation and knowing how to shift gears and take it to the next level.”
When asked whether there would ever be an opportunity to reboot the series, or make a sequel or prequel, he said: “Yes, of course”.
He did, however, say there was a question of whether or not it should be done.
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He said: “If David Chase is behind it then absolutely. He’s created a world people love to visit and it truly is his world.
“I’d be much less interested in somebody else’s take on The Sopranos or if the series ends up being treated like a franchise as opposed to one man’s personal vision.
“Continuing it makes business sense because of the show’s popularity, I get it. But it’s an original work and the farther away you get from Chase the substance and marrow of what makes The Sopranos special might very well get diluted.
“I gotta believe if the prequel film, The Many Saints of Newark, is a hit and David Chase has more stories to tell a prequel or sequel could very well happen. I’m sure the fans would be happy.”
The prequel film which is set in the 1960s and 1970s, is due to air in 2021 and it will star Michael Gandolfini, the son of Tony Soprano actor James Gandolfini, as a young Tony Soprano.
My Dinner With Alan: A Sopranos Session was made as a companion piece to Matt and Alan’s New York Times Bestselling book The Sopranos Sessions.
The documentary will be available to watch online at 8pm on December 27, via Dice.fm, and fans are able to buy tickets for £13.
Speaking of why he decided now was the time for analysis of the series, Fraga said: “When I joined forces with CinEvents for a theatrical
release of My Dinner With Alan I got the opportunity to create bonus content, two films to be released with the main feature.
“It was a great stroke of luck and a testament to Matt [Zoller Seitz] and Alan [Sepinwall] that David Chase agreed to be interviewed.
“I was fortunate enough to have met Federico Castelluccio at a festival where he had seen My Dinner With Alan. He was a fan of the film and said if he could help in any way I shouldn’t hesitate to ask.
“From there Vincent Pastore, Vincent Curatola and Arthur J. Nascarella agreed to join Federico for dinner and we shot The Last Supper: A Sopranos Session at IL Cortile in Little Italy. That’s the restaurant where the actors would take whoever was killed off the show for a goodbye final dinner.”
Combined, the films will give audiences a unique window into the passion that went into the creation of this legendary series.
My Dinner With Alan: A Sopranos Session will be available to stream online on December 27. To buy tickets visit https://dice.fm/bundle/celebrating-the-sopranos
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