Reel Docs kicks off 2014 winter season

By Caren Cross

Joan River in a cab

Reel Docs is kicking off its 2014 winter season with a showing of the documentary, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work. This award-winning film takes an up-close and personal approach to Rivers and gives much insight into not only the psychology of this comedian, but of the nature of show business.

Reel Docs
Documentary Film Series
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work
Reel Docs is a documentary film series that brings top-notch films to San Miguel, along with a director, producer or cinematographer. In the case of Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, the cinematographer will be participating in a Q&A period following the film.
Mon, Jan 20, 4pm
Tue, Jan 21, 4pm
Teatro Santa Ana
La Biblioteca
80 pesos for the film, Q&A with cinematographer, and margarita reception
Tickets on sale now in the Santa Ana box office

For three years I’ve been trying to entice one of the members of the crew of this funny and insightful film to come to San Miguel. Finally I’ve succeeded and cinematographer Charles Miller, who followed Joan Rivers for 14 months, has agreed to come. He will be on hand for the Question & Answer session following the film.

Here’s what Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times said when the film was first released in 2010: “One of the most truthful documentaries about show business I’ve seen. Also maybe the funniest… She remains one of the most transgressive and fearless of comedians, and one of the quickest, fastest and most merciless. The doc shows a life force of formidable energy.”

The film is directed by Anne Sundberg and Ricki Stern, intelligent, highly gifted filmmakers who have created serious films such as The Trials of Darryl Hunt and The Devil Came on Horseback. The two of them have racked up innumerable awards in film festivals such as Tribeca and Sundance. In this film they veer off to a less serious subject, but they bring with them the sensitivity and intelligence that they exhibited in all their previous films.

Charles Miller, the invited cinematographer, will be traveling here from New York. He has been the shooter for Sundberg and Stern’s last three films. He will be on hand to answer questions about the process of filmmaking, about Rivers herself, or about life as a cinematographer.

“Sharp and irresistible. Rip-roaring… Her energy is a thing to behold..She’s the comedian as teller of uproariously toxic, gutbucket truths as surely as Lenny Bruce or Richard Pryor ever were…” Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly.

“An absolutely riveting portrait of a woman who is a creature of show business: tireless, ageless, unforgiving–and always, always funny.” Leonard Maltin, Secret’s Out.

“Profanely hilarious. Fasten your seat belts this doc will be a revelation.” Peter Travers, Rolling Stone.

“Thoroughly exhilarating” David Edelstein, New York.

Reel Docs is an ongoing documentary film series that brings highly talented directors, cinematographers and producers to San Miguel. The films are shown in the Biblioteca and are followed by a Q&A session with the invited filmmaker. A margarita reception always follows in which audience members can chat with the filmmaker informally


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