Texas’ beloved crusading journalist gets her documentary due
By Marc Savlov, 6:55AM, Tue. Mar. 12, 2019
There are plenty of great things to say about Director Janice Engel’s portrait of the late, legendary Ivins, but maybe the best is that after watching Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins, you’ll immediately want to go back and re-read all her books.
It’s a rare documentary indeed that so expertly captures the singular essence of its subject, and Ivins, the former Texas Observer editor, nationally syndicated columnist, and seriously humorous (and vice versa) thorn in the side of not only the Texas Legislature and the powers that be is restored to vivid and vital life, if not in the flesh than in the mind and spirit. If only she were around today – alongside Bill Hicks, maybe – we’d all sleep a little better at night in the uneasy times.
“Texas is like every place else, only more so,” said the beer-drinking, hell-raising, enthusiastically anti-authoritarian writer in her infamous Texan twang. Speaking truth to power with a heaping helping of piercing wit that recalls her mentor and fellow Lone Star resident scribe John Henry Faulk, Ivins remarkable life and livelihood is covered in exhaustive detail. From the gangly teen (six feet tall by the age of 12 and a bookworm so studious her family called her “the mole”) who fancied a career as a foreign correspondent after seeing Humphrey Bogart in 1952’s Deadline U.S.A., to the The New York Times, where her acerbic political observations landed her in hot water with Editor Abe Rosenthal. Returning to Texas, she eventually got carte blanche to run a weekly column which at its peak ran in some 400 newspapers.
Raise Hell is nothing if not inspirational, with former co-workers, politicians (notably good friend and fellow traveler Texas Governor Ann Richards), and Dan Rather all doing their damnedest to explain Ivins wide-ranging liberal appeal. She received plenty of death threats, but it was breast cancer that finally took her on January 31, 2007. But not before she could claim the honor of having penned Elvis Presley’s obit for the NYT, wherein she referred to the King as a “plump corpse.”
Few if any other journalistic champions of the underdog and good old fashioned common sense had Ivins winning trifecta of smarts, snark, and unrepentant joie de vivre and Engel’s terrifically engaging documentary will make audiences – left, right, and center – wonder what on earth has happened to our invaluable Fifth Estate since Ivins’ death.
She very clearly recognized and called out the inequities of political power and her voice remains as bitingly, scathingly hilarious yet profoundly human as her forebears Faulk and, yes, Mark Twain. The adage goes that every person who heard the Velvet Underground back in the day went off and started their own band. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could say the same of Molly Ivins and aspiring journalist, truth-tellers, and iconoclastic outsiders today? Watching Raise Hell, I think, or hope, that maybe we can.
Tuesday, March 12, 6pm, AFS Cinema
Thursday, March 14, 10:45am, Alamo Lamar E
Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at austinchronicle.com/sxsw. Sign up for our South By-specific newsletter at austinchronicle.com/newsletters for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.
A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.
Katarina Brown, March 12, 2019
Dan Gentile, March 12, 2019
March 11, 2019
March 8, 2019
- Bronze Ass-Kicker Molly Marine Is Finally In Her Rightful Place
- The tragic legacy of ‘Ms. Poverty,’ unlikely creator of the federal poverty line
- Progress Bar: The bullet hell of Survived By
- Carrying On Mary’s Legacy at Bethune-Cookman University
- Doctor Strange's whitewashing is part of a much bigger legacy of Hollywood's racism
- 2019 Chicago Auto Show Recap – The Windy City Stirs
- Hip-Hop’s Finest: 30 Great Rap Lyrics
- Not Too Late for an Obama ‘Staycation’
- Holiday hip-hop was missing its third king—then came “Christmas In Harlem”
- 'We know we made mistakes' on 737 MAX: Boeing CEO
- UPDATE 2-'We know we made mistakes' on 737 MAX -Boeing CEO
- When It Comes To Air Pollution, Race and Income Matter
|TSKY(TM) Heavy Duty Hybrid 3 Layer Hard Case Cover With The Tree Of Life Pattern Case For iPod Touch 5th Generationth (check at Amazon)||4.1|
|OUO Stylish Series Case for iPhone 5 5S 5G with the Design of One Elegant Piano Keyboards and White rose (check at Amazon)||4.7|
|OUO Case for Iphone 5 5s with the Design of Sea Shell and Beach Scenery (check at Amazon)||4.7|
|Hard Case for Iphone 5 5S with the Design of Silver Texture Soccer Ball (check at Amazon)||5.0|
|OUO Stylish Series Case for iPhone 5 5S with the Design of Some Shiny Colorful Grains (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|OUO Classic 4.7 Inch Iphone 6 Case with the Design of Soccer Ball in Goal (check at Amazon)||4.0|
|TSKY(TM) Heavy Duty Hybrid 3 Layer Hard Case Cover With The Tree Of Life Pattern Case For iPhone 5C (check at Amazon)||5.0|
|UKASE Cases Skins of Valuable Live Quote for Apple iPhone 5/5S with the Design of - Faith In God Includes, Faith In His Timing (check at Amazon)||1.0|
|OUO Stylish Series Case for iPhone 5 5S 5G with the Design of Love Scene of Two Cats (check at Amazon)||4.0|
|UKASE Hard Plastic Protective Case for 2014 iPhone 6 ( 4.7 inch ) with the Paint of Ancient Aztec Pattern (check at Amazon)||5.0|
|UKASE Hard Plastic Protective Case for 2014 iPhone 6 ( 4.7 inch ) with the Paint of Colorful Chevron Pattern (check at Amazon)||5.0|
|OUO Stylish Series Case for iPhone 4 4S 4G with the Design of a dog play violin and a women with a music box (check at Amazon)||5.0|
|Raising Your Dog with the Monks of New Skete (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Raising Your Dog with the Monks of New Skete (3 Tape Set, Vhs) (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|The Legacy Of Tommy Jarrell, Vol. 3: Come And Go With Me (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|To Hell With the Lords of Altamont (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Hell With The Dog Beware Of The Wife 8" x 12" Metal Novelty Sign Aluminum S054 (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|92Y - A Conversation with Ted Sorensen: The Legacy of JFK (May 6, 2008) (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Raising hell;: A contemporary novel of modern juvenile delinquency told from the standpoint of the delinquents themselves (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Colliding With Destiny: Finding Hope in the Legacy of Ruth (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Cult to Christ: The Church With No Name and the Legacy of the Living Witness Doctrine (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Blessing the Next Generation: Creating a Lasting Family Legacy with the Help of a Loving God (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|THE CHINESE-AMERICAN METHOD: RAISING OUR CHILDREN WITH THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|An English-Zulu Dictionary: With The Principles Of Pronunciation And Classification Fully Explained (Legacy Reprint) (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|At the Table with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Raising the Ruins: The Fight to Revive the Legacy of Herbert W. Armstrong (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|A Hundred Feet Over Hell: Flying With the Men of the 220th Recon Airplane Company Over I Corps and the DMZ, Vietnam 1968-1969 (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|A Lexicon of Terror: Argentina and the Legacies of Torture, Revised and Updated with a New Epilogue (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Raising Hell: A Concise History of the Black Arts - and Those Who Dared to Practice Them (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Hell With the Fire Out: A History of the Modoc War (check at Amazon)||0.0|
Raising Hell With the Legacy of Molly Ivins at SXSW have 1391 words, post on www.austinchronicle.com at March 12, 2019. This is cached page on USA Posts. If you want remove this page, please contact us.