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To say that none of the 40 + films on our staff-voted list is universally beloved is putting it mildly; but then, that’s the nature of polls like these. Every year we’ve run this poll, there’s been a runaway winner; this year, the top film crossed the three-hundred-point threshold, a first here at Sound On Sight. Not since Inglourious Basterds has a film run away so clearly with the number one spot. Our top choice received unbelievable love and support from everyone, nearly doubling the amount of points of our second place pick.
Nobody will agree on each entry, but keep in mind, Sound On Sight has always been a place that bridges the gap between mainstream and independent cinema. We love foreign films but we also love genre pics and documentaries. In other words, we cover it all, or at least we try.
With more movies in limited »
2012 wasn’t a bad year for movies. It was actually a great year. The problem is, the movies we were most anticipating, specifically the Hollywood blockbusters like Prometheus and The Hobbit, didn’t live up to our expectations. With that said I still managed to make a list of 50 films I loved. Maybe I just have bad taste or maybe I just love movies but the most time consuming factor when making this list was sitting down and deciding what makes the cut and what doesn’t. Even with 50 films listed below, I found it hard to not include movies like Frankenweenie, The Loneliest Planet, Footnote, Compliance, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, and Searching For Sugar Man. Come to think of it, every film featured on our list of best documentaries could have easily snuck into this list. I haven’t seen everything of course. Below is »
By Kaliska Ross
It’s Thursday night and Theater #2 at Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar is filled to the brim with eager moviegoers and a palpable excitement over the special guest, Tim Heidecker of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, arriving at any moment, for the sneak peak of Rick Alverson’s latest film. While we waited for the lights to dim and the film to begin, clips of Tim and Eric were playing in the theater to set the mood. After a bit, the director Rick Alverson took the stage to briefly introduce his film, The Comedy.
The Comedy is about Swanson, played by Heidecker, a 30-something well-to-do Williamsburg hipster, and his group of friends, grappling with their privileged lives and ultimately trying to make meaning where seemingly none exists. Rick describes the main character as having a creative desire to reclaim language from banality. While a positive goal, »
Directed by Rick Alvorson
Written by Rick Alvorson, Robert Donne, and Colm O’Leary
What purpose is there in an insincere life? Perhaps an aimless movie couldn’t dare answer such a heady question, but The Comedy, a new independent film starring Tim Heidecker of the TV show Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, at least considers it through its main character. Swanson rambles through life, unattached to anyone or anything. As such, The Comedy represents whatever you, the viewer, bring to it. The film’s director and writers are, it seems, very careful in allowing the film to have a deliberately vague sensibility, turning it into a cinematic Rorschach test.
The 35-year old Swanson leads a charmed life, spending debauched, disaffected nights in Williamsburg with his friends (played by, among others, LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy and Heidecker’s TV partner, Eric Wareheim), and days wandering around New York City. »
- Josh Spiegel
Writer-director Rick Alverson tests his audience from the get-go with an opening scene of such perverted over-indulgence that even Caligula may have needed to avert his eyes. It is as if Alverson is attempting to weed out the weak at heart from the audience, all the while setting the stage for a story of a sublimely unlikable, uber-wealthy man-child. Our incalculably immature anti-hero, Swanson (Tim Heidecker), exists somewhere in a cinematic universe between Chance Gardner (Hal Ashby's Being There) and Arthur Bach (Steve Gordon's Arthur). Stuck in the quagmire of a mid-thirties existential crisis, Swanson approaches life like a 12-year-old boy armed with far too much knowledge about prolapsed anuses -- unless he is just talking utter nonsense out his ass (as he does about hobos, Hitler, and feudalism). Swanson's philosophical ramblings play like a mockery of intellectualism or an half-hearted attempt to pass himself off as a worldly hipster. »
- Don Simpson
By Rya Backer
As any dedicated follower of the hilarious, irreverent, and sometimes gross comedy duo Tim and Eric can attest, a popular refrain while watching their work (be it from their late, great Adult Swim show, "Tim and Eric's Awesome Show Great Job!," their work with Funny or Die, and most recently their piece de resistance, "Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie") is "Are they serious?".
And in "The Comedy," a decidedly not-so-comedic film directed by Rick Alverson about a thirtysomething Williamsburg resident in the throes of ennui, self-involvement, and lots of money he's set to inherit from his ailing father, fans will likely once again question the work's gravity. The starring role of Swanson is played by none other than Tim Heidecker (his comedy partner, Eric Wareheim, plays one of Swanson's friends).
"He's a bit listless, he's a millionare, this trust fund kid that doesn't have to do work. »
- MTV Movies Team
Here's the latest in Austin and Texas film news.
Adult Swim's Tim Heidecker and director Rick Alverson will be in attendance at the premiere screening of their movie The Comedy, about the modern privileged hipster class, 9:30 pm Thursday at Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar. Join the duo before the film at End of an Ear Record Store to listen to its soundtrack. The film's theatrical run begins Friday at the Drafthouse.Bastrop's community access television station, UpStart Bastrop, will host its third annual Off Kilter Xmas Film Fest at 2 pm on Saturday, Dec. 8 at Upstart Studios in Bastrop with a screening of the independent horror-comedy Christmas with the Dead, filmed in East Texas and based on Texas native Joe R. Lansdale's short story. J.C. saw the film and published some stills back in August.Save the date: join Afs at 5 pm on Dec. 8 at Austin Studios »
- Jordan Gass-Poore'
Rick Alverson's not-comedy, The Comedy, is currently one of my favorite films of the year. It haunts me. It is, and I quote myself, "hilarious, transgressive, brilliant, and most people will find it unwatchable." But that doesn't mean you shouldn't give it a shot.For the unaware, it is a character study about an aging hipster douche named Swanson, played with unnerving commitment by comedian Tim Heidecker. I am a fan of Heidecker's work, and let me assure you-- The Comedy is some of his best. So I made a quick foray to the reRun theater in Brooklyn to meet the man and his director for a chat. I'm led up a dark stairwell with the other writers, like cattle. The killing floor is an open »
There was no film more 'love-it-or-hate-it' at Sundance this year than "The Comedy" (currently playing in select theaters nationwide and available on VOD). Indiewire's Eric Kohn, for one, loves it. In his glowing review from Park City, he wrote: "There's little conventionally funny about 'The Comedy,' but its status as a provocation is a grand joke. Director Rick Alverson ('New Jerusalem') has made a one-of-a-kind portrait of pathologically insecure and overpriviledged hipsters, crafting the finest awkward-bizarre character study since Ronald Bronstein's 'Frownland.' The first brilliant maneuver is its casting of Tim Heidecker as the supremely unlikable lead. Best known as one half of the irreverent comedy duo from 'Tim and Eric's Awesome Show, Great Job!,' Heidecker embodies a supremely obnoxious Williamsburg resident committed to wisecracks, regardless of whether or not anyone laughs. Usually, they don't -- »
- Rick Alverson
Rick Alverson had been making fantastic films before 2012, but this year thrust him into the conversation with the odd, discomforting “The Comedy.” Starring Tim Heidecker of 'Tim & Eric' (and featuring a whole slew of other interesting people, including James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem) as Swanson, an eternal Brooklynite and juvenile faced with the imminent death of his father. Though a large amount of responsibility (and inheritance) are coming his way, he’d rather spend his time shooting the shit with friends or provoking total strangers with his own brand of confrontational humor. Alverson’s movie assays the numbness that comes with comfort and questions the very nature of comedy; it is both a funny and perturbing portrait of a man who just doesn’t know when to quit (or, even sadder, of a man who quit long ago). “The Comedy” is now available on VOD and hit New York »
- Christopher Bell
Tim Heidecker is best known as half of the "Tim and Eric" comedy duo whose odd shenanigans on Adult Swim and elsewhere have made them underground heroes. But Heidecker also stars in The Comedy, an inappropriately titled dark satire about a bored man with no moral center. We talked to him about the movie, his philosophies on comedy, and whether this particular film is supposed to be provocative. Movies.com: This is one of the few things that you've had a major role in that you didn't also write. And yet it also seems very much your style. How did you come to be involved in it? Tim Heidecker: I was contacted a couple years ago by Will Oldham, who is a singer and songwriter and a guy I know, who had worked with this director Rick Alverson. He sent me a...
- Eric D. Snider
Writer-director Rick Alverson’s new movie is called The Comedy and stars funny man Tim Heidecker. But the film is actually a semi-improvised drama about a New York slacker-type who spends a good deal of screen time hanging out with pals played by Eric Wareheim and LCD Soundsystem singer James Murphy. So what’s up with the title? “You can interpret that as being sarcastic but I don’t think it’s purely a ‘F— you,’” says Heidecker, who together with Wareheim stars on the Adult Swim’s Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! “We talked a lot about »
- Clark Collis
Audience members heading to the theater this weekend to see Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim’s controversial film The Comedy will be able to hear the filmmaker’s opinions and insights in real time. That’s because, as Variety notes, director Rick Alverson and Heidecker recorded a podcast that serves as a commentary track for the film. It’s available via iTunes, and it lworks like an audio track audiences normally only got on DVD releases. "It creates a unique viewing opportunity that isn't normally available in the first release window," said Neil Marks, Tribeca Films director of marketing. It also encourages repeat viewings of an independent film that isn’t going to draw Twilight-level...
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It’s unlikely that anyone had a more schizophrenic Sundance this past January than Tim Heidecker. The 36-year old actor and filmmaker attended the festival with two projects – Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie, the feature-length culmination of his and longtime collaborator Eric Wareheim’s cult absurdist comedy TV series Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, and the ironically named The Comedy, a dark drama from filmmaker Rick Alverson (New Jerusalem). And as both films have rolled out over the past year, Heidecker has had to juggle dueling personae – zany comedic curmudgeon and dramatic leading man.
In The Comedy, Heidecker plays Swanson, a depressed, affluent, and serially-detached Williamsburg hipster. Throughout the film, Swanson engages in a series of provocations with the outside world, testing the limits and boundaries of those around him, while arguably spiraling towards some kind of mental break. It’s a dark, pitiless performance — an »
- Dan Schoenbrun
Currently available nationwide on VOD and digital platforms like iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, and Vudu, the Brooklyn-set indie film The Comedy is finally making its way home. Rick Alverson's layered character study of an aging Brooklyn hipster lacking ambition and empathy has generated exceptional buzz throughout the indie film world. The film, described by Indiewire as 'a powerful generational statement,' explores the dark recesses of a social mileau in which even the privileged have become listless and disinterested. At the center of the film is Swanson, played with incredible skill by Tim Heidecker of Tim and Eric fame. Heidecker's Swanson is a voluntary outsider, lingering on the fringes of society with his group of like-minded peers. He is also a polarizing figure, capable of great aggression, often choosing to antagonize and harass others simply to get a reaction. At the same time, Swanson unpredictably exhibits extreme tenderness in »
In another life, Rick Alverson could have been a college professor. The director of "The Comedy" speaks in lengthy paragraphs, as if he were explaining unifying theories to a freshman philosophy major. With his thorough, high-minded answers, it’s apparent that Alverson’s out to change the filmmaking landscape. Part of that involves ticking people off, as "The Comedy" did when it premiered at Sundance. The movie stars Tim Heidecker as a priviledged Williamsburg resident wandering around annoying people to no end. Whether the film is meant solely as a provocation or an indictment of the indolence plaguing young, wealthy Americans, the viewing experience invites discomfort. Alverson sat down for a conversation last month at the Vancouver International Film Festival to discuss this latest work, which has found favor with certain circles and inspired walkouts among others, with not much middle ground in between. "The Comedy," which currently »
- Steve Greene
"Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie" and Rick Alverson's "The Comedy" (starring Tim Heidecker) both played at the Sundance Film Festival, and it'd be easy to simply peg the former as your standard bizarre T&E affair and the latter as a dramatic arthouse effort. But that's simply much too reductive for Alverson's current character study, a film uniquely weird in its own right and filled with enough of the duo's humor to make their followers happy -- to a point. The director uses comedy to explore a man's inability to be a human being as he constantly involves himself in situations purely for irony's sake, refusing to take others' lives into consideration. There was much, much talk about how unlikable Charlize Theron was in "Young Adult," but as far as this writer's concerned, she has nothing on Heidecker's Swanson. It's a difficult film in that sense, one that incites laughter but immediately questions. »
- Christopher Bell
In the opening scene to The Comedy, a handful of grown men are wrestling and dry humping each other in slow motion to Donnie & Joe Emerson’s “Baby.” They’re in their underwear, piss drunk and spitting beer all over the room. This scene of debauchery sets the rhythm for the entire film, which focuses on unlovable losers who balance out the uninteresting world that surrounds them by way of alcohol, blasphemy, and anything that doesn’t require a lot of effort. The result is unbelievably entertaining.
Tim Heidecker (Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!) stars as Swanson, a wealthy 35-year-old bum who spends every night polluting his body with copious amounts of drugs and booze. During the daytime, he wanders around New York, pretending to work at places he doesn’t and obnoxiously mocking culture with his equally obnoxious friends. Swanson is a real go-getter who knows what he wants in life, »
- Chase Whale
Tim Heidecker Talks The Comedy, in select theaters Friday, November 9th
Look deep into the eyes of Tim Heidecker during certain unhinged moments in this year's earlier release Tim and Eric'$ Billion Dollar Movie, and you will see true demons rising to the surface. He is bitter. Angry. A man fighting against the world. And that's where some of his best comedic moments come from. Taken out of context, its not hard to see a man devoted to the craft of acting. He has a humanistic skill set that escapes even the most gifted of performers. It's a needed tool when delivering something as obscure and twisted as Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! It's a true belief in the material that enables this particular comedian to sell it home.
Now, Tim Heidecker brings those same instincts to The Comedy. Despite its title, the movie only wades through a »
If you are heading into The Comedy expecting a follow-up to Tim and Eric'$ Billion Dollar Movie, you are in for quite a shock. While the film does offer a few early laughs from star Tim Heidecker, the story quickly descends into pitch black territory, and what we're left holding creeps deep into the horror genre. It's a disturbing psychological drama about a man whose life has no real meaning, as he sits and very impatiently awaits his father's death so that he can live out the rest of his life with little to no responsibilities.
The Comedy is also a time capsule of our current trendier than thou hipster culture, and it dissects that well-worn disenfranchised soul with an X-acto knife. It's an important look at the disintegration of the human spirit, while also being about hope and forgiveness. »
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