Saying Good-bye to Joan Rivers
You may have loved her, hated her, or – possibly – even been indifferent to her, but there’s no denying that news of Joan Rivers’ death in early September triggered an outpouring of commentary. And one thing was perfectly clear: the legendary comedienne was making almost as much noise in her death as she did in her life and career.
In JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK it quickly becomes apparent why the groundbreaking funny woman elicited such strong reactions from fans and foes alike. Caustic and controversial, Joan used her razor sharp wit and lightening-quick mind to spit out comedy bits that often left audiences gasping – sometimes with laughter but just as frequently with shock.
On the other hand, the film reveals sides of Joan to which most weren’t privy: a woman who was surprisingly vulnerable and extraordinarily generous, and much more needy than one might expect.
And can we talk? About the plastic surgery? Because one can’t talk about Joan Rivers without mentioning her seeming addiction to the surgeon’s scalpel. Joan never shied away from talking about her love of plastic surgery and this documentary doesn’t shy away either, opening with a very telling scene that captures Joan’s obsession to the fullest extent.
JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK is unique portrait of a complex woman who lived a life full of joy and laughter – but also one filled with pain and disappointment. Her passing may have caught many by surprise but as she said in her final performance, just a week before her death, “I could go at any moment. I could lay here and go over … and it would be in the papers and you all could look at each other and say, ‘I was there the night Joan Rivers passed.’”
Check out JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK from Directors Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern, on Influence Film Forum.