Today's Man

Nicky Gottlieb was a child of extraordinary talents and odd behavior. At age 21, he was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome.

Todays man 01
Series
Independent Lens
Premiere Date
January 8, 2008
Length
60 minutes
Gottlieb elizabeth filmmaker bio
Producer/Director

Lizzie Gottlieb

Lizzie Gottlieb directs theater and film in New York City. She was a founder and producer of Pure Orange Productions, a theater company dedicated to producing new plays Off Broadway. She directed their productions of Keith Bunin’s Principality of Sorrows, Julia Jordan’s Tatjana in Color, and Marking by Patrick Breen, which was later made into the film Just a Kiss. Show more Gottlieb’s short film, Why Don’t You Dance, which was based on a Raymond Carver story, screened at festivals across the country. Show less

Small jennifer filmmaker bio
Producer

Jen Small

Gigantic Pictures is the New York-based independent production company run by Brian Devine, Jason Orans, and Jennifer Small. In addition to Cosmopolitan, Gigantic Pictures produced The Suitor for PBS, a narrative film based on a story by the Dominican American author Julia Alvarez. Additional productions include an adaptation of Bernard Malamud’s The First Seven Years Show more starring Israel Horovitz and Carol Kane, which was broadcast nationally on PBS; The Third Date, starring Sandra Bernhard, Xander Berkeley, and Sarah Clark, which premiered at the 2003 Tribeca Film Festival and played the 2003 London Film Festival; Drena De Niro’s documentary Girls and Dolls, which premiered on WNET; and Israel Horovitz’s autobiographical documentary about 9/11, Three Weeks After Paradise, which premiered on Bravo. Gigantic is currently in post-production on Satellite, a feature film by the writer/director Jeff Winner (You Are Here). Show less

Other ITVS Films
Cosmopolitan

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The Film

Today's Man tells the story of Nicky Gottlieb, a former child genius who, at age 21, is diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. People with Asperger’s, which is a form of autism, tend to be highly intelligent — often geniuses in certain subjects — but are unable to pick up on social cues. The subtleties of body language, facial expression, tones, or gestures are lost to Nicky, and his own behavior can be considered by others to be bizarre and inappropriate.

One in 160 children today are born with some form of autism. Although Asperger Syndrome is considered to be on the high-functioning end of the autistic spectrum, it was only recognized in the U.S. in 1994. While there are an increasing number of resources for Asperger’s children, there are surprisingly few organizations and programs for adults with the syndrome, resulting in a “lost generation” of people like Nicky who must find their own ways to navigate life with this perplexing disorder.

Today's Man follows Nicky as he struggles to leave the safety of his family’s home and the comfort of his favorite TV shows in order to find a job and an apartment. Made by Nicky’s sister Lizzie Gottlieb, the film is a sister’s search to understand her brother’s mysterious inner life and a larger effort to comprehend Asberger Syndrome and the people who struggle with it.

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