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Live From New York! 

Wednesday, Jun 10 2015
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By definition, Bao Nguyen's feature-length documentary Live From New York! can't come close to telling the full story of Saturday Night Live, which has produced thousands of hours of varying content thus far and would require a weeklong Ken Burns miniseries to truly do it justice. But considering that it was produced with the full cooperation of the show's producers (and thus could have easily become a 90-minute handjob), Nguyen's film does deserve credit for not only not shying away from its subject's darker moments, but addressing them head-on in the first act, as the show's history of racism and sexism are discussed by people who experienced it firsthand. Live From New York! is arranged more by subject than by strict chronology, and brings up issues which would be worthy of their own documentaries, particularly the discussion of how to respond to tragedy via comedy post-9/11. (Also, Bill O'Reilly says he was a big fan of Gilda Radner's Roseanne Roseannadanna character. Go figure.) The choice to play Gil Scott-Heron's "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" over the opening credits is simultaneously questionable and a bit too on-the-nose, but it does mean anyone producing a documentary on the Apollo program should now feel free to use Scott-Heron's "Whitey on the Moon."

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Sherilyn Connelly

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