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DP/30 @ SIFF ’12: The Savoy King: Chick Webb & the Music That Changed America, documentarian Jeffrey Kaufman

FYI: The history of Mr. Kaufman goes through Pauline Kael’s house, if you’re interested.

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2 Responses to “DP/30 @ SIFF ’12: The Savoy King: Chick Webb & the Music That Changed America, documentarian Jeffrey Kaufman”

  1. Terry says:

    Sorry, but Penelope Gilliatt did not sit in her office scowling at anybody at the New Yorker. Kael went behind her back constantly, trashing her to William Shawn in an effort to get her job and salary. Gilliatt returned Kael’s evil with pure class, even writing her a letter of support after Renata Adler decimated Kael’s reputation in the New York Review of Books. Kael’s hyperbolic writing is losing its once-high reputation, whereas Gilliatt’s brilliant, probative, utterly unbiased criticism. Kael couldn’t handle intellectual films, and was embarrassingly exposed in her reviews of Bergman, Fassbinder, and on and on. Her subject biases, combined with her personal biases towards the films of her friends, is among the reasons her criticism has diminished, whereas Gilliatt’s work is viewed on an ever-higher plane. Kael wanted to write short stories, novels, screenplays, etc., but she had no talent for them. Gilliatt was an acknowledged master of the short story, a brilliant novelist, a brilliant screenwriter, opera librettist, film and theatre critic, documentary script writer. Kael was jealous and treated Gilliatt in an infamous manner that speaks to Kael’s pure narcicism. Her conduct towards other critics was disgraceful and her work in in decline. People now actually laugh at Kael’s hyperbole. Gilliatt’s work, across an astonishing range of forms, will survive.

  2. Fran Morris says:

    We were lucky enough to see Jeff Kaufman’s documentary at the Seattle International Film Festival – lucky to grab a seat, the theater was packed. Everyone enjoyed the film, a great story about a great man – and of course, some of the best music ever. Jeff did a fine job of capturing the essence of Chick Webb’s life and legacy. We were very impressed at the actors doing the voices – Jeff managed to get Bill Cosby, Janet Jackson and Tyne Daly, among a lot of other wonderful folks. Highly recommended film.

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I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

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~ David Simon