A new PBS documentary, "American Masters Philip Roth: Unmasked", premieres on March 29th on the channel in honor of the author's 80th birthday this month.
It features extended interviews with the controversial novelist and (thus far) spurned Nobel Prize candidate from New Jersey, as well as discussions with Mia Farrow, Jonathan Franzen, Nicole Krauss and Nathan Englander. In a press release, the co-director of the documentary, Livia Manera, said
"Just before Roth publicly declared he had stopped writing, we filmed him at home and at work, in the streets of New York and in the countryside. But mostly, we let him talk. He spoke of his family, his fantasies, his obsessions, Jewish humor, the many controversies he stirred, the turmoil of sex, love, the writers he admired, fame, depression, old age, illness and death - all the while reading to us from his own books and enjoying the natural flow of the conversation."
The famously cantankerous author himself is quoted as saying "The making of the documentary was made completely painless for me by William and Livia. Astonishingly, I actually enjoyed it and I don't think I emerge as an entirely ridiculous figure."
Above is one of the outtakes from the film, in which Roth discusses the history of obscenity in 20th-century American literature.
Do you think Roth deserves celebrating with this kind of film? Let us know in the comments!