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Rick Alverson seeks to bring ‘challenging cinema’ to Columbus with ‘The Comedy’

Courtesy of Tribeca Film

With a few familiar faces and a director looking to challenge moviegoers’ minds, “The Comedy” is set to hit screens in Columbus.

“The Comedy” is scheduled to be screened at 10 p.m. Friday at the Gateway Film Center and is slated to be shown through Thursday.

Directed by Rick Alverson, the film stars comedians Tim Heidecker, James Murphy and Eric Wareheim, and follows a young man named Swanson (Heidecker) who is about to inherit his father’s estate after he dies.

Ignoring the situation that lies in front of him, he wastes his days hanging out with his friends doing age-inappropriate activities in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Some moviegoers might be familiar with Heidecker and Wareheim from their starring in “Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie.”  

As a movie lover, Alverson said he is “baffled by the power of movies to affect and move people.”

He attended film school at New York University and started directing his first film “The Builder in 2008, which was released in 2010.

Alverson has directed four films. Including “The Comedy” and “The Builder,” he also directed “New Jerusalem” in 2011 and his current project “Clement.”

“The Comedy” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January.

He said the film’s inspiration came from the idea of entitlement.

Alverson also said he hopes audiences will “have the desire to watch this story unfold.”

“I want the audience to be challenged,” he said.

Alverson said he not only is hoping that Heidecker fans will go out to see the film, but he also hopes that it will attract “people who love watching challenging cinema.”

Movie reviewer for the New York Times A. O. Scott described Swanson as “the lump of humanity at the center of ‘The Comedy,'” in a Nov. 15 review of the film.

“‘The Comedy’ is a case study in hipster obnoxiousness that takes no critical distance from its subject,” Scott wrote. “Swanson’s vocation is trying to see what he can get away with, and of course he gets away with everything.”

Kyle Smith, movie reviewer for New York Post called the film “a character study that tries to make the revolting compelling” in his Nov. 15 review.

He said Swanson’s “gonzo alienation can be funny in the way of an outlaw comic as you await his next outrage against all decency,” although “the character lacks the magnetism of a true antihero.”

Patrick Locy, sales and marketing manager for the Gateway Film Center, said “The Comedy” was chosen by to be screened at the film center because it seemed like a movie that would appeal to students.

Locy described the film, which is labeled as a drama, as being a dark, dry comedy.

“It’s no ‘Wedding Crashers’ or ‘The Hangover,'” he said. “(‘The Comedy’) is a very interesting title choice for the film.”  

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