The childhood, adolescence, and incredible adult years of Al Hirshfeld, celebrated creator of thousands of line drawings of famous people – many in the entertainment industry – over a span of more than sixty years.
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A fun and interesting look into a lesser known facet of American theater with an all-star cast of Broadway legends helping to narrate the life of the artist who helped shaped the public’s perception of entertainment. It is a true rags-to-riches story about one of the great American artists of the 20th century and is as captivating as it is enlightening.
beautiful documentary. felt like i was learning VERY IMPORTANT THINGS about life and art from beginning to end. and the drawings themselves are of course fantastic. i got choked up multiple times just looking at the lines
Oscar nominated documentary feature doesn't just offer a history of artist Al Hirschfeld but perhaps of Broadway itself. From his modest beginnings in the twenties to the firmly established celebrity in the nineties Hirschfeld seemed to always be able to capture the essence and humanity of his subjects making caricature not parody but tribute.
The charming personality and history of Al Hirschfeld alone are good reasons to watch this document, which is a mixture of history and interviews. I can imagine how difficult it was to contain over 90 years of someone's life within less than 90 minutes. I wish some periods, like the 30s and 40s, not to mention the 60s, were presented in more detail.
The personality of Hirschfeld makes for a great viewing experience, alongside the respect (and time) given to the artwork.
However, this is a very standard documentary, a timeline of a life to which an homage is due.
It lacks a cinematographic point of view to transform it into something more.
"In 1931 I went to Tahiti with my first wife. - We stayed there for a couple of months and eh... It was a very romantic adventure, it broke up our marriage."
"Life is an art, it's not a science. You make it up as you go along."
I grew up loving Herschfeld's drawings so this documentary was pretty interesting for me. I'm not sure if it would be that interesting to those outside of the theatre... but maybe. I certainly enjoyed it.