This week, we welcomed director Chris Smith and producers Robert Downey Jr., Susan Downey, and Kevin Ford to present and discuss “Sr.”, a Spotlight selection of this year’s festival, with NYFF Artistic Director, Dennis Lim.
Rarely do films about artists allow the kind of poignant intimacy seen in this tender yet fittingly irreverent portrait of the life and career of Robert Downey Sr., the fearless, visionary American director who set the standard for counterculture comedy in the sixties and seventies. An inspired collaboration between celebrated documentarian Chris Smith (American Movie); the subject’s son, Robert Downey Jr.; and the man himself, who’s occasionally shown working on his own version of the movie we’re watching, “Sr.” functions both as an elegy for the rule-flouting underground icon, who passed away at age 85 in July 2021, and as a testament to his tireless creative spirit. Capturing its subjects’ refreshing candor about aging, past struggles with addiction, and the ups and downs of working in Hollywood, Smith’s film is an emotional depiction of a father-son bond that remained strong, pragmatic, and deeply loving to the end. A Netflix release. All NYFF60 Documentaries are presented by HBO.