VOD film review: The Capote Tapes
James R | On 30, Jan 2021
Director: Ebs Burnough
Cast: Truman Capote
Watch The Capote Tapes online in the UK: Sky Documentaries / NOW / BFI Player / Curzon Home Cinema / Apple TV (iTunes) / Prime Video (Buy/Rent) / Google Play / Sky Store / CHILI
“I can’t remember when I first met Truman because he was everywhere,” says art historian John Richardson during The Capote Tapes, a new documentary about the iconic writer. That ubiquity was both his great strength and weakness; the Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood author was deservedly renowned for his remarkable work but became so caught up in that renown that his follow-up book never materialised.
That book was called Answered Prayers and it was meant to be his masterpiece, a scathing satire of New York’s glamorous high society. While fragments of it emerged, it was never completed, only adding to Capote’s enigmatic appeal decades later. Director Ebs Burnough peels back some of the layers around the man, using George Plimpton’s recordings of interviews with him and his close friends.
Just the chance to glimpse Capote – who has been memorably portrayed by Philip Seymour Hoffman and Toby Jones – in action is reason enough to tune in, and his distinctively gentle voice and cutting comments are a delicious cocktail, dished up with an extravagance that remains disarming. And yet what this compelling film captures so well is his fall from those heights, and his crumbling self-confidence and influence. Placing TV appearances above his creative work, he was a lonely figure with a desperate streak – something that fuelled his love-hate relationship with the city around him. “He was everywhere,” recalls Richardson. This intriguing snapshot of the bittersweet end to his life and career leaves you wishing he still was today.
The Capote Tapes is available on Sky Documentaries. Don’t have Sky? You can also stream it on NOW, for £9.99 a month with no contract. For the latest Sky TV packages and prices, click the button below.