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2015 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Rick Alverson’s Entertainment

It may be too early to call him an American cousin akin to the quasi-dark humor of Roy Andersson and Aki Kaurismäki, but is third film showcased a unique, well-developed, wry-tinged funny-bone. When you throw in his previous dramatic pair of films in The Builder (2010) and New Jerusalem (2011), it makes for an early filmography that would surely receive an unflattering grade of next to no bags of popcorn from the On Cinema at the Cinema critic duo. This is a good thing. Filmmaker by day, musician by night, Rick Alverson’s third feature film The Comedy, was among the best items of 2012’s Sundance Film Festival, suffice it to say that his fourth film, Entertainment, which was shot midway in the year, might contain more of that DNA. Gregg Turkington who co-wrote with Alverson toplines the pic which was photographed by cinematographer Lorenzo Hagerman (look for his stylistic flourishes in Amat Escalante’s Heli) and includes a supporting cast of Michael Cera, John C. Reilly, Tye Sheridan, Tim Heidecker and Dean Stockwell.

Gist: En route to meet his estranged daughter and attempt to revive his dwindling career, a broken, aging comedian (Turkington) plays a string of dead-end shows in the Mojave desert.

Production Co./Producers: Alverson, Nomadic Independence Pictures’ Ryan Zacarias (Ping Pong Summer), George Rush (Informant), Alex Lipschultz (Computer Chess), Patrick Hibler. Executive Producers: Jagjaguwar’s Chris & Ben Swanson. Co-Producers: Epic Pictures Group’ Patrick Ewald and Shaked Berenson.

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available. CAA/Epic Pictures Group (domestic). Epic Pictures Group (international)

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include 1976 (Manuela Martelli), Godland (Hlynur Pálmason), Corsage (Marie Kreutzer), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen).

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