Five Docs To Watch

Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton As Himself

D: Thomas Bean, Luke Poling

George Plimpton made a career out of convincing readers he was a loser – and how very winning he was in that endeavor. The co-founder and longtime editor-in-chief of The Paris Review, Plimpton made his name as a "participatory journalist." He was an inveterate amateur elbowing his way into professionals' inner circle to gain a greater understanding of the field, be it circus acrobatics, the percussion section of the New York Philharmonic, or the Detroit Lions' offense. This affectionate survey includes interviews from family and colleagues (Gay Talese, Hugh Hefner), as well as reams of archival footage and audio (the latter produces the effect of Plimpton himself narrating, in his indelible American-aristocrat frog-voice). The filmmakers don't exactly crack the nut on the private workings of the writer and personality, but then, his intimates never claimed to either. Instead, the film offers a front-row seat to the marvelous, fifty-year-long piece of performance art that was Plimpton's public persona.

Friday, Oct. 19, 3:30pm, Alamo Ritz; Wednesday, Oct. 24, 6pm, Rollins Theatre

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