The Comedy (11/12, 10:00pm)

Exploring the nature of humor’s relationship to pain and cruelty with a boldly-drawn character study right out of a gut-level Mike Leigh creation, The Comedy is one of the most scathing generation-in-crisis films this side of the Millenium. All of us have known that guy: toxically misanthropic, forever insincere, constantly crouching behind a veil of caustic humor, and miserable, miserable, miserable. In a precise, unsettling execution of this post-post-modern archetype that’s so full of sweltering humanity we pray it isn’t his only foray into drama, Tim Heidecker (“Tim And Eric”) plays a Brooklyn trust-fund hipster tumbling through a series of riveting, stomach-churning experiments in (anti)social engineering. His “gags” — defending Hitler at parties, or drunkenly persuading a cab driver to let him take the wheel — go from droll to demonic; as Heidecker slips down the dank rabbit hole of ironic detachment, it becomes clear that The Comedy has more in common with Dante’s “Inferno” than dick jokes. Eric Wareheim, James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem) and Gregg Turkington (“Neil Hamburger”) also co-star as PBR-swilling Droogies, in a portrait of friendship so pathologically ironic it evokes more loneliness than the Count of Monte Cristo’s cell. A genuinely sad and hugely moving work.
Dir. Rick Alverson, 2012, HD presentation, 94 min.

Watch the trailer for “The Comedy”!
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