Why David Geffen is Getting the ‘American Masters’ Treatment

From Chicago Tribune:

LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) – David Geffen is not a singer. Nor is he a movie star. Nor is he a writer.

Thus he would seem an odd subject for “American Masters,” a series devoted to artists ranging from Willa Cather to Woody Allen.

Yet series creator Susan Lacy claims that the mogul has had a profound impact on American popular culture that equals any of those figures. She pleads her case in “Inventing David Geffen,” which will be broadcast November 20 on PBS. The documentary had its premiere in Los Angeles on Tuesday night.

“He seems like a bit of an odd choice,” Lacy admitted to TheWrap. “But I have a degree in American Studies and I learned that the people with the most influence are often the ones behind the scenes.”

In Geffen, Lacy saw a figure like Alfred Stieglitz, a photographer whose lasting legacy was a series of modernist shows he held at his New York galleries that influenced visual arts in this country and brought cubism to the masses.

Some arm twisting must have been required to get the press-averse Geffen to emerge from semi-retirement to reflect on his career in movies, music and Broadway. Lacy said that part of the reason she was able to convince him to participate is that he was a fan of the series and had participated in her documentaries on figures such as Joni Mitchell.

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