Stacey Souther’s documentary ‘Valerie’ starring Valerie Perrine, on Digital and now on DVD on Amazon ( @stacey_souther @TheValPerrine )

It’s easy to review a movie, or to talk about a movie. Ive never found that difficult and decades before I began reviewing films on my website or talking to filmmakers on my podcasts or on a stage at a live Q&A, I had conversations with my friends about movies.  It’s always been a passion of mine, and a comfort to my life to have movies to keep me company.  When reviews and views can become tricky for me is when it comes to the documentary world, especially when the documentary is of a high emotional level like the one I have just watched.  Valerie, is a 2019 documentary which runs for 36 minutes and takes us into the life of showgirl turned actress Valerie Perrine whom I knew first on screen when I was 7 years old and ventured into the cinema to see the newly released Superman The Movie.

Over the years I have seen Superman The Movie many dozens of times, most recently last week when I finally saw the 188 minute version of the film which was a joy to see, as it contained more Hackman, more Reeve, more Beatty, and of course more Perrine. For me Superman The Movie (and Superman II) are always the two films I think of when I read or hear the name of Valerie Perrine even though her filmography goes way before Superman (1972’s Slaughterhouse Five being her first onscreen role) , and continues long after with appearances in many of my favourites shows and many of the movies I watched during my ‘running a video store’ days.    I haven’t met Valerie, I haven’t spoken with Valerie but her roles in films and the interviews that I had seen show her to be a genuine lovely fantastic person and so when I had the chance to watch Stacey Souther’s documentary ‘Valerie’ I jumped at the chance. 

‘Valerie’ even though its short running time flew by, is perhaps one of the most emotional glimpses into someone’s life that I have seen for years.  I was familiar with the onscreen roles that Valerie has played, but I knew nothing about her offscreen life, until watching ‘Valerie’  They say film is powerful, and there is no documentary that the phrase applies to, more than ‘Valerie’   Stacey has put together a powerful and massively emotional film that features so many faces from our film viewing lives including the late Richard Donner (seeing him on screen so soon after reading of his passing brought more lumps to my throat, and tears to my eyes, and trust me, the lumps and tears were already there within a few moments of watching ‘Valerie’   
For a 36 minute film, those 36 minutes have changed me. and ‘Valerie’ will not only find a place on the ‘best documentaries that I’ve seen’ list, but will also stay in my mind and heart for a long time to come.   On screen the roles that Valerie Perrine plays are human, amazing, genuine and strong (and in many cases beautifully humorous) and when seeing her interviewed and on camera in ‘Valerie’ she is amazing, genuine, humorous, strong and if a review can give someone a really long hug! Then I wish my review could do that.   
There is a moment in the documentary where Valerie is asked ‘what haven’t you done yet’   Valerie’s response to that question, is an image that will live in my mind and heart forever. 
I can’t recommend watching ‘Valerie’ enough.   Bless you Valerie.
‘Valerie’ is now on Vimeo On Demand and you can find the various outlets here  and not only that, but the film is on Amazon here and was released on May 3rd 2022

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.