6.9/10
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The Last Impresario (2013)

The most famous person you have never heard of

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Robert Fox ...
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Bill Oddie ...
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Michael White might just be the most famous person you've never heard of. A notorious London theatre and film impresario, he produced over 300 shows and movies over the last 50 years. Bringing to the stage the risqué productions of Oh! Calcutta!, The Rocky Horror Show and to the screen Monty Python's The Holy Grail, as well as introducing Merce Cunningham, Pina Bausch and Yoko Ono to London audiences, he irrevocably shaped the cultural scene of the 1970s London. Playboy, gambler, bon vivant, friend of the rich and famous, he is now in his late seventies and still enjoys partying like there's no tomorrow. In this intimate documentary, filmmaker Gracie Otto introduces us to this larger-than-life phenomenon. Featuring interviews with 50 of his closest friends including Anna Wintour, Kate Moss, John Waters and Barry Humphries and, of course, the man himself, Otto pays a vibrant tribute to a fascinating entertainer. Written by London Film Festival

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26 June 2014 (Australia)  »

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Fluff piece
19 November 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

THE LAST IMPRESARIO has potential as a documentary exploring a figure who has been crucial to the theatre scene in the last fifty or so years, but what could have been an incisive and revealing exploration of the said centrally unknown figure turns out to be something of a luvvie-fest.

The appearance of a typically full-of-it Alan Yentob at the documentary's outset is enough to set alarm bells ringing and it's all downhill from there. This is merely a collection of talking head footage as various figures praise the central character of Michael White and explain just how great he is and how much they love working with him.

While there is enjoyment value from seeing the likes of Richard O'Brien, John Cleese, and Bill Oddie up on the screen, others like Naomi Watts just embarrassingly gush with endless praise. White remains a mystery by the end of the thing, although by reading between the lines you can figure out he's awful with finances and seems to live on the charity of others these days. Sorry, but with THE LAST IMPRESARIO director Gracie Otto reveals that she's nowhere near in the same league as the leading documentary filmmakers of our time and this is nothing more than an insubstantial fluff piece - an extended version of the footage that always accompanies those "lifetime award" wins at awards shows.


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