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Critics reviews
Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me
Chiemi Karasawa United States, 2013
This profile of stage and screen veteran Elaine Stritch, shot during her 87th year, isn’t a documentary so much as an improvised star vehicle; she plays to the camera through the entire movie and puts on a hell of a show. The actress has spent so many years delivering eloquent dialogue (having appeared in notable productions by Noel Coward, Edward Albee, and Stephen Sondheim, among many others) that everything she says sounds rhythmic and witty.
March 05, 2014
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Elaine Stritch is quite secure about her professional career. She knows she has amassed enough achievements in theater, film and cabaret that she won’t be forgotten. But through this film what she wants us to remember is how Elaine Stritch faced life and death. And with the help of accompanist Rob Bowman and filmmaker Chiemi Karasawa she does so in the highest and grandest of style. Call it Umberto D: The Musical.
February 22, 2014
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…It’s gratifying beyond words to witness this consummate performer as she feeds off an audience’s energy, turning flubs and forgetfulness continually to her advantage. This is a life lived, perhaps not always well, but certainly to the fullest.
February 18, 2014
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Chiemi Karasawa’s documentary is remarkable for its candor, but it’s a brutal honesty that Stritch herself gladly offers, to the point that she’s willing to berate a cameraman for hanging back and not following her outside her living quarters at the Carlyle Hotel while going about her morning routine. Even in life—or, at least, life as captured by Karasawa’s camera—Stritch is willing to bare herself emotionally, lay everything on the line for the sake of getting at greater truths.
February 17, 2014
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Karasawa deftly orchestrates the sometimes hairpin tonal shifts, never veering towards the saccharine; if she did, Stritch would probably shoot her.
April 28, 2013
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