Around 1940, The New Yorker staff writer Joe Mitchell meets Joe Gould, a Greenwich Village character, who cadges meals, drinks, and contributions to the Joe Gould Fund, and who is writing a...
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In an attempt to resurrect the slapstick comedy of Laurel and Hardy or The Marx Brothers, Stanley Tucci and Oliver Platt team-up as two out-of-work actors who accidentally stowaway on a ... See full summary »
Joe Mulholland, Head of Production at a Hollywood studio, makes a rather fool-hardy promise to a dying friend. He undertakes to make a major movie using the title - if not the content - of ... See full summary »
Around 1940, The New Yorker staff writer Joe Mitchell meets Joe Gould, a Greenwich Village character, who cadges meals, drinks, and contributions to the Joe Gould Fund, and who is writing a voluminous Oral History of the World, a record of twenty thousand conversations he's overheard. Mitchell is fascinated with this Harvard grad, and writes a 1942 piece about him, "Professor Seagull", bringing Gould some celebrity, and an invitation to join the Greenwich Village Ravens, a poetry club he's often crashed. Gould's touchy, querulous personality and his frequent dropping in on Mitchell for hours of chat, lead to a break-up, but the two Joes stay in touch until Gould's death, and Mitchell's unveiling of the secret. Written by
In my home town, I never felt at home. In New York, New York City, in Greenwich Village, down among the cranks, and the misfits, and the one runners, and the has-beens, and the might-have-beens, and the would-bes, and the never-wills, and the God-knows-whats, I have always felt at home.
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I just caught this "little" gem on the IFC. They are currently showing it in heavy rotation, around the dinner hour.
Other reviews have given a great overview, so no need to repeat. If you enjoy intelligent movies that actually have something to say, DO NOT pass this one up. -And don't worry, this is not a dry, artsy-fartsy movie. There is quite a bit of subtle comedy. In fact, the movie could correctly be classified as a comedy, although miles away from any Jim Carrey effort.
If you are a huge fan of said Mr Carrey, then you will likely hate this movie. It is quite deep, and demands a lot of attention and thought from its audience.
One thing I want to mention, that I haven't seen written previously, is how brilliant I think the whole concept of Joe's "oral history" is. This concept is spot-on. Formal history is simply a glorified, selective record written by the powers that be. It's written by the winners and often bears little resemblance to the truth. True history is the collective thinking, over time, of the general masses. What we think is what is, and that's different for everyone. Wonderful.
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