Dying to Do Letterman
Rated NR, 75 mins
Biography, Comedy drama, Documentary
Diagnosed with inoperable liver cancer, small-time comic Steve Mazan throws himself into the process of landing a stand-up gig on The Late Show With David Letterman
. This fascinating but upsetting video documentary by reality-TV veterans Joke Fincioen and Biagio Messina (Beauty and the Geek
) shows a marginally talented performer at his most pathetic and vulnerable. It would make for a provocative double-bill with I'm Still Here
(2010), Casey Affleck's hoax documentary about Joaquin Phoenix, which also hinged on a Letterman appearance. The Affleck movie was a cynical insider's view of our celebrity-obsessed culture; this is an comparably cynical view from the outside, asserting that you can die happy as long as you've been on TV.