Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 
Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable

In His Own Words: Rick Alverson Shares One Of His Favorite Scenes From 'The Comedy' (VIDEO)

By Rick Alverson | Indiewire November 19, 2012 at 9:32AM

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 -- and neither do we. That's the point."
0
The Comedy

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 -- and neither do we. That's the point."

Below, Alverson shares on his favorite scenes from the film.

______________________________

The scene was written as a playful, adolescent and mostly innocent indiscretion for the men, but set against something that has a gravity and severity they are disconnected from in every way. The important word was "tourists." I wanted to stress the novelty and foreignness of a sacred place to them and also the waning reality of the church as a social power. It was mostly important to illustrate their curiosity; that an ironic field trip to a cathedral is inevitably laced with an actual desire to interact with that place, however deeply that may be submerged in the sacrilege.

READ MORE: 'The Comedy' Director Rick Alverson On Provoking Audiences -- And Why His Next Movie Is About the Ku Klux Klan

"Assurance is a dangerous thing in movies."

There is a very important moment when the group diverges and Swanson, Tim's character, meanders off alone, however briefly. He sits and, for a moment, is objectively just a man in a pew in a church, his mind wandering as one's mind would in that place. He sees the bodies in the front of the cathedral, occupying their space. That was the important transition. It shouldn't need to be overwrought, it is a simple fact of place and silence. Those moments in the film are not without considerable importance. They are more appealing to me as humanizing elements than a face racked with tears and regret.

Initially the scene was much longer, and contained a protracted meditative moment with all the men. The camera panning across their faces much like it does at the slide show near the end of the movie. Then it showed the faces of the paritioners. I liked it very much and both my co-editor Michael Taylor and myself would have been happy with a 3 hour cut. It is difficult to say how those moments would change the film, what they would offset in some other place. Ultimately I opted, like with much of the movie, to tuck those humanizing ambiguities in the shadow of the louder irreverence. I wanted them to strike us only briefly, knowing that many people many not see them. To appease that instinct in a viewer for the obvious humanization and redemptive moment would have been to betray the thing, and let us walk away as assured as we have become accustomed to being in our consumption of media. Assurance is a dangerous thing in movies.


This article is related to: Rick Alverson, Video: In Their Own Words, Video, First Person






Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome



Awards Season Spotlight

Contender Conversations

Indiewire celebrates the best and brightest from Independent film, Hollywood, and foreign cinema.

More