Previously at the ICA - Films

Rick Alverson, Entertainment,  2015

BFI London Film Festival: Entertainment

11 Oct 2015

BFI London Film Festival: 238 films. From 71 countries. 16 cinemas. 12 days. One Festival.

An ageing, dyspeptic comedian (actor Gregg Turkington, tapping into his caustic stand-up alter-ego Neil Hamburger) brays and flop-sweats his way through a tour of deadbeat, desolate southern US venues. As audiences dwindle and the comedian’s shock-jock routine transforms into an all-out assault, his encounters with disquieting eccentrics and increasingly forlorn phone calls to an unseen daughter feed into his self-loathing descent towards oblivion.

Rick Alverson’s uncompromising feature might be seen as anti-comedyit takes jet-black as the brightest hue on its comic spectrum before pitching into something even darkerbut as fearless, hallucinatory filmmaking this is 100% cinema. Alverson is clearly challenging notions of ‘good taste’; but for anyone who can stomach a bitter antidote to indie-movie platitudes and an autopsy on the soul-corroding vacuity of modern comedy and western culture: that’s Entertainment.

(Notes by Leigh Singer)

Entertainment, dir. Rick Alverson, USA 2015, 110 mins.

59th BFI London Film Festival Trailer

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