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Oscars 2017
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The Line King

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If there’s no business like show business, there’s no caricaturist like Al Hirschfeld. A witty chronicler of the Great White Way, the New York Times sketch artist (who died in January 2003 at age 99) is lovingly portrayed as a steady-handed sprite in The Line King, this meticulous doc. Tracing his life decade by decade, director Susan W. Dryfoos layers commentaries from the likes of Katharine Hepburn and Carol Channing over Hirschfeld’s renditions of each performer, and the former sculptor himself reveals colorful personal tidbits (the U.S. military used to train student pilots by having them find the ”Ninas” — the odes to his daughter — hidden in his drawings!).

EXTRAS Sparse additions include a silent gallery of Hirschfeld’s well-known pieces (including Marilyn Monroe and Humphrey Bogart) and a seven-minute film of the artist in his element: making a sketch of Paul Newman in 2002’s ”Our Town.”