Friday, February 10, 2023

Turn Every Page

Directed by Lizzie Gottlieb, Turn Every Page - The Adventures of Robert Caro and Robert Gottlieb examines the five decade professional relationship between journalist and author Robert Caro and his longtime editor, her father Robert Gottlieb. Filmed over the course of five years, Gottlieb's film is her attempt to make sense on how the pair initially came together and worked for decades on a series of books not yet finished.

Not surprising from the daughter of an editor, the film is a love letter to books, writing, editing and the time, effort, and love that goes into their making. It's also quite cathartic as the film moves from the author and editor's contentious relationship in 2016 when the film begins, where they wouldn't even agree to be filmed together, to something far more amicable by the end of filming (despite the fact that the final volume of Caro's book hasn't yet been finished).

For Caro, the film spends as much time on the subjects of his books, first Robert Moses and later Lyndon Johnson, and how he uses them to explore both the good and ill of power, as it spends on the writer himself. For her father, the film touches on his own writing and other writers he has edited, but in the end the film always finds its way back to the series of books Gottlieb edited for Caro and the continuing work to finish one more volume.

Helping to put Caro's books in context, and how revered Gottlieb is in his industry, the film includes interviews from a number of faces you'll recognize from Ethan Hawke to President Bill Clinton as well as other writers and publishers. Through the two giants in their field, we also get quite an interesting look at the collaborative and sometimes contentious relationship between writer and editor to produce the best book possible (which Caro and Gottlieb have delivered multiple times over the years).

Watch the trailer
  • Title: Turn Every Page - The Adventures of Robert Caro and Robert Gottlieb
  • IMDb: link

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