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Public Speaking

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From Martin Scorcese, one of the greatest American filmmakers of the 20th Century comes an endearing and hilarious portrait of an literary legend and acerbic wit, Fran Lebowitz.

Wise, brilliant and funny, Fran Lebowitz hit the New York literary scene in the early ‘70s when Andy Warhol hired the unknown scribe to write a column for Interview magazine. Today, she’s an acclaimed author with legions of fans who adore her acerbic wit.

Directed in the inimitable and energetic style of Scorsese’s early documentaries “Italian American” and “American Boy,” PUBLIC SPEAKING captures the author in conversation at New York’s Waverly Inn, in an onstage discussion with longtime friend and celebrated writer Toni Morrison and on the streets of New York City. Lebowitz offers insights on timely issues such as gender, race and gay rights, as well as her pet peeves, including celebrity culture, smoking bans, tourists and strollers. Of her beloved city, she says, “New York was not better in the ‘70s because there was more crime. It was better because it was cheaper.”



“Martin Scorsese’s documentary about the writer and talker Fran Lebowitz is close to an hour and a half long, and it feels about an hour and a half too short…  Luckily for viewers, Lebowitz is just as fresh, in every sense, as she ever was.– The New Yorker

An absorbing rumination on being smart, outspoken and provincially of and about Manhattan…a subtle yet resplendent paean to New York-centric intelligence, talent and, yes, elitism.”
– The Washington Post

“The legendarily blocked writer may have a slim oeuvre, but she remains a sharp observer, holding forth on racism, sexism, tourism, and, most pungently, elitism.
The quick-witted malcontent is the best kind of New Yorker: one with a long memory who’s averse to nostalgia.”–The Village Voice