PRODS Mike S. Ryan, Brent Kunkle
SCR/ED Rick Alverson
CAM Mike Schwartzbard
ED Michael Taylor
PROD CO Greyshack Films / Glass Eye Pix
Looking for an indie sensibility that cuts deep? Then Rick Alverson’s The Comedy is a must-see. Granted, you might feel inclined to avert your eyes—or at least watch through your fingers—as Swanson (cult comedian Tim Heidecker) and his equally entitled Williamsburg brethren bump and grind to a slow jam in their beer-soaked underpants. As their loutish behaviour continues—hassling cabbies, assuming fake identities and thumbing their noses at a church’s sanctity—it becomes readily evident that theirs is a highly calculated and particularly joyless brand of mirth. Consumed by disaffection, it seems that their only way to connect with others is by pushing buttons.
Its finger on the pulse of wearying hipster humour, The Comedy is original, provocative and keenly relevant. Bolstered by supporting turns by Eric Wareheim, Neil Hamburger and LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, it foregoes poking fun in favour of hurling devastating blows. Make no mistake: Alverson picks his spots and hits to hurt. This film is destined to be one of VIFF’s most hotly debated offerings. Make sure that you’re part of the conversation. And note that some of the hippest bands out there—Spokane, Gayngs, to name but two—spice up the soundtrack.
"An epic display of the over-privileged, eternally adolescent white American male behaving badly. The anomie of entitlement pushed to poisonous extremes… Alverson is onto something culturally significant about the terminal disconnect bred by vapid self-indulgence, and there’s certainly rigor in his methods."—David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter