David Chase created one of the 21st century’s most influential shows and now will discuss his creative process with the public during a special event at the Museum of the Moving Image.
“The Sopranos” is credited as the greatest and most groundbreaking television series of all time by many critics. It received two Peabody Awards, 21 Emmy Awards and five Golden Globes.
In the Wall Street Journal, Dorothy Rabinowitz recently called “The Sopranos” “a dramatic enterprise unequaled in television history, and by most of what Hollywood offers today.”
Revolving around the fictional New Jersey-based Italian-American mobster Tony Soprano — made iconic by the late James Gandolfini — the show portrays the difficulties he faces as he tries to balance the conflicting requirements of his home life and his criminal organization. The series features Tony’s family members and Mafia colleagues and rivals in prominent roles and story arcs, most notably his wife, Carmela — played by Edie Falco — and his cousin and protege, Christopher Moltisanti — played by Michael Imperioli.
Chase was head writer and show runner for the series’ 86 episodes and yet he only directed two: the pilot and the finale.
The Museum of the Moving Image will present a special evening with Chase in conversation with Chief Curator David Schwartz about the groundbreaking HBO TV series, following a screening of these two episodes.
“‘The Sopranos’ had a remarkable team of directors, writers, cast and crew, helmed by a visionary creator,” Schwartz said. “This series was a richly detailed and panoramic allegory of contemporary America, a reinvention of the crime drama, and perhaps the show that inspired the current renaissance of quality television series.”
The first episode aired on Jan. 10, 1999 and introduced Soprano as a self-proclaimed “waste management consultant.” The final episode, “Made in America,” aired eight years later on June 10, 2007 with one of the most controversial and widely discussed endings in television history.
A vast majority of “The Sopranos” fans were disappointed by the finale and its cliffhanger that would never be resolved.
“I have no interest in explaining, defending, reinterpreting or adding to what is there,” Chase once said of the controversial diner scene.
But one hopes fans and critics alike will be given a little more insight into Chase’s decision to end the series the way he did — something many have waited seven years to hear.
Chase was previously at the museum in November 2012 for a screening of his debut film, “Not Fade Away” — which did not receive the same success “The Sopranos” did. In June 2000, the museum screened the entire first two seasons of the series in a marathon presentation on the big screen.
Chase will no doubt discuss the impact Gandolfini had on the show as Tony Soprano became one of the most recognizable and popular television characters of all time.
Gandolfini tragically died in an Italian hotel last year from a heart attack.
The Museum of the Moving Image expects tickets to go quickly and preference will be given to museum members, who were allowed to purchase theirs on Tuesday. Nonmember tickets went on sale on Thursday.