SXSW Film Reviews

The Comedians of Comedy

D: Michael Blieden

Documentary Feature Competition

Nerd alert. David Cross has "hair in his ass crack." Patton Oswalt has "womanly man boobs." Most good comedians are bound to be geeky and a little "off." These are but a few of the revelations Oswalt makes about comedy in Blieden's (Melvin Goes to Dinner) documentary. Via scads of incisively bawdy stand-up footage, tour-bus candor, and trips to comic-book stores, Blieden explores what it means to be funny with four of America's top indie comics as they ham it up on tour: Oswalt; Just Shoot Me's Brian Posehn; the piano-playing and bearded Zach Galifianakis; and the pretty lady of a hundred voices, Maria Bamford. Is funny about having a rare ability to make associations other people cannot articulate? Or is funny a disease? Either way, regardless, make 'em squirm, and they'll laugh. They call it "comedy of the mind," but one can only do so many tricks with mayonnaise before "cerebral" becomes an inaccurate descriptor. Diseased dorks are the best kind. So, this one's ill.

Paramount, 9:45pm

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