In March of 1988, a 23-year-old Robert Weide—later a multiple Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated director and producer, whose credits include Curb Your Enthusiasm—boarded a train at Penn Station in New York City with Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., heading for Buffalo, and began filming a documentary on the author’s life. “I figured I’d have it finished within a year,” wrote Weide. But the project ended up sitting in the editing room for more than three decades.
So it goes.
Now, 33 years later, Weide has announced that the documentary, entitled Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time, is finally done, has been picked up by IFC Films and will be released in select theaters some time this November.
If you’re wondering, Vonnegut actually has a lot to do with our neck of the woods—though it’s unclear whether any of that local history made it into the doc. In 1947, at the age of 25, the would-be author accepted a position as a publicist at General Electric in Schenectady, where his brother, Bernard, was working on the top-secret Project Cirrus, a stab at seeding clouds and manufacturing the weather. Living in Alplaus, NY, a tiny hamlet in Schenectady County near Rexford, with his wife and two young children, Vonnegut published his first story in Collier’s in 1950 while still at GE, eventually leaving the job in ’51 to write full time. Just a year later, Vonnegut penned his dystopian debut novel, Player Piano, which borrows heavily from his time at GE (fictional lead character Dr. Paul Proteus shares a name with real-life GE engineer Charles Proteus Steinmetz). And the rest, they say, is history.
Weide, along with co-director Dan Argott, partly financed the the film via a Kickstarter campaign, through which they raised more than $300,000.
Watch a clip from the forthcoming film here.