November 13, 2015
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ENTERTAINMENT Opens Today

The Fessenden-EP’d ENTERTAINMENT, director Rick Alverson’s follow up to the GEP-Produced THE COMEDY, opens in theaters today. See the film that Jeannette Catsoulis of NY Times calls a “downward odyssey that’s hard to shake off.”

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From the NY Times:

By Jeannette Catsoulis

Watching “Entertainment” is a profoundly uncomfortable, some would say repellent, experience that isn’t easily forgotten. Yet I left this barbed portrait of a cracking-up comic with more than a little respect for its fearless director, Rick Alverson, and his trusting star, Gregg Turkington. You can’t deny that they’re a match made in heaven.

Or at least in the California desert, where Mr. Turkington, known simply as the Comedian (and playing a version of his real-life stand-up persona, Neil Hamburger), schlumps from one seedy, underpopulated gig to another. Onstage, carefully arranged strands of comb-over cling to his pallid forehead like wet seaweed, and spare drinks nestle in the crook of his arm. Whether he’s spewing tasteless riddles or responding to hecklers, his act is a sewer of misogyny, homophobia and sexual insult. There is also an unspoken sense that his audiences — trimmings of humanity trapped in a soulless limbo of dust and dive bars — deserve no better.

Capturing a world of flyblown mirrors and sad carpeting, where shirts are washed in motel room sinks, and terrible things happen in public restrooms, Mr. Alverson jacks up the tension with exquisite restraint. Winding scene after scene to a breaking point, he brings our discomfort to a rolling boil, then quietly backs away. Amplified by the stillness of Lorenzo Hagerman’s camera, these moments inspire an apprehension that feels slightly sadistic, as if Mr. Alverson were enjoying his screw-turning a little too much.

Even if he were, there’s a strange nobility to this downward odyssey that’s hard to shake off. Snippets of well-chosen music appear judiciously, though not in the movie’s best scene: a squirmy bathroom encounter between the comedian and a tense young stranger (a perfect Michael Cera). When the comic warns his new acquaintance to back off, we know the younger man would do well to listen. JEANNETTE CATSOULIS

“Entertainment” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). Foul language, flowing alcohol and frightening midwifery. 

October 9, 2015
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IFC Center Hosts Glass Eye Pix: 30th Anniversary Tribute

NYC’s IFC Center celebrates Glass Eye Pix’s 30th Anniversary with Glass Eye Pix: 30th Anniversary Tribute, a series of special screenings throughout October and into November. Screenings include GEP horror classics like NO TELLING and THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL, as well as some of GEP’s non-horror films like WENDY AND LUCY and THE COMEDY.

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Read on for a full listing of screenings at IFC’s Glass Eye Pix: 30th Anniversary Tribute.

August 6, 2015
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Rick Alverson’s ENTERTAINMENT out on Nov 13

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Fessenden executive produces ENTERTAINMENT, the new film from Rick Alverson, director of THE COMEDY. Check out the trailer below, and catch it in theaters and on iTunes November 13th.

February 1, 2015
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ENTERTAINMENT among 3 movies “Redefining Horror”

At Glass Eye Pix, we always said Rick Alverson’s THE COMEDY was a horror film, both as a tongue-in-cheek answer to the question “why would an indie horror production company make a comedy?” (silly, because we make lots of movies outside of the genre), but more importantly because Alverson’s film was an uncompromising portrait of the detachment and socio-pathology of the modern, privileged, white male hipster, a less overtly violent version of the American Psycho, but just as debasing to society.

Now, after this year’s Sundance, Buzzfeed starts to catch on to Alverson’s themes, while simultaneously (and finally) acknowledging the scope of a genre too often pigeonholed. 

Check out the excerpts below and read the full article by Alison Willmore at BUZZFEED.

 

3 New Movies That Are Redefining The Horror Genre

At this year’s Sundance Film Festival, The WitchThe Nightmare, and Entertainment challenge old ideas of how horror films can look and feel.

PARK CITY, Utah — There are horror movies, there are art movies, and then there are those that fall in the sweet spot between where fans of the scary and fans of the exquisitely shot come together. And that usually happens at a film festival.

Like many fests, the annual Sundance Film Festival has a midnight section where most of its genre selections — including Eli Roth’s latest, Knock Knock, and David Robert Mitchell’s beautiful, terrifying sexually transmitted haunting movie It Follows — are grouped. But this year, the most talked-about horror film in Park City, The Witch, premiered in the bright light of afternoon in Sundance’s largest theater, courtesy of its place in the main dramatic competition. And, in addition to The Witch, two other movies also pushed the boundaries of what horror could be with innovative filmmaking and a willingness to show the many different types of fears people grapple with.

Rick Alverson’s dread-filled latest, Entertainment, isn’t a horror movie at all, not in the traditional sense. But by the end, it feels like it fits in that genre as much as it does comedy: Essentially, it’s like watching someone die repeatedly, albeit on stage.

the movie gets more Lynchian as it goes along, with strange, surreal cul-de-sacs in which the comedian encounters a nervous fellow traveler (Michael Cera), a chromotherapist, and a woman in labor.

This is a movie that is about as enjoyable as embracing a cactus. But once it starts to feel like Entertainment’s protagonist is actually stuck in some ironic, awful purgatory, waiting and waiting for someone to tell him it’s time to go home, it’s difficult to shake the movie off, even long after it’s over.

December 4, 2014
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Rick Alverson’s ENTERTAINMENT to premiere at Sundance

Fessenden among the Executive Producers on director Rick Alverson’s followup to the Glass Eye Pix production THE COMEDY. Newest film, ENTERTAINMENT, will  premiere at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival in the Next section.

Entertainment (Director: Rick Alverson; screenwriters: Rick Alverson, Gregg Turkington, Tim Heidecker) — En route to meeting with his estranged daughter, in an attempt to revive his dwindling career, a broken, aging comedian plays a string of dead-end shows in the Mojave Desert. Cast: Gregg Turkington, John C. Reilly, Tye Sheridan, Michael Cera, Amy Seimetz, Lotte Verbeek.

Check it: First images on Collider.

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August 8, 2014
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ENTERTAINMENT, by THE COMEDY’s Rick Alverson, wraps principal photography

The film stars John C Reilly, Tim Heidecker, and Gregg Turkington and was Executive Produced by Fessenden and a host of others. Here’s one blogger who’s excited to hear the news.

April 4, 2013
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THE COMEDY screens at The McKittrick Hotel!

Named after the Judy Barton’s place of residence in Alfred Hitchcock’sVertigo, The McKittrick Hotel still might seem like an unlikely setting for a film screening. Rich in cinematic reverence (the hotel’s Manderley Bar is named after the fictional estate in another Hitchcock classic, Rebecca), The McKittrick Hotel is most well-known for its infamous “Sleep No More” interactive theater experience, during which audience members are given complete freedom to roam the corridors of the hotel, unlocking its secrets and mysteries on their own terms.
In   Continue Reading »

March 26, 2013
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THE COMEDY Now On DVD & Netflix

CHECK IT! Rick Alverson’s THE COMEDY is now available on DVD & Netflix. Get your hands on a copy from Amazon, or watch it   Continue Reading »

January 22, 2013
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Rick Alverson on HuffPost Live

Alverson joins Producer Mike Ryan, Filmmaker Robert Berger, Slamdance President and Co-Founder Peter Baxter, and Host Ricky Camilleri in a conversation about independent cinema, the growth of Sundance, and how Alverson’s film, THE COMEDY, was received when it played Sundance 2012.   Continue Reading »

January 18, 2013
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The Queasy Question: On Rick Alverson’s Film ‘The Comedy’

From Merve Emre at the Los Angeles Review of Books:
FOR MANY INDEPENDENT FILMMAKERS today, “Most Walked-Out Film at Sundance 2012” is a perverse badge of honor, and Rick Alverson’s deceptively titled The Comedy wears it with pride. That much seems clear from the film’s opening shot: a slow-mo wrestling match between two fat, drunk, and nearly naked men, wheezy 30-somethings whose unlovely flesh swells and falls in time to Donnie and Joe Emerson’s soulful 1979 hit “Baby.” Unlike the sweet   Continue Reading »