Specialized distributor Rialto Pictures has acquired the U.S. theatrical rights to Martin Scorsese’s PUBLIC SPEAKING, the director’s portrait of author, social critic, and acerbic wit Fran Lebowitz. The company will open the acclaimed new documentary on February 23 at New York’s Film Forum, with special engagements in select U.S. cities to follow throughout 2011.
Directed by Oscar-winner Martin Scorsese and produced by Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, an Emmy- and Peabody-winning documentarian, and Margaret Bodde, the feature-length documentary spotlights Lebowitz’s experiences and sardonic world view. Made in the energetic style of Scorsese’s early documentaries Italian American and American Boy, PUBLIC SPEAKING captures Lebowitz in conversation at New York’s Waverly Inn, in an onstage discussion with longtime friend Toni Morrison, and on the streets of New York.
The film was recently nominated for a Gotham Independent Film Award in the Best Documentary category.
Lebowitz offers insights on social issues like gender, race, and gay rights, as well pet peeves including celebrity culture, smoking bans, tourists and strollers. Gender, she says, is “a very big piece of luck… Any white gentile straight male who is not President of the United States failed.” Of aging, she says, “At a certain point, the worst picture taken of you when you were 25 is better than the best picture taken of you when you’re 45.”
Fran hit the New York literary scene in the early 1970s when Andy Warhol hired the unknown scribe to write for Interview magazine, with stints as a writer for Mademoiselle and a contributing