"Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me" Selected for BFI London Film Festival

By Adam Hetrick
September 4, 2013

"Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me," the acclaimed documentary about the Tony Award-winning stage veteran, will receive its European premiere in October as part of the 57th BFI London Film Festival.



Documentary filmmaker Chiemi Karasawa ("Love, Etc"; Emmy-winning "The Betrayal") of Isotope Films directed the film that began capturing Stritch's public and personal life in February 2011. Tony and Academy Award nominee Alec Baldwin is executive producer of the film that received its world premiere last spring as part of the Tribeca Film Festival.

It will have its London premiere Oct. 18 at BFI Southbank, NFT2 and Oct. 20 at ICA, Screen 1.

The documentary includes interviews with a host of theatre vets who have worked with Stritch, including At Liberty collaborator George C. Wolfe, Company and Show Boat director Hal Prince and Tony-winning actors Cherry Jones and Nathan Lane. Also featured are "30 Rock" creator Tina Fey, late actor James Gandolfini and John Turturro, among others.

Here's how the film is billed: "What does it mean to be a performing artist – first, last and always? Broadway legend Elaine Stritch can answer that. At 87, Stritch is still here, dominating the stage in her one woman cabaret act, torturing Alec Baldwin on "30 Rock," giving us her take on aging, her struggle with alcohol and diabetes, and the fear of leaving the follow spot behind. In stolen moments from her corner room at the Carlyle, and on breaks from her tour and work, candid reflections about her life are punctuated with rare archival footage, words from friends and photographs from her personal collection. By turns bold, hilarious and achingly poignant, the journey connects Stritch's present to her past, and an inspiring portrait of a one-of-a-kind survivor emerges."

The BFI London Film Festival will close with the European premiere of Disney's "Saving Mr. Banks," which tells the untold story of how Mary Poppins was brought to the big screen. Emma Thompson stars as "Mary Poppins" author P.L. Travers opposite Tom Hanks as Walt Disney.

Additional films include "Philomena," (starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan), "12 Years a Slave" (starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch and Brad Pitt), "Gravity" (starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney), the Coen Brothers' "Inside Llewyn Davis" (starring Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake), "Labor Day" (starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin) and Ralph Fiennes' "The Invisible Woman" (starring Fiennes, Felicity Jones, Kristin Scott Thomas and Tom Hollander.)

Visit bfi.org.uk.

View the trailer for "Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me" below: