Defending Your Life
Edition no. 1071
Is there love after death? Acerbic everyman Albert Brooks finds a perfect balance between satirical bite and romantic-comedy charm as the writer, director, and star of this wonderfully warm and imaginative existential fantasy. After he dies suddenly, the hapless advertising executive Daniel Miller (Brooks) finds himself in Judgment City, a gleaming way station where the newly deceased must prove they lived a life of sufficient courage to advance in their journey through the universe. As the self-doubting Daniel struggles to make his case, a budding relationship with the uninhibited Julia (Meryl Streep) offers him a chance to finally feel alive. Buoyed by a brilliant supporting cast that includes Rip Torn, Lee Grant, and Buck Henry, Defending Your Life is a rare feat of personal, philosophical filmmaking that happens to also be divinely entertaining.
- New conversation between Albert Brooks and filmmaker Robert Weide
- New interview on the afterlife with theologian and critic Donna Bowman
- New program featuring excerpts from 1991 interviews with Albert Brooks and actors Lee Grant and Rip Torn
- An essay by filmmaker Ari Aster