Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work | Chicago Reader

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Rated R · 84 minutes · 2010

"I'll show you fear," declares 75-year-old comedian Joan Rivers, pushing the empty page of a weekly planner into the lens. "That's fear!" Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg (best known for the Darfur documentary The Devil Came on Horseback) spent a year following Rivers around during a relatively low ebb in her 50-year career, and they deliver a memorable portrait of a tireless, ambitious, relentlessly driven entertainer. The movie touches on the notable dramas of her life—the highly publicized falling out with Johnny Carson, her longtime mentor; the 1987 suicide of Edgar Rosenberg, her husband and producer—but her hunger for the spotlight is so intense that the story is constantly hurtling forward. Rivers comes across as a consummate professional but also a genuine person, ruthlessly honest about her life decisions and utterly devoid of self-pity.
Director: Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg

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