In my 4.1 review of Alex Gibney‘s All Or Nothing At All (HBO, 4.5 and 4.6), I called it “quite the loving valentine…a doc that is always looking to show understanding and affection…no judgment, no impartiality…every well-known or rumored-about negative in Sinatra’s bio is finessed or explained away.” The reason for this, of course, is that the doc, which is expertly done and quite moving for the most part, had to go through Tina Sinatra and Frank Sinatra, Jr., who are the gatekeepers. “Rat Pack Confidential” author Shawn Levy commented the other day that “I’m sure Gibney had a very fine line to walk [with Tina and Frank, Jr.] and equally sure that the final product was gone over with extreme care.”

With that in mind, here’s a portion of a q & a between Gibney and Salon‘s Andrew O’Hehir:

O’Hehir: “It’s probably not fair to say you go soft. But there are a lot of other narrative approaches one could make to this guy, looking at his history with women, his history with the Mob and the Kennedys, his relationship with race and politics, his switch from the left to the Reagan right, all of that. I completely agree that he’s the greatest popular singer of his period, a guy who blended the jazz and pop traditions like nobody else, an iconic American and an iconic performer. But while your film certainly brings up the darker stuff, you don’t dwell on it.”

Gibney: “I would say that this is 2015, and it’s Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday. It’s a Valentine. Not one without its creases, but generally speaking it’s a Valentine. What I got into and had never fully appreciated before was his ability to be a storyteller in song, particularly with the darker ballads. You could believe that I would be drawn to the darker ballads!”

O’Hehir: “Yes, of course. The ‘blue period,’ the Ava Gardner period. The woman who broke the heart of the ultimate ladykiller, and did American popular culture an immense service.”

Gibney: “’I’m a Fool to Want You’ — that is an awesome song and one of the few that he wrote, or co-wrote. Or ‘Only the Lonely.’ Technically, he learned how to phrase things so that he never had to pause just because he had to take a breath. It was always about when it was right for the story. And he puts himself in character, like in ‘Angel Eyes.’ He did his best acting when he was singing. For all the clips that we used, I’m not that big a fan of Frank Sinatra the actor.”

O’Hehir: “Very limited. He had his moments, but most of those are in The Man With the Golden Arm, which tells you something.”

Gibney: “Right. But as a storyteller in song, he was awesome. So I think there is room for another Sinatra comeback in pop culture. I’m also a big fan of ‘New York, New York,’ as corny as it is. It’s a parody of itself in a way, but it also is about the power of ambition. He sings it with such earned enthusiasm, the kid who came across the river from Hoboken. You can’t not like that.”