Entertainment (11/19)

If Tony Clifton were dropped into the landscape of Zabriskie Point, it might look something like Entertainment, the thrillingly bleak new “comedy” by Rick Alverson (The Comedy). This depressive tone poem finds Neil Hamburger (Gregg Turkington’s shrill and vitriolic lounge-act persona) sleepwalking through the Mojave desert on a stand-up tour that plays more like an existential trek through Kafka’s Amerika. Along the way, he endures the “support” of his obscenely rich cousin (John C. Reilly), gets cornered by a sinister restroom lingerer (Michael Cera), and receives abuse from increasingly belligerent audience members (Amy Seimetz, Tim Heidecker, etc) – all while intermittently leaving phone messages for a daughter who may or may not exist. Immaculately composed, hypnotically paced, and funny in the saddest way, Entertainment is a bracingly singular travelogue of hell – and one of the boldest American films to squirm along in years.

Dir. Rick Alverson, 2015, DCP, 110 min.

Watch the trailer!