Film Review: Live From New York!

Live From New York!

Director Bao Nguyen’s Live From New York! is an interesting and entertaining documentary.

Live From New York! charts the history of the longstanding American television show Saturday Night Live. The documentary reveals what goes on behind the scenes of the show, as well as speaking to past and present cast and crew to discover what gives the programme its enduring appeal…

Live From New York! is quite a comprehensive account of the history of Saturday Night Live.  Presented in a traditional format, the film covers the scope of the show from its beginnings. Working in chronological order, the film takes in different elements or controversies as it progresses.

The success of Live From New York! is its access to cast and crew of the show, both past and present. Clearly there is a lot of affection for the show. The film works well to exhibit the household names who began their careers on Saturday Night Live. In fact, the success of the show is to such an extent that some cast members are simply glossed over.

There is a good selection of cast and crew interviewees from different eras. The other interviewees featured give the audience a strong idea of the impact of the show on American culture. Filming on set allows for a rare glimpse behind the scenes of Saturday Night Live.

Live From New York! covers some of the headline-grabbing incidents of the show. Controversies are discussed with cast and crew present at time, as well as commentators. These are not explored in too much detail; there is a plethora of material to cover after all.

Bao Nguyen curates his film to ensure it is zippy in pace. Live From New York! is essential viewing for fans of the show, and interesting enough to occupy the casual viewer.

Live From New York! is being screened at the London Film Festival in October 2015.