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Ed (Edward Hogg) is at a crossroads in his life. In his early thirties, his unrewarding job in a call centre is getting more and more frustrating, while his career as a stand-up is not taking off in the way he hoped it would; in fact, he's starting to acknowledge he might not be a very good comedian. His love life begins to look promising when he meets artist Nathan (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett), a gorgeous younger man who quickly develops a deep affection for Ed. Yet Ed's feelings are conflicted when he recognises he is drawn to his female flatmate Elisa (Elisa Lasowski). Written by
The Comedian (2012) This movie could best be described as experimental and fitting into the Art House genre. As such it might not appeal to everybody. It was funded by the British Film Institute and filmed with an unusual production methodology: work-shopping the script from the cast's improvisations, insisting on only one take (with two cameras) per scene, and shooting only in actual London locations, using only naturally available lighting. Even the comedy gigs and acoustic music acts were performed in real London clubs before uninvited and undirected audiences. The actors all use their real first names as their characters' names. It seems the filmmaker was aiming for ultra-naturalistic performances in which London itself is as much the star as are any of the actors. Its maker described the film as a "wildlife documentary about human relations." Perhaps it's intending to be the ultimate in Cinema Verité. Hollywood it is most definitely NOT! Ed is an aspiring stand up comedian in his early thirties. While he is almost handsome, charming and witty, he is most definitely lost. Trying to make it on the London comedy club circuit, he spends his nights performing in small rooms above pubs and his days attempting to make ends meet by working in a call centre selling female-specific insurance against cancer. He lives with Elisa, a beautiful French singer in a non-sexual relationship, like brother and sister. Then, out of the blue, Ed meets Nathan a young artist who is blunt, honest and free. They immediately connect with each other and begin a passionate affair.
The central theme of the movie is the dynamic that emerges between Nathan and Ed when they meet on a bus after one of Ed's laughter-challenged comedy performances. "Who told you that you were funny?" Nathan mischievously asks Ed before inviting him back to his place. The depiction of these characters two men, one white and one black, both of whom just happen to be gay, and for whom sexuality is just one component of their identities could resonate with audiences of all sexual persuasions.
I enjoyed the movie, though I don't see it getting a major theatrical release. My guess is that it will only get to be shown in Art House cinemas and on the Gay and Lesbian Film Festival circuit. I'd love to get proved wrong though! :)
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