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Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me

An intimate, riotous documentary portrait of the legendary Broadway actress and singer, 87-years-old and still performing on stage and screen.

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Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me

  • Director Chiemi Karasawa
  • Producers Chiemi Karasawa, Elizabeth Hemmerdinger
  • USA 2013
  • 80 mins
  • Sales Isotope Films

‘Don’t you think you’re awfully close to me? I don’t know whether this is a skin commercial, or what…’ There are divas, there are forces of nature, and then there’s Elaine Stritch. This wonderfully entertaining documentary follows the showbiz legend, 87 years young at the time of filming, still wowing audiences on stage and screen while peppering hapless colleagues and cameramen alike (see above quote) with her hilarious, no-frills feistiness. Despite Stritch’s epic, award-winning career – she debuted on Broadway in 1946 – Chiemi Karasawa’s exceptionally intimate portrait is no nostalgia fest. Rather, the film is, like its subject, present tense: alive with her ongoing professional challenges and personal demons. Heartfelt testimonies from Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey and the late, great James Gandolfini confirm her enduring spirit but this is, appropriately, a one-woman show. To paraphrase Ms Stritch’s favourite lyricist Stephen Sondheim: she’s still here. And how.

Leigh Singer

Director biography

Chiemi Karasawa is an award-winning director/producer based in New York City who founded Isotope Films in 2005 to develop and produce films based on non-fiction content. Producing credits include Ellen Kuras’ epic The Betrayal (Nerakhoon), which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and won an Emmy Award in 2009, Billy the Kid (HBO, 2008), winner of Best Documentary at SXSW Film Festival, LA Film Festival, Edinburgh Film Festival and the Melbourne International Film Festival, Love Etc (OWN, 2011) and Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction (Venice Film Festival, 2012). Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me is her directorial debut.

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