Before we got a bunch of our friends together and built The Secret Alley, Noel Von Joo and I got a bunch of our friends together and spent a number of years making a strange post-zombie-apocalypse movie, When Gravity Changes. It’s about a loner who is stuck on his roof while zombies swarm beneath him, the sun has stopped rising and his only companion is a talking raccoon . . . until he finds a city of fetuses hidden in a tree. It was shot on a roof in Santa Cruz, an attic in Sacramento and a gutter on our very own Capp Street.
[Noel in the fetus city set]
The movie will be showing as part of Here & Far, curated by Sarah Flores, at The Roxie this Wednesday night. Our movie will follow a bunch of other local shorts, Vacation (2014) Written and Directed by Tracy Brown, As Long as There is Plenty (2013) Written and Directed by Kenneth Vaughn, Chaos Directed by Natalie Eakin, Bequeath the Heart By Zack Von Joo & Million Year Check-up By Davenzane Hayes.
Yeah, I know, Valentine’s Day is dumb, blah blah blah. But, maybe it’s a good excuse for a scavenger hunt. Something to inspire you to look at the stuff you see every day in a new way. Where around the neighborhood do you see hidden VD or anti-VD messages?
“The Comedy” is premiering in San Francisco at the Mission’s very own Roxie theater this Friday, November 23rd, and you’re in for a treat: Tim Heidecker will be hosting a Q&A after the screenings on both Friday and Saturday. It is playing at the Roxie until the end of the month.
The film is about Swanson, an aging, Williamsburg-living, PBR-swigging hipster-type on the cusp of inheriting his wealthy father’s estate. In his boredom, disconnection with the real world, and subliminal grief, he and his buddies engage in some truly awful behavior at the expense of a world presenting him with endless options. Hmm entitled, trust-funded, society leeches hiding behind a cloud of irony? We wouldn’t know anything about that around these parts, now would we?
I recently got an opportunity to chat with writer/director Rick Alverson and actor Tim Heidecker about the film’s mixed reception, how scripted dialogue is so passé, experiencing the end of comedy (9/11-unrelated), and about PBR as a cost-cutting production technique.
Mission Mission: I understand some other SF publications declined the interview after seeing the film and that it had the most walk-outs at Sundance. Were you expecting such a polarized reaction?
Rick Alverson: I suppose we knew it was possible. It’s sort of designed in some way and we kind of embraced it. It’s a little confusing from the get-go and maybe provocative because of some of that confusion. But you know, it’s definitely uh… hell, I don’t know.
Tim Heidecker: Yeah, first of all I think the notion of “the most walk outs in Sundance” is a bit of an exaggeration. I don’t know if anyone was standing out the door with a clicker. We had tremendous screenings at Sundance and SXSW and the reaction for the film certainly isn’t unanimously positive, but amongst a certain demographic it’s very positive. It’s a film that appeals to a generation that can dial in to not only the humor that’s in the film, but the underlying subliminal quality that the film has. And frankly, there’s an older establishment out there that’s incapable of embracing some of the themes in the film. But I’ve had plenty of conversations with people that I respect and come to watching films from an open-minded place and nobody that I know has a problem with it and considers it a successful film. So if you’re somehow angered by this film or offended or anything… you’re probably gonna be a person that I don’t want to know.
MM: Yeah, I think it’s very similar to the Tim and Eric show in that there’s a sort of person that will get this and someone who would probably walk out after getting the eyeful on the opening scene. It certainly wasn’t what I expected. I think I was expecting something more Tim and Eric-y but instead I got something that was funny but also incredibly dark.
Hey guys, don’t forget to go to Uptown Almanac‘s locally-sourced stand-up comedy show tonight. It’s all local comics! Sure, these folks might not be interviewed on WTF in the near future, but they will probably tell more jokes that are specific to your San Franciscan sensibilities, like “what is the deal with gum on the sidewalk” and “why are people in their mid-to-late 30′s in love with Sutro tower?” Plus, bragging rights. In 10 years you can say you saw them all before they had failed sitcoms.
It’s only $7 at the door and if you’re not ready to laugh the cover includes enough free PBR to make anyone funny.
Edit: It wasn’t my intention to trash these comics or Uptown Almanac, if that’s what came across. I was making some probably poor-taste jokes about careers in stand up comedy in general (too much listening to Mark Maron). I sincerely apologize if this was taken that way. We have supported these comics and this event before and think they are great. I will be there. Needless to say, I will not be performing comedy.
You should totally go to this and support laughs: Uptown Almanac is throwing a comedy bash featuring some of our favorite local stand-up comedians, including Sean Keane and Chris Garcia, at the Roxie tomorrow, Tuesday May 10th.
It’s only $6.50 and there will be lots of complimentary PBR to go around! So if you drink six, that’s like a $3 value. Starts at 7:30pm. We’ll be there, so if you want to take out the entire Mission blogging community all at once, that’s your chance to strike.
Last Tuvan throat singing post of the weekend, I promise.
In case you missed last night’s Tuvan throat singing extravaganza at Kaleidoscope, Genghis Blues: the movie which made it all possible, is screening tonight at the Roxie at 7:15pm. Best of all, after the movie Kongar-ol Ondar will be performing!
The Genghis Blues Review last night was totally packed, but it was an awesome time. Kongar-ol Ondar did some traditional songs, but also took us back Tuva future with this folk-rock inspired number:
He also invited local singer and vocal teacher Karina Denike up to, uh, feel his diaphragm.