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Entries in Joan Rivers (3)



Director Ricki Stern and Joan Rivers at The SF International Film Festival | Photo: Steve Rhodes


- Like you, I'd heard plenty of "good things" about this movie, so I'm pleased to say it supports the hype. At 84 minutes, the movie is concise and very fat-free. Joan never gets the "Mother Theresa" treatment from the filmmakers, nor does the movie spend too much time featuring talking heads.

- Joan's apartment is accurately described as a "mini-Versailles."

- Here's how director/writer Ricki Stern described the movie: "It's about an aging woman who is a consummate performer, who works harder than anybody. It's a portrait of a performer who lives her life for the audience and for what she gets out of it, and the journey that she takes. The narrative part of it whether she won Celebrity Apprentice or did her play obviously changed in the verite shooting. But the theme and the story, we knew right away going into it what it was going to be."

- Following Saturday night's screening at IFC Center, co-directors Stern and Annie Sundberg held a Q&A with the sold-out audience.

What was Joan's reaction to the movie when you first screened it for her?
Ricki Stern:
I showed her the DVD at her apartment. It was Joan and me. She has this little TV, which I thought was funny because she doesn't have a bigscreen, 2010-style. ... She liked it in the beginning, she had very few minor notes. And then pages and pages of emails started coming. And they were things that we couldn't even address, like, "Joan thinks it's very negative. Joan thinks it's boring. Note #14 - Joan is always in the makeup chair. Note #16 - More dogs -- everyone likes dogs." ... I think in retrospect, of course, it was because she's a perfectionist and so self-critical, it makse sense. At some point we said: "It's fine. It's going to be okay," and she finally lived with it.

Cinematographer Charles Miller and producer Seth Keal at the Sundance screeningIs there a shy side to Joan as Melissa aludes to (in the film)?
Ricki Stern: We had such a rapport with her she could be her funny, normal self. ... Her normal, funny kind of quirky, witty self is when she's in the taxis or when she's arriving someplace. She has this intense energy that is "99.9% on." But she's constantly revved up and happy to see you and wanting to talk to you. But she's shy when she gets into an industry setting.

Has she worked the movie into her routine yet?
Ricki Stern: I don't think so. I think she's very fearful in some ways of the movie. ... I think it's quite painful for her to sit through. She watched it at Sundance and Tribeca. So she's watched it a couple of times with an audience, but it's very hard for her. I think it's almost too close to her in some weird way -- even though she worked Edgar's suicide into her bits the week after. I think because [the movie] is about her, she's still processing it. I don't know. It's a good question. We'll ask her about it.

--"Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work" is currently playing at IFC Center in New York.


GIVEAWAY | Tickets to Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work @ The IFC Center

The Apiary is giving away 2 pairs of passes to the IFC Center in New York to see Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, a film that everyone is calling "good" and other nice adjectives.  The documentary opens today in select cities and rolls out to more indie theaters next week. Take a look:

A probing, hilarious and revealing portrait, this Sundance hit follows legendary comedian and pop icon Joan Rivers as she fights tooth and manicured nail to keep her American dream alive. At 76, Joan is still the hardest-working woman in show business, a consummate pro and tireless performer. She’s done it all, and as the film follows her over a year, from downtown standup clubs and Midwest casino gigs to Celebrity Apprentice and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, it’s clear she’s not done yet.

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work


1) Put "Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work Tickets" in the subject line of an email addressed to

2) Send that email before SUNDAY @ MIDNIGHT (6/13)

3) If you win, tell your friends via your blog or FB status update that The Apiary made you a winner -- it's that easy!

Two winners will be selected at random to receive a pair of passes--you'll be notified on Monday if you're one of them. Passes are good for any screening of the film next week at the IFC Center in New York. You must live in NY to enter.


News of the World

-- Toy Story 3: Just one month to go until the unmistakeable voice of Kristen Schaal gets channeled through a blue triceratops named Trixie.

-- Run, don't walk, your eyeballs over to the latest episode of Drunk History, featuring Jen Kirkman, Don Cheadle, Will Ferrell and Zoey Deschanel. Without a doubt, Jen Kirkman is my dream girl.

-- After approximately 1,000,000 vlog entries, Grace'n'Michelle will finally get paid by H&M to talk into their iMacs. Whether that payment will be made in the form of slashed clothing or Swedish kroner remains to be seen.

-- Cyborg Reggie Watts and playwright/director Tommy Smith have teamed up to create Transition. Watching this is like taking a glimpse of what all entertainment will be like in the year 3010.

-- Comedy "It" gals Candy Slice celebrate their one-year anniversary at Gotham City Improv this Friday night. In just one year, these ladies have racked up insane YouTube numbers. Hear them roar, indeed.

-- And speaking of funny ladies, the Funniest of Them All gets a release date for her movie -- Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work is out in theaters on June 11. Watch the trailer now.