John Cleese to be presented with Ernie Kovacs Award at Texas Theatre on December 4

Tickets $35+: https://www.prekindle.com/promo/id/530585115385351831

The nature of physical comedy over the intellectual and paired with the intellectual is, in theatrical history, generally paired with messaging meant to effect the working or less educated classes.

But this specific point of reference whether it is found in the Globe Theatre’s repertoire or the spectacle that entered all of our homes at the apex of the mid-century does not assume this form of comedy is declasse.

The physical effect of comedy, as tragedy or trope informative of natures, states, and conditions humanity might find deterrent when placed on the body as presented in a public performative space, operates as mirror for the individual among axes that may in some respects be described as an interactive, ideological space between the Panopticon and the Synopticon for as much as Foucault and Mathieson are worth without Marshall McLuhan’s elaboration on the Medium and the Message.

Buffoonery has much to teach the individual that cannot learn from a simple wagging eyebrow.

But now for something completely different: (that is actually quite the same)

Over the years, VideoFest has only shown short snippets of Ernie Kovacs’ work.

This year hosts of the Kovacs’ Centennial and Dallas VideoFest will present a full evening of Ernie Kovacs television work the night before the Award Event.

Celebrate the Centennial of the birth of offbeat comedy genius, Ernie Kovacs, with this hilarious retrospective of his greatest live gags on early television in the 1950s along with his career highlights, which have inspired the likes of Pee-wee Herman, Kids in the Hall, Amy Sedaris, Mike Nesmith, and Monty Python.

Hosted by Dallas VideoFest’s artistic director: Bart Weiss, Ernie Kovacs archivist: Ben Model, and Josh Mills, the son of Ernie’s wife, Edie Adams:

Dallas VideoFest 32 presents an evening retrospective of “The Ernie Kovacs Show” on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema – Richardson (100 N Central Expy #14, Richardson). Admission – $5 voucher redeemable for food reserves your seat at Alamo – Richardson.

The following day, VideoFest awards the Ernie Kovacs Award to comedian John Cleese of Monty Python and Fawlty Towers fame, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4, at the Texas Theatre (231 W. Jefferson Blvd. – Oak Cliff/Dallas).

Admission – $35+ Tickets available – http://VideoFest.org

The Best Laughs at SXSW and Sundance: the Danielle Solzman Lowdown

Chicago Indie Critic Danielle Solzman reports to us from SXSW this year with the comedies she loves the most: 

While the early months of the year tend to be a dumping grounds for the studios, there’s a lot to be discovered at film festivals.

Sundance

Hearts Beat Loud is a beautifully made, music-driven film from Brett Haley.  What makes the film work isn’t just the screenplay Haley co-wrote with Marc Basch but it’s the music from songwriter/composer Keegan Dewitt that Nick Offerman and Kiersey Clemons shine through on screen.  To say that Clemons is phenomenal in this musical masterpiece is an understatement. (Featured Image Credit: Jon Pack)

Clara’s Ghost is the feature directorial debut from Bridey Elliott and offers us an exaggerated glimpse into the life of the comedic Elliott family.  While Chris, Abby, and Bridey may be the more familiar names, it’s Chris’s wife, Paula, who gets a substantial amount of material to work with in the film.  It’s a fun film that’s best watched with a glass of wine in your hands.

download (2)

Blockers is the feature directorial debut of comedy writer Kay Cannon.  It’s laugh-out-loud funny and I found myself falling out of my seat during the world premiere at SXSW.  The film offers a teen sex comedy from the female perspective with some great performances.  When it comes to R-rated comedies, this film is an instant classic and joins the likes of so many great films from the Judd Apatow brain machine.

What I love about Summer ’03 is that it comes from a first-time feature filmmaker and is so full of heart, emotion, and comedy.  Becca Gleason has a fresh voice and ought to be around for a long time to come.  It’s actress Joey King who carries this film from start to finish with an amazing performance.  That being said, everyone in the film, including improv pros Paul Scheer and Andrea Savage, get upstaged during June Squibb’s brief role as a dying grandmother whose biggest regret is never learning how to perform a proper blow job.

You Can Choose Your Family takes us back to 1992, where Jim Gaffigan’s Frank Hansen is married to two different women and has two children with both wives.  It’s going great for Frank until his son, Phillip (Logan Miller), discovers his secret and threatens to spill the beans unless his father gives him the money to attend NYU.  There’s times where it feels like the audience knows more than what the characters do and as such, there’s a few OMG moments late in the film.

I’m not ignoring Sorry to Bother You but I’m placing the satire into a category of it’s own.  It’s the new Get Out on so many levels but it’s not an outright comedy or drama.  Somewhere in between to be honest.

29134970_10102083915109720_1906448420_n   Danielle Solzman is a film critic and a member of the Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle, Galeca: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, Alliance of Women Film Journalists, and the Online Film & Television Association. She also writes for Solzy at the Movies.