Celebrity Preacher in Need of Spin Control
We had a great screening of our film "Sister Aimee" last week at Coolidge Corner Theater, and today, we received a lovely review of it in The New York Times:
"Forgive the generalization, but there is simply no time period more accommodating to the historical documentary form than the first four decades of the last century.," the reviewer says. "Photography, sound recording and film were all becoming established, but the technology was still ragged enough that the history looks like history, rather than like last week’s news. Documentaries made of such stuff, with their fluttery video and tentative audio, let you feel the emergence of the modern era. The makers of 'Sister Aimee,' tonight’s installment of 'American Experience' on PBS, make this work for them perfectly in telling the irresistible story of the evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson...
"McPherson’s tale has all sorts of connections to today: the blending of religion and entertainment; the mixing of religion and politics. But Linda Garmon, who wrote and directed the film (based on Matthew Avery Sutton’s book 'Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America'), wisely doesn’t belabor them. She seems more interested in McPherson as an early example of someone who lost control of her own fame. The historian Stephen Prothero sums it up nicely. 'Nowadays celebrities do have some sense of what they’re getting in for,' he says.'“In the ’20s that wasn’t necessarily the case. These people who were moving into celebrity — the Mary Pickfords in film, the Babe Ruths in sports, the Aimee Semple McPhersons in religion — they didn’t know really what the rules were going to be.'"
This reviewer nails the point of our film. Thank you, New York Times!