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Public Speaking (2010)

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A feature-length documentary starring Fran Lebowitz, a writer known for her unique take on modern life. The film weaves together extemporaneous monologues with archival footage and the ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
James Baldwin ...
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Ivo Juhani ...
Himself
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Maître D'
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Thelonious Monk ...
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Himself (archive footage)
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Jack Paar ...
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Storyline

A feature-length documentary starring Fran Lebowitz, a writer known for her unique take on modern life. The film weaves together extemporaneous monologues with archival footage and the effect is a portrait of Fran's worldview and experiences. Written by Anonymous

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22 November 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La parola a Fran Lebowitz  »

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Opening Weekend:

$6,260 (USA) (27 February 2011)

Gross:

$61,640 (USA) (20 November 2011)
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Connections

Features Women in Revolt (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Suite for Solo Cello No. 1 in G Major
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Pau Casals (as Pablo Casals)
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User Reviews

Nice Interview from Scorsese
23 November 2010 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Public Speaking (2010)

*** (out of 4)

This HBO documentary caught my attention because Martin Scorsese's name was attached to it so that alone was reason enough for me to order the station. The so-called documentary is more like an intimate interview with writer Fran Lebowitz who is best known for her books Metropolitan Life and Social Studies. She's also known for her rather dry wit as well as her sometimes outspoken views on race, life and writers in general. This latest documentary from Scorsese really isn't a film that tries to teach you anything. I'll admit that I had never heard of Lebowitz so perhaps I was in a disadvantage going into this film but in the end I really don't think I learned anything about the woman. That's not to say this film isn't educational but I think it's main goal was just to showcase the woman and not necessarily give us her life story. We briefly hear her talk about her early life, her days in NYC and various things she did before she became famous but we usually hear these parts as they connect to something else. Lebowitz talks about people who feel that NYC was better before it became a tourist attraction. We hear her talk about the good that came from Obama being elected and the joke is that it was good simply because we don't have to keep wondering when the first black President would be elected. She gives her views on why writers should know something. We hear about smokers, people who write books when they shouldn't and of course she touches on a wide range of subjects. Lebowitz is shown at a couple public speaking events and she's also interviewed by Scorsese and another man sitting at a table. Did this film make me interested in Lebowitz? It did to a point but I don't think I'm going to be a life long fan thanks to the film. As usual Scorsese does a nice job and I really enjoyed the way he edited the piece by jumping from one interview to the next and constantly keeping everything going at a fast pace. The film runs 82-minutes and there's quite a bit covered in the rather short running time. Again, I'm sure Lebowitz has many die-hard fans out there and I'm positive they're going to love seeing her in an intimate session.


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