Sunday, January 1 1995
Survivor's tone is very difficult to locate, and while this elusiveness may be more than the producers intend, it's just as possible to surmise that they know what they're doing and that teasing the audience with its own naivete is their way of undermining the medium even as they exploit it so well.
Handles uncomfortable material with bravery and tender force; it is utterly human and unrelenting in its challenges to assumptions.
Sixties rock and roll festivals -- given their large crowds of people, lack of sanitary facilities, bad drugs, and shortages of food and water -- were catastrophes waiting to happen. People get angry when they're uncomfortable or feel ripped off.
When I was watching her host the PTL Club in the early 1980's, I always thought of her more as an entertaining oddity -- a bizarre cross between a country singer, a drag queen, and Elmer Gantry.