HBO has released the Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind trailer. The new documentary from Marina Zenovich (Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic) explores the life of brilliant comedian Robin Williams. Although the documentary touches on his film career, it largely focuses on his standup and his personal life and how the two repeatedly clashed and intertwined.
I saw the film at Sundance and was deeply moved by it. In my review, I said of the movie:
Where the documentary really shines is in trying to drill down and figure out the creative impulse in Williams. There are times where it feels like Zenovich is fishing, glancing at aspects like Williams’ upbringing (he was the only child of two parents who had both remarried and had kids from previous marriages), but eventually it’s able to see that Williams, like many artists, was simply compelled to perform. At various points, several people note how Williams would leave everything on stage and be fairly quiet in private, but as he became more popular, it was difficult to “turn off.” That being said, the movie doesn’t go so far as to reduce Williams as a “sad clown” figure, tortured inside but laughing on the outside.
Come Inside My Mind is a deeply emotional experience to be sure, but it’s one absolutely worth having, especially if you’re a fan of Williams’ work, whether it was his standup, his TV career, his film career, or all of the above.
Check out the Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind trailer below. The documentary premieres on HBO on July 16th.
Here’s the official synopsis for Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind:
ROBIN WILLIAMS: COME INSIDE MY MIND explores his extraordinary life and career, revealing what drove him to give voice to the characters in his mind. With previously unheard and unseen glimpses into his creative process through interviews with Williams, as well as home movies and onstage footage, this insightful tribute features in-depth interviews with those who knew and loved him, including Billy Crystal, Eric Idle, Whoopi Goldberg, David Letterman, Steve Martin, Pam Dawber and his son, Zak Williams.
The documentary underscores what made Williams so unique, ranging from his youthful days in the San Francisco Bay area, to his time in New York at The Juilliard School, to his rocket-propelled fame on TV’s “Mork & Mindy,” to his profound impact on the American cultural landscape. Such career high points as his landmark comedy show at the Metropolitan Opera, his Broadway debut in “Waiting for Godot,” his Academy Award®-winning performance in “Good Will Hunting” and his classic confessional bits about his alcohol and drug issues and 2009 heart surgery capture the spark that made him stand out across four decades in entertainment. Williams’ tragic death in 2014, which revealed he had been suffering from the disease Lewy Body Dementia, left fans around the world heartbroken.
The genius of Robin Williams lay in his ability to make a room, a comedy club, a concert hall or the whole world laugh. Family, friends and film crews often saw a man who wasn’t happy unless everyone else was having a good time – but the dualities Williams embodied were present inside him at all times.