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Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work DVD
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Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work

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Those who recognize Joan Rivers from her television appearances may feel like they know her, but as Anne Sundberg and Ricki Stern prove, there's more to the smart-talking dame than meets the eye. She appears to have given the duo complete access as they recall events from her past--including the feud with Johnny Carson--while following her around as she rehearses for a play, participates in a celebrity roast, and plies her profane brand of comedy before appreciative crowds, but she reveals herself most fully in the moments spent with staffers: the 75-year-old fears an empty datebook more than aging. While some entertainers lean on their partners for support, Rivers looks to her fans; it's not that family doesn't matter, but that they don't shape her self-image as intensely. She talks freely about her cosmetic procedures, her husband Edgar's suicide, and her daughter Melissa (Sundberg and Stern track their participation in Celebrity Apprentice). The filmmakers also speak with Kathy Griffin, but Joan provides most of the dialogue, and even detractors may find their resistance melting as they meet the insecure woman behind the self-constructed mask. While a lesser performer might succumb to self-pity, this one pours the bitterness over her losses into her work. The documentary also comes as a surprise from directors behind films about the conflict in Darfur (The Devil Came on Horseback) and racial injustice (The Three Trials of Darryl Hunt), though their subject's tireless commitment to AIDS relief providesone possible explanation for their empathy.
Title: Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work
Genre: Special Interest-Documentary
Starring: Jocelyn Pickett, Dr. Joy Browne, Billy Sammeth, Kathy Griffin, Joan Rivers
Directors: Anne Sundberg, Ricki Stern, Annie Sundberg
Studio: Ifc Independent Film
Release Date: 12/14/2010
Original Year: 2010
Product Type: DVD
Rated: R
UPC: 030306956091
Item #: MPD009560

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