“Entertainment is a twisted, existential comedic masterwork.” — Indiewire
More big news for Entertainment. After a brilliant showing at Sundance Film Festival and SXSW, Magnolia Pictures has announced today that it is acquiring all North American rights to Rick Alverson’s film starring Gregg Turkington, Tye Sheridan, John C. Reilly, Michael Cera, and Amy Seimetz. The film was written by Alverson, Turkington and Tim Heidecker and produced by Ryan Zacarias, Ryan Lough, George Rush, Brooke Bernard, Rick Alverson, Patrick Hibler and Alex Lipschultz and Jagjaguwar’sChris Swanson also performed the role of Music Supervisor. The picture is a Jagjaguwar, Nomadic Independence and Made Bed Production in association with Arts + Labor, Autumn Productions, Epic Pictures Group and Complex Corporation.
Rick Alverson said, “We’re very honored to partner with Magnolia. It’s humbling to be in the company of so many bold, innovative independent films.”
About Entertainment –
In ENTERTAINMENT, an aging comedian (Gregg Turkington) tours the California desert, lost in a cycle of third-rate venues, novelty tourist attractions, and vain attempts to reach his es-tranged daughter. By day, he slogs through the barren landscape, inadvertently alienating every acquaintance. At night, he seeks solace in the animation of his onstage persona. Fueled by the promise of a lucrative Hollywood engagement, he trudges through a series of increasingly surreal and volatile encounters. In Alverson’s hallucinatory fugue, Gregg Turkington stars as The Co-median, caught in a struggle between being the center of attention and the object of alienation, occasionally challenged by an unexpected cast of characters played by Tye Sheridan, John C. Reilly, Michael Cera, and Amy Seimetz. Acquisition title: Cinetic. 98m.
Jagjaguwar is proud to present Entertainment, the fourth film from Director Rick Alverson. Premiering this weekend at Sundance Film Festival, the film starts a bevy of actors both new and old to the Alverson world, including Gregg Turkington, Tye Sheridan, John C. Reilly, Michael Cera, and Amy Seimetz. Jagjaguwar’s Chris Swanson also performed the role of Music Supervisor. Full description and screening dates are below.
Park City may not be ready for it, but writer/director Rick Alverson (The Comedy) returns with this nightmarish account of a traveling comedian lost on the brink. A broken, aging comedian tours the California desert, lost in a cycle of third-rate venues, novelty tourist attractions, and vain attempts to reach his estranged daughter. By day, he slogs through the barren landscape, inadvertently alienating every acquaintance. At night, he seeks solace in the animation of his onstage persona. Fueled by the promise of a lucrative Hollywood engagement, he trudges through a series of increasingly surreal and volatile encounters. In Alverson’s hallucinatory fugue, Gregg Turkington stars as The Comedian, caught in a struggle between being the center of attention and the object of alienation, occasionally challenged by an unexpected cast of characters played by Tye Sheridan, John C. Reilly, Michael Cera, and Amy Seimetz. Acquisition title: Cinetic. 98m.
ALSO: Rough House Pictures (Danny McBride, David Gordon Green) Comes On Board to Present Rick Alverson’s The Comedy.
The provocative and controversial drama The Comedy was one of the most talked about movies at Sundance this past week. The movie, in U.S Dramatic Competition, stars Tim Heidecker (of Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!), has inspired heated post-screening Q&A’s and has polarized critics and audiences alike, the sign of any truly visionary film. Director Rick Alverson removes the safe, rosy filter off of contemporary culture to give the audience a look behind the curtain at the cost of American Utopianism and its unintentional byproduct of numbness and disconnect. The film also features Eric Wareheim (Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!), James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem), Jeff Jensen, Kate Lyn Sheil, Alexia Rasmussen, and Gregg Turkington (aka Neil Hamburger).
Also, Jagjaguwar in conjunction with producers Mike S. Ryan (Greyshack Productions) and Brent Kunkle (Larry Fassenden’s production company Glass Eye Pix), is very proud to partner with Rough House Pictures (whose principals include actor Danny McBride, directors David Gordon Green and Jody Hill) to present the movie. Jagjaguwar has been working with Rick Alverson as a musician or a director since 1996 (9 albums, 4 movies), and this latest partnership, where Rough House brings to the fold the “true harmony between David Gordon Green’s lyrical filmmaking and Danny’s darkly comic sensibility”, as Alverson puts it, seems like a perfect fit.
Here are some select reactions:
“While The Comedy is one hell of a challenging film, it deserves tremendous respect for its clarity of vision. It’s not “Animal House,” it’s Lars von Trier’s “The Idiots”. – IFC
“A dark, determinedly abrasive study of a slovenly Brooklyn hipster…this singular Sundance entry is certain to split reactions every which way…Heidecker… gives a compulsively fascinating performance…Alverson’s unfussy filmmaking breathes quiet assurance.” – Variety
“Rick Alverson unleashes a camouflaged assault on contemporary culture veiled in a gorgeously crafted and humorous veneer. As taboos are broken, audience members are forced to question their boundaries and whether they should be laughing with it, at it, or not at all.” – Trevor Groth, Sundance Film Festival
“By far one of the most wildly inappropriate and pitch black comedies Iʼve ever seen in my life.”
– Film Threat
“Word on the street is you either love or you hate The Comedy — an acerbic accounting of an over-privileged, aged Williamsburg hipster. I never knew what the main character, played perfectly by Tim Heidecker in his first dramatic role, was about to do — not even for a second. For me, that was a major triumph of the film.” – Liliana Greenfield-Sanders, Huffington Post
“An epic display of the over-privileged, eternally adolescent white American male behaving badly…Alverson is onto something culturally significant.” – Hollywood Reporter
“Digs up something that affects more people than just Brooklynites, the lack of sincerity in our lives and this generation’s reluctance of commitment. It’s a meaty film, filled with ideas unobscured by any generic narrative string, a move that shows not only the confidence of the director but his respect of the audience. This is one that’ll have people talking.” – Indiewire / Playlist
“The Comedy is the first movie I’ve ever walked out of. Ever… The movie is, on second thought, kind of brilliant…” – Heather Donohue (actress in Blair Witch Project, via Huffington Post)
Premiering this Saturday, January 21 in Park City, “The Comedy” is Rick Alverson’s first film to enter the Sundance Film Festival. It is a contender in the U.S. Dramatic Competition. “This is not a comedy. It stars Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim of Adult Swim’s comedy weird-fest Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Good Job! but despite those guys and the movie’s title, it’s more of a sardonic drama than a laugh-fest. Heidecker plays Swanson, a man inheriting a massive estate who is nonetheless bored with life,” says Sundance director John Cooper. We wish Rick the best of luck in the next coming days! You can now watch the teaser at Indiewire!
In a Meet the Artists interview, Rick Alverson talks about “The Comedy” and the forces, both apparent and underlying, propelling the film. Alverson tells Sundance, “The goal of thing was to vacillate between the comedic and the gravely serious.” Currently competing in the 2012 Sundance Film Festival as part of the U.S. Dramatic Competition, “The Comedy” stars Tim Heidecker and features Eric Wareheim, both of the Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!. Alverson refers to these two as anti-comics and further describes how their innate qualities and work outside of the film played a part in it’s direction. Watch full interview here.