The Rest I Make Up

color & b/w. 79 min. Michelle Memran, dist. by Women Make Movies, www.wmm.com. 2018. DVD $89; acad. libs. $395 (Rental: $150). Public performance. BIOG/THEATER
"I know everything. Half of it I really know, the rest I make up." Such are the words of Cuban American playwright María Irene Fornés (1930-2018), the ex-lover of Susan Sontag, shown here suffering from dementia. Filmmaker Memran befriended Fornés, who, though well regarded, respected, and awarded, was not well known, even among contemporary theater aficionados. As with many on the leading edge of the avant garde, she broke down barriers and paved the way for better-known artists to follow. Luminaries such as Lanford Wilson, Edward Albee, and Paula Vogel appear here to praise her talent and courage. Memran brilliantly stays out of the way and only probes when necessary. In one telling scene, Fornés is filling out a medical form at a doctor's office. She needs to be reminded by her sister of why she is there. The camera peers over her shoulder as Fornés prints, "Loss of me" on the form and forgets to finish the word memory. That's filmmaking.
VERDICT It is high time for The Rest I Make Up. [Fornés died this past October.—Ed.]

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