Coming to theatres today, Friday, September 10:
THE CAPOTE TAPES
DOC NYC, Hamptons, Rio, Provincetown, Docs Against Gravity, RiverRun
Using audio recordings, animation, and new on-camera interviews with people who knew him, the film explores the impact of Truman Capote’s explosive final, unfinished novel.
The film screened as part of DOC NYC, for which our program notes read:
Truman Capote was a singular figure in the 20th century. He presented himself unapologetically on television at a time when most gay men took pains to avoid scrutiny. His books Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood were bestsellers and critical darlings.
Now Ebs Burnough’s film delivers a fresh portrait that reinvigorates our understanding of this vital writer. Among the film’s revelations are newly discovered tapes of interviews that The Paris Review co-founder George Plimpton conducted with Capote’s friends after his death.
The film dwells strongly on Capote’s final uncompleted novel, Answered Prayers, which set out to expose Manhattan’s social aristocracy after he befriended them. Plimpton’s tapes shed new light on what happened. They are interwoven with Capote’s notorious television appearances and insightful interviews with the likes of Dick Cavett and Jay McInerney. One unexpected interview is with Capote’s assistant, Kate Harrington, who he treated like an adopted daughter.
Filmmaker Ebs Burnough brings an understanding of elite cultural circles from his own distinguished career, which includes a stint in Obama’s White House. He navigates the complexities of Capote’s life with great skill. The film doesn’t shy away from Capote’s darker side, but it gloriously celebrates his towering achievements.