“I Only Want People with Talent to Express Themselves”

I FINALLY got to see this last night and by the middle of it, I was already ready to see it again. Fran Lebowitz, writer/wit/public intellectual, author of Metropolitan Life and Social Studies, agreed after ten years to allow Martin Scorsese do a documentary about her and her city, New York. She’s great on writing, race, urban living and the idea of public intellectuals. It was a joy to watch someone so smart simply talk, yet feel at the edge of your seat hanging on the next word — a thrill ride. Great archival footage: Truman Capote, James Baldwin, Gore Vidal are among the figures highlighted. She took square aim at the publishing industry saying there were “too many” books published that had been written by people who can’t write. The reason this is true, she posits, is that they all have good “self-esteem” — and this is our downfall.


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