Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sundance Films: Joan Rivers—A Piece Of Work

Title: Joan Rivers—A Piece Of Work

Director: Ricki Stern, Annie Sundberg

Website: http://www.breakthrufilms.org/

Summary: This exposé chronicles the private dramas of irreverent, legendary comedian and pop icon Joan Rivers as she fights tooth and nail to keep her American dream alive. The film offers a rare glimpse of the comedic process and the crazy mixture of self-doubt and anger that often fuels it. A unique look inside America's obsession with fame and celebrity, Rivers' story is both an outrageously funny journey and brutally honest look at the ruthless entertainment industry, the trappings of success, and the ultimate vulnerability of the first queen of comedy. Being able to break through Rivers’s self-made facade is a tribute to filmmakers Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg. It is obvious the magic of this film is the inherent trust between filmmakers and subject. Shot over the course of a year, the film enlists a resilient cinema vérité style to craft a moving look at this iconic performer, stripping away her comedy masks and laying bare the truth of her life and inspiration (Sundance).

Thoughts: Joan Rivers. What else can I say, but Joan Rivers. I honestly don't know how I feel about a film that follows around one of the faces of the Hollywood beauty judgment that our society is quite obsessed with. Then again, there have been great documentaries about other celebrity subjects, so anything is possible in this genre. Certain films can catch you off guard and hopefully Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg's film does exactly that.

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