U.S., 2016, 103 min, 2K DCP, Dir. Nancy Buirski, Not Rated, American Masters
"An entertaining beautifully assembled film ... this is first and foremost an illuminating self-portrait." – David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter
"Feels less like a documentary and more like a long, wide-ranging, disarmingly honest, highly entertaining dinner conversation with a man who was one of cinema's smartest, most articulate and most compassionate figures." – Oliver Lyttelton, IndieWire
By Sidney Lumet is a portrait of the work and life of one of the most accomplished and influential directors in the history of cinema. His strongly moral tales captured the dilemmas and concerns of a society struggling with essentials - how does one behave to others and to oneself? Peabody and Emmy-award winning filmmaker Nancy Buirski (Afternoon of a Faun, The Loving Story) has Lumet to guide us through his world; the documentary features clips from Lumet's films - he made 44 films in 50 years - including Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, 12 Angry Men and Network. Though spiritual and ethical questions are at the core of his work, they are not didactic. His films are both powerfully dramatic and wildly entertaining for Mr. Lumet was first and foremost a storyteller. In a rare never-before-seen interview, we are privileged to have Sidney Lumet tell his own story just a few years before his death. With candor, humor and grace, he reveals what matters to him as an artist and as a human being.
For a half-a-century he made some of your favorite American movies. For Sidney Lumet, the work was the thing and his craft, self-effacing. Though his films earned a combined total of 46 Oscar nominations, it was not until he received a Lifetime Achievement Oscar - for his "brilliant service to screenwriters, performers, and the art of the motion picture" six years before his death in 2005 that the coveted statuette eluded him. With the revealing self-portrait, By Sidney Lumet, and seven of his most beloved films, CGAC pays long overdue tribute to an American master and his classics.
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