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Bill Ewald's take on pop culture.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Two documentaries

Cindy Sherman
A couple of well-made documentaries released on DVD are "Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work," which examines more than a year in the life of the brassy 77-year-old comedienne, directed by Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg, and "Guest of Cindy Sherman," directed by Tom Donahue and Paul Hasegawa-Overacker, which details the 5-year relationship of the recluse, post-pop art sensation Sherman with Hasegawa-Overacker, host of a cable TV public access show "Gallery Beat."

The Rivers documentary is laced with her R-rated jokes and obervations as the directors trace her ups and downs (mostly downs) during the 14 months leading up to a minor triumph with her appearance on "The Celebrity Apprentice" TV show. Rivers, who claims she is an actor acting as a comedienne, is portrayed as a narcissistic workaholic on a relentless quest for fame and fortune.

Joan Rivers headlines the DMC Guild fundraiser at 5 p.m. on Sept. 17 at the Andiamo Celebrity Showroom on 14 Mile Road, west of Van Dyke in Warren. For tickets, visit
While the "Guest of Cindy Sherman" details her relationship with H-O, who gradually disappears in the shadow of the world famous artist, the most interesting part of the film is the rare peek into Sherman's unique work that features Sherman's photographs of herself dressed in often outlandish costumes in somewhat disturbing portraits, many of which are now worth millions of dollars.