Six of the Fest: Comedies
What do you get if you cross traditional family values, extreme male bonding and a road trip across America? Why, it's this year's hilarious half-dozen.
Winner of the Special Jury Prize at Sundance, Lynn Shelton's comedy is not to be missed. Here, thirty-something Ben (Mark Duplass) pushes his marriage to Anna (Alycia Delmore) and his 'bromance' with Andrew (Joshua Leonard) to the limits, as the trio become embroiled in a sexed-up, beatnik 'art experiment'.
Superbad meets Napoleon Dynamite in Greg Mottola's 80s comedy that's as heart warming as it is hilarious. In it we meet high school leaver James (Jesse Eisenberg) who embarks on the usual adolescent rites of passage but not without a little help from the band of oddballs he works with at the local theme park.
With the birth of their first child fast approaching, laid back thirty-somethings Verona (Maya Rudolph) and Burt (John Krasinski) set off on a road trip across the U.S in search of the perfect home. Sam Mendes' chirpy indie comedy allows for plenty of eccentric friends and relatives to pop up along the way, including Maggie Gyllenhaal as Burt's wickedly overbearing cousin LN.
Unquestionably one of the funniest films of the festival, Black Dynamite is a whirlwind of nods to the funk fuelled blaxploitation movies of the 70s. With boom mics hovering into view, uncut out-takes and Michael Jai White's 'fro and 'tache combo deserving an award in its own right, Black Dynamite is of true cult classic calibre.
A film about the ever-lurking comedy in family dysfunction, Avie Luthrie's psychiatrist's eye picks over the fragmented and tense relationships of three siblings in Luton. With TV favourite Meera Syal playing the unlucky in love Rashmi, expect a tender yet unflinchingly realistic portrayal of the funnier side to bad times.
Armed with a Canon Handycam, a barrel load of determination and a cynical abattoir-worker called Ray (Dean Palo), Richard (Tony Claassen) has his heart set on becoming a fully fledged film maker with his creation “A Distance Too Far” . But as this inspiring and playful comedy suggests, some things - including filmmaking - just aren't worth losing your head or your girlfriend over.
Winners of EIFF 2014’s short film awards and two of its documentary premieres have been nominated for 2015 BAFTAs.