We’re so very proud to announce that Tribeca Film will be distributing Rick Alverson’s The Comedy throughout North America. The Jagjaguwar-produced drama was one of this year’s most talked about films since its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, where it was in U.S. dramatic competition. Variety called it “compulsively fascinating” and Film Threat described it as “one of the most wildly inappropriate and pitch black comedies I’ve ever seen”.
What exactly does this mean? In addition to having a limited theatrical run, the drama will soon be available in over 40 million homes through video-on-demand, iTunes, Amazon Watch Instantly, Xbox, Samsung Media Hub and the like.
Alverson, who directed and wrote The Comedy, is someone Jagjaguwar has been working with for a very long time (since 1996). Jagjaguwar has released over nine albums with Alverson, and The Comedy is just one of four dramas Alverson and Jagjaguwar have collaborated on. Like Jagjaguwar, Alverson is also very excited about Tribeca Film’s involvement. “My hope is that The Comedy may be seen as both a challenging, cautionary tale and an unapologetic immersion in a culture of irony and recreational cruelty many have come to find liberating,” said Alverson. “We’re very happy to be in the competent hands of Tribeca Film and look forward to a partnership that will bring this movie to a wide audience.”
The Comedy features Tim Heidecker of the “Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job,” as an aging hipster spending his aimless recreation with like-minded friends (“Tim & Eric” co-star Eric Wareheim, LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy and comedian Gregg Turkington a.k.a.“Neil Hamburger”) in games of comic irreverence and mock sincerity. There are several cameos by musicians Jagjaguwar friends, Will Sheff (Okkervil River) and Richard Swift (The Shins).
Read more about the acquisition HERE.
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.
For a full list of screening dates, click here.