Saturday, December 11, 2010

In a Manner of Speaking

If you have HBO and you haven't seen it, I highly suggest you watch Martin Scorsese's documentary, Public Speaking which focuses solely on Fran Leibowitz.

The HBO website is horrible....I my "humble" opinion. It is horribly slow to load, so I don't really know, because I'm horribly impatient to wait for it to come up and play or read through it.

Instant gratification takes too long!

You'd think I have dial-up with a 2400 baud modem. (some of you might have to think about that one for a while.)

But the program is anything but horrible. Sure, Leibowitz is great - smart, droll, outright funny, very well spoken. But don't overlook Scorsese. You see him sitting there, but how he sets up her monologue - or what is edited to seem like one - is actually quite well done. I guess it is Marty Scorsese, and it's to be expected from him. His movies can be heavy-handed (I think), but he knows what he's doing.

Rarely do you hear an actual question, the edits are so nice you know exactly what she's answering/talking about but it never feels like an interview.

We've had HBO forever, but there is rarely anything on it I ever want to watch (sorry, the over-hyped, over-advertised Boardwalk Empire sucked for what little I saw), but Public Speaking makes it totally worth the weeks we never even surf through the 12 HBO channels (yes, 12 of them!).

Leibowitz covers a lot of ground on culture, herself and politics. While never mentioning her sexuality, she does talk a lot of 'gay'. One of the more interesting pieces is on gay marriage and military service. She thought being gay was the bonus for not having to do either of those things. Or as she points out - people pretended to be gay to get out of military service.

She also has a very interesting take on what AIDS has done to the arts, and not just the artists, which most people focus on.

It amazes me that Fran hasn't written a collection of anything for decades, due to writer's blockade, when clearly all she has to do is write down her thoughts - as is. It would translate well.

If you have HBO, I suggest finding a way to watch it or at least DVR it. Totally worth it.

Song by: Martin Gore


Cubby said...

I heard her on NPR twice in the last few weeks, and she does very well on the radio. I'd like to hear her as a regular commentator or panelist sometime. Sorry, we cut the cable and don't get HBO.

BTW, in college I had a 300 baud modem!!!

A Lewis said...

I don't have HBO and I have not seen it.