Director: Rick Alverson
Year Released: 2015
A downtrodden comedian (Gregg Turkington, as his alter-ego "Neil Hamburger") tours dive bars and a prison in the Western United States along with his "opening act," a mime (Tye Sheridan); when not doing his anti-comedy on stage, he goes on day trips (to see broken down airplanes, still-function oil pipes, a 'chromotherapy' lecture) and makes calls to his daughter (she never picks up the phone, if she even exists). If this is supposed to be about 'suffering for one's art' it doesn't work, since the Neil Hamburger character is intended to be purposely un-funny (it's performance art); if it's supposed to be a parody of 'high-minded' art-house cinema, it also doesn't work, since there's an air of cocky sarcasm running through it (the title is a tip-off). If it's supposed to be intentionally tedious - "anti-entertainment" in the same way Alverson's The Comedy is anything but - it does technically succeed: it's a game of one-upmanship, ultimately saying "got you to sit through this, ha!" On that level, congratulations, I watched the entire thing. Here's your round of silent applause.