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2023 Sundance Film Festival

The Sundance Film Festival will take place from 19 to 29 January, 2023.


Sundance and other Park City Festivals news, past and future.   #sundance @sundancefest


Sundance, Can We Talk?


Joan Rivers, the queen of comedy who has been perfecting her craft in a career that spans over five decades, is as unlikely a personality as one would expect to find in the uber-indie surroundings of Park City. However, the comedienne, who is as well known for her addiction to plastic surgery as she is for her classic comedy ("can we talk?" being her signature catchphrase) is here at the Sundance Film Festival for the world premiere of the documentary JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK, by the directorial team of Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg.  

This hysterically funny and unexpected poignant exposé chronicles the private dramas of the irreverent comedienne and pop icon as she fights tooth and nail to keep her American dream alive. The film offers a rare glimpse of the comedic process and the crazy mixture of self-doubt and anger that often fuels it. At age 76, Rivers has seen it all.....the sexism of the comedy club circuit, the corporate machinations of television executives, the brutal cynicism of the papparazzi and the rising tide of women doing comedy, a trend that she literally pioneered. Rather than simply being the appendage of a husband or a ditzy self-hating woman, she has carved out a career that basically championed the then-radical idea that a woman could be as lusty, power hungry and fame obsessed as any man.

Aside from telling Rivers' personal story of triumph and tragedy, the film offers a unique look inside America's obsession with fame and celebrity, Rivers's story is both an outrageously funny journey and brutally honest look at the ruthless entertainment industry, the trappings of success, and the ultimate vulnerability of the first queen of comedy.

Filmmakers Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg got unprecedented access to the comic icon, whose on-stage persona is obvious, but whose privacy has been closely protected. The trust she obviously feels for the filmmakers has allowed her to open up in a way that fans of her acerbic comedy will find illuminating. Shot over the course of a year, the film enlists a resilient cinema vérité style to craft a moving look at the inspirations that have formed her comedy masks, while laying bear the truth of her life and inspiration. As she declared at a post-screening press conference, she is "not done yet."

Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor


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Ambiance from Park City Sundance film Festival January 20 - 30, 2022.

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