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A roadtrip – through the desert, into despair. Loosely based on Gregg Turkington’s “Neil Hamburger“ character, it is funny in the same way that ERASERHEAD is heartwarming.

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ENTERTAINMENT’s tone becomes clear as soon as you realize that real life Droopy equivalent John C. Reilly plays the most successful and joyful character in the entire film. He tries to encourage and support his cousin, a nameless comic (Gregg Turkington), while they are on a road trip. The comedian constantly travels in the desert, going from one poorly attended appearance to the next. He visits western towns, airport cemeteries and wanders aimlessly in his shabby hotels. Sometimes he meets people, but there are no real conversations. He only talks on his daughter’s voicemail, but she doesn’t call him back. He goes on stage dressed in beige with his greasy comb-over holding several drinks and tells bad puns and insults the audience. His shrill nasal “whyyyyyy?” starts off as an annoying stage trick but increasingly becomes a cry for help on his drive to god knows where.
Turkington’s anti-comedy (which Turkington does in real life) is not supposed to be amusing for anyone, but on the other hand you have to laugh so as not to sink into a pit of despair. Like a mumblecore version of Waiting for Godot, you never know why you are watching the film but you also can’t leave. You might need a whiskey afterwards though. Or during.

Christian Klose

Translation: Elinor Lewy

Credits

USA 2015, 102 min
Genre: Drama
Director: Rick Alverson
Author: Rick Alverson, Tim Heidecker, Gregg Turkington
DOP: Lorenzo Hagerman
Montage: Rick Alverson, Michael Taylor
Music: Robert Donne
Distributor: Drop-Out Cinema
Cast: Gregg Turkington, Tye Sheridan, John C. Reilly
FSK: 16
Release: 15.09.2016

Website
IMDB

Screenings

Screenings

  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles

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