Louis C.K. And Experimental Film

I saw this fantastic little piece about Louis C.K.’s experience with film on Splitsider and, as I just implied, I think it’s fantastic. The author actually went through all the interviews of C.K. he could find to pick out everything about film, and when you look at all those pieces altogether you get a much better appreciation of who C.K. is as a filmmaker rather than just a comedian.

As much as he is respected, I think C.K. never gets as much credit as he is due. When people talk about C.K., they’re usually talking about him being funny – being a comedian. Rarely do they talk about him being an artist and filmmaker who directs, writes, edits, and all but films himself in his various projects. Some people mention that, but rarely do they go further to explain how much he knows about film. If you’re just a consumer of the content he puts out, chances are you probably wouldn’t talk about C.K. in the same way you’d talk about Woody Allen, for example.

This article gives you that appreciation for C.K. way better than I could. Awesome read. Eddie Brawley has also written some other really cool pieces, so check him out on Splitsider.

If I can bring up Louis C.K. twice in one week, it’s a pretty good week!

Louis C.K. Is Working On A Cool Animated Pilot

Saw this article recently about how Louis C.K. is teaming up with Albert Brooks to write and star in an animated pilot for FX. (don’t start sentences with “I” because I’m cool)

I heard of this before and I’m really excited for it. Why wouldn’t you be excited to see something Louis C.K. is involved in? The article also mentions the other projects tht C.K.’s production company is working on right now and there’s a bunch of cool stuff I’m excited about too – projects with Zach Galifianakis, Pamela Adlon, and Tig Notaro.

Apparently there’s no word on when this stuff will be coming out, which pisses me off. I guess I’m just looking people to co-anticipate with me. Maybe I’ll watch some more Louie in the mean time.

Women In Comedy: A Documentary

Usually, I’m not a huge fan of separating men and women comedians. And that’s why I actually really enjoyed this documentary. Usually, the point of a documentary like this would be to go: “Oh wow, look how much of a path woman have blazed for other women in comedy.” But this documentary isn’t like that.

Yes, it’s all about women comedians and what they’ve accomplished in comedy. But what I enjoyed about it the most is the ending. The documentary gradually moves towards saying something to the effect of: “There is no difference between men and women in comedy anymore.” Which, I think, is really healthy. Sure, there are still some slight differences between men and women in comedy today, as there are always bound to be. But, those differences just aren’t worth bringing up anymore for the sake of moving past them. And that’s pretty much the consensus among every woman who is interviewed in the documentary.

Sarah Silverman, one of the last to share her two cents at the end, pretty much sums it up.

“The last relic of it being hard for women in comedy is the question – is the question: ‘What’s it like being a woman in a man’s world?’ And you go, ‘Oh, that question is the last thing left of it, because women run comedy.'”

The documentary was produced by Makers and you can watch it here. Sorry, I can’t find a way to embed it here because they used some weird format – probably precisely for that reason.

 

If you found this interesting, you can read more about my thoughts on women in comedy here.

In A World On Netflix Is Great

Hey, have I plugged a movie yet? I don’t think so…fertile territory. Fertile ground? Fertile territory? Does anyone say that? I don’t care.

I’ve known this movie was around for a while, but did not get around to seeing it until recently. I loved it. I could see how someone might not love it, but I thought it was written well, wasn’t too slow, wasn’t too weird, and wasn’t too clever. It also had some real substance to it.

It also didn’t hurt that some of my favorite funny people are in the movie: Demetri Martin, Tig Notaro, and Nick Offerman. Lake Bell wrote, directed, and starred in the film and it won some award or something or other. That doesn’t matter. What matters is that it’s about voice over work, which I thought would be a silly concept for a movie before seeing it. And it is. But, it’s done well. And I thought parts were laugh-out-loud funny. That’s saying a lot coming from me.

I’d love to compare it to Amy Schumer’s movie soon and see what I think. Because this movie also has some cameos from celebrities and stuff like that, but never got quite the same hype. We shall see!

Check out In a World.

A Documentary On Why Comedians Do Comedy Is Happening

What do you say to a documentary that’s about Bugs Bunny? “Ehhh, what’s up doc?”

Yes I just made that up and yes it’s awful. But it was fun, wasn’t it? Don’t fool yourself: it was.

I found this story in the news this week and the concept really…intrigued me. I’m not so sure how well this doc will turn out.

Don’t let the cool graphics fool you, the idea of following three “regular” people as they try comedy for the first time is one of the worst ideas I’ve heard for a stand up documentary. Why? Well, they don’t know anything about comedy yet. Watch the Fox news video in the link, you’ll see: they talk to one of the “comics” featured in the doc. He is earth-shatteringly boring. No one even wants to hear me do or talk about comedy and I’m decently removed from that hatchling phase.

The only thing you could possibly do to make the doc interesting is also interview other people to talk about what starting comedy is like. You have two options when it comes to that: 1) comics, who will tell you “just do comedy and learn” and 2) professors who have never even tried stand up comedy who have done a lot of research on what’s “funny.” Since I’ve actually done academic humor research I can somewhat fairly say that humor research, although it sounds really interesting, is essentially worthless. Comics are right: you don’t know comedy unless you do it and an hour documentary of interviewed comics saying, “you just gotta go out and do it” and three new comics failing at open mics is not quite prime time material.

As a means of staying more positive (I’m not trying to put anything down), I actually do think it’s great that someone is making a documentary about stand up comedy, no matter what it’s about. There are some pretty decent documentaries on comedy out there, but honestly I’ve never seen one that I thought was “fantastic.” There are some mixed comedy special/documentaries that are pretty cool, but they aren’t quite the same. More filmmakers should be trying. Or comedic filmmakers should try, I think. Maybe the problem is that the comics aren’t really the ones trying to make a documentary.

One great thing that came out of this news story is that it reminded me documentaries on comedy exist and I should post about the better ones that are out there. So here’s to that happening in the future!

I just think the idea of following open mic comics as the premise of a “real” documentary is hilarious. And what kind of name is Morgen Earle? Who knows? It could be really good and I’m a jerk.