Coming to theatres tomorrow, Friday, October 28: BY SIDNEY LUMET
Nancy Buirski’s tribute to the acclaimed director debuted at Cannes last year. Screenings followed at Tribeca, Jerusalem, Deauville, Full Frame, Traverse City, Austin, Mumbai, the Hamptons, and at Jewish fests in Atlanta, Toronto, and Philadelphia, among other events.
Filmed before Lumet’s death, the prolific director serves as the only voice in Biurski’s portrait, save, of course, for those of his various characters, presented here via numerous clips. Eschewing a dry chronological review, the film instead is more organically organized by the themes that re-emerge across Lumet’s oeuvre. While the director himself denies a conscious seeking out of these connections, their presentation here is thoughtful and well-executed, presenting audiences with the scope of Lumet’s work but still teasing out the commonalities. For his part, Lumet offers a matter-of-fact appraisal of his films, peppered with the occasional anecdote and biographical history, such as the harrowing memory experienced in India which bookends the doc, and, in many ways, informs the key moral concerns evinced in his movies. Buirski’s admirable project will no doubt direct several viewers to reacquaint themselves with films like 12 ANGRY MEN, RUNNING ON EMPTY, and LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT to witness the master in action.