Fans of HBO’s The Sopranos created by David Chase has been eating well recently. In the past year, cast members Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa have launched the Talking Sopranos podcast, offering the oral history of the seminal crime drama; Imperioli and Schirripa have since signed a book deal catering to those more inclined towards literature. Soon enough, the prequel film The Many Saints of Newark starring Michael Gandolfini – son of Tony Soprano actor James – Jon Bernthal, Vera Farmiga, and more will be hitting cinemas to further the mythology. And now, in the lead up to the highly-anticipated movie, there’s a 3-hour The Sopranos documentary for the real hardcore fans out there titled Celebrate The Sopranos.
Set in the diner where the elder Gandolfini’s Tony Soprano ate during the show’s iconic finale as well as the restaurant where cast members would eat after their characters were killed off, this affair promises to be a deep dive of all things Sopranos. The candid conversations have been driven by the likes of noted television critics Alan Sepinwall and Matt Zoller Seitz – who collectively authored the making-of book Soprano Sessions, which inspired this whole undertaking – actors Federico Castelluccio, Vincent Pastore, Arthur J. Nascarella, Vincent Curatola, as well as creator David Chase.
“My basic conceit was to strip everything away,” says director Kristian Fraga.
“There are no clips of the show. It’s just these guys and the rhythm of the conversation. I wanted to put the audience in the booth [at Holsten’s].”
“Cinema, food, and good conversation are, at least for me, the three greatest things on earth. So I thought, “Gee… if I could capture that, I think a lot of people would be interested.””
“This was made when you could just go into a restaurant and eat. It’s what we’d do. Get together, have a beer, talk, and hang out. So who knows? Maybe nostalgically, people will say: That’s the way it used to be for all of us.”
Celebrate The Sopranos has been split into three distinct sessions / documentary segments:
Session 1 – The Critics
“Shot at Holsten’s in Bloomfield, New Jersey, the location of the controversial last scene of the series, My Dinner With Alan: A Sopranos Session is a feature length conversation between Matt Zoller Seitz and Alan Sepinwall covering the state of television, psychiatry, gangsterism, their 20-year friendship, and writing about The Sopranos for the Newark Star-Ledger (Tony Soprano’s hometown paper).”
Session 2 – The Cast
“The Last Supper: A Sopranos Session invites you to join Vincent Pastore, Federico Castelluccio, Vincent Curatola, and Arthur J. Nascarella for an intimate dinner at Il Cortile in Little Italy, the restaurant cast members would go to for a commiseration dinner after their characters were killed off the show. In this five-course conversation, the cast talks about their craft, the life and grind of working on a series, and their extraordinary 20-year journey on The Sopranos.”
Session 3 – The Creator
“David Chase: A Sopranos Session is a rare interview with the show’s creator David Chase. Matt and Alan talk to David about his childhood memories of Newark, the personal vision behind his landmark series, his love of cinema, and presenting The Sopranos on the big screen.”
The Sopranos documentary is currently being screened in select cinemas as well as being available to stream in the link below. And when we say it’s for hardcore fans, we really mean hardcore fans. Director Kristian Fraga himself admits it’ll be like “watching paint dry” for casuals and those who have no interest in the show.
Now check out our 1-on-1 interview with the man behind Christopher Moltisanti, Michael Imperioli.