lows of her iconic career.

The documentary invites the viewer a glimpse of the struggles to maintain stardom especially in
today’s world of “celebrity come lately”.  Rivers openly invites audiences in as she continues to
keep her notoriety alive and herself relevant.  Joan Rivers is one of the few artists today from the
Golden Age of television that has endured the trials of being hot and what’s not but has always
maintained her level of integrity.  Others like gay icon Kathy Griffin celebrated on Bravo’s
The D-List
consider Rivers a ground-breaker and an idol, but Rivers maintains that she’s too young to be
idolized, and continues to work on her craft all the while dedicated to her charity work serving
God’s
Love We Deliver
an agency supporting those living with HIV/AIDS and providing them with hot
meals.  The documentary covers many aspects of Joan Rivers’ amazing career, but most of all it
reveals the true difficulty of maintaining that career in our modern, celebrity-hungry and attention
grabbing culture, proving she is every bit
a piece of work.

During the live Q&A moderated by pop-culture archivist and Village Voice contributor Michael Musto
and attended by Rivers and the film’s documentary director Ricki Stern, Rivers revealed why she
may have been accepted as an icon by the gay community.  Her sincere response, “The gay
community always got me and my humor.”  When Rivers was first making the rounds of New York
City’s stand-up circuit, she often performed at
The Duplex, the West Village, Christopher Street
landmark hosted some of the most famous comedians on the circuit, but there Rivers was
embraced by
her gays who would play forever an important role in securing her stardom, and
Rivers as always repaid her favorite fans.  “I always make certain that the best seats are reserved
for my gay audience at all my shows,” Rivers says.  And we’ll always make sure to keep those
seats filled.

J
oan Rivers: A Piece of Work is currently playing in select cities nationwide.

For more on NEWFEST goto
www.newfest.org and check out more of the films that made
headlines at this year’s festival and will be coming to a theater near you.

CLICK HERE for more JC Alvarez
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Out in the Tropics
Festival
June 7-11, 2010
www.ambiente.us   JUNE| JUNIO 2010

Revealing Joan Rivers at NEWFEST
By JC Alvarez

New York City, NY...
Hollywood East as it’s swiftly becoming known on the festival
circuit is becoming  the mecha for establishing filmmakers to spotlight new films and
garner attention in the independent and mainstream industry.   NEWFEST continues
the tradition by giving some of the most innovative films, budding directors and talent
the attention of the LGBT community.  Whether producing fare that is centered on telling
our stories or attracting audiences to support theatrical openings nationwide
NEWFEST, as presented by Marc Jacobs,  has become an impressive celebration of
the art of movie-making often lost in today's quagmire of big budget explosions and 3D
CGI extravaganzas.

Heralding the start of New York City’s month of Gay Pride celebration, NEWFEST this
year drew sold out audiences over the week of screenings and festivities.  Marking the
premieres of such star-studded fare like director Robert Epstein’s
Howl starring James
Franco and, Mary-Louis Parker and Jon Hamm, and lighter comedies like the fan
favorite
Bear City.  

The centerpiece of the event features one of the most iconic female comedians of the
modern era. The documentary
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work directed by Ricki Stern and
Anne Sudberg is an introspective look at celebrity most specifically through the eyes of
Joan Rivers.  One of the first female comedians to make her mark in entertainment,
Rivers rocketed to stardom against all odds in a business that has been primarily
ruled by men.  Joan quickly established herself not only as a funny lady, but as
unparalleled talent who
tested and pushed the
boundaries as a stand-up
comic.  
Legendary Tonight
Show
host Johnny Carson first
introduced Rivers and
proclaimed that “she would be a
star”.  She was the first woman
given the honor by Carson to sit
in his seat as a guest host, but
when Rivers was offered her
own late night show competing
against
The Tonight Show
Carson cut her off and
blacklisted her in Hollywood.

The profound irreverence in
celebrity is never more
engaging then when it's being
deconstructed.  When visited
through the perspective of Joan
Rivers, from her accelerated
climb to the top and into
mainstream culture audiences
feel the sense of inclusion and
easily become invested and
invited to participate in the highs
and
.