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Walker's Review: Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work

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Comic legend Joan Rivers allowed filmmakers Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg into her life for a year, and this alternately hilarious and sad film is the fascinating result. It's a frank, brutal and profane (Rivers curses much more than you'd think) peek behind the iron curtain that publicists routinely use to shield their show biz clients.

Rivers is captured at work in tiny clubs and big auditoriums, as well as at her sanctuary, an opulent New York apartment of which she says, "It's how Marie Antionette would have lived if she'd had money." And keeping that money flowing is her modus operandi.

Rivers takes jobs that other comics wouldn't - like the Bronx at 4:30 in the afternoon, or a casino in the wilds of Northern Wisconsin, where she rips into a heckler like a predatory animal.

Rivers did in fact open doors for every subsequent female comic, but don't tell her that, as she's determined to keep opening them as long as they exist. - Steve Walker, KCUR Arts Reporter

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