New School Comedy Films (for want of a better name)

IdleRich

IdleRich
I was just about to start this thread a week or two back but then Version did his horror renaissance one and it seemed too similar. Now though the time is right.
I wanted to say that there is "new" (probably going back twenty years or more really) kinda comedy that I see more and more. My guess is that Joel and Ethan Coen are the inspiration or prototype of this thing - or possibly Napoleon Dynamite - but starting the thread was inspired by seeing An Evening With Beverley Luff Linn the other day.


A comedy that's.... not really funny. Despite having a load of famous comedians in it. I like Craig Robinson but here he just gets to grunt, I like Jermaine Clement (I always say Penannt the first time) but regrettably he's in almost of the films I'm thinking of. Its humour mainly consists of putting famous people in badly fitting clothes and making them act weird, it feels like punching down. The Indian guy who shouts all the time, what's that about? Often tempered with some sweetness... or at least that is attempted, feels kinda manipulative to me.
The director also did The Greasy Strangler a few years back, that was much worse. He's English but chooses to set his films in small town America - possibly significant? They are automatically out of his comfort zone or something, automatically fake.
Also sort of this in this tradition I'm thinking Eagle v Shark (with Jermaine Pennant again), In Bruges, Three Billboards etc maybe Richard Ayaoade's film Submarine (I've seen it but can't remember anything about it to be honest) The Guard as well. Normally have JC or Matt Berry or Brendan Gleeson or such in them.
Basically they all have these kinda weird small town things. Discomfort... awkwardness... unusual characters. Coen bros stuff in a nutshell (though arguably just looking like them without being like them), maybe a bit of David Lynch but not really. You can probably tell I'm not a huge fan as a whole but I'm not totally dismissive either, I enjoyed In Bruges for example, one day a really good one might come along.


Does this make sense? Do you know what I'm on about? A lot of comedy films that feel as though they can be grouped together and they didn't exist a few years back... a Thing, but not an especially good one.

Note - I'm not talking about What We Do in the Shadows which is just a straight-forward comedy about vampires that happens to be written by Jermaine.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
I've not seen it (or even heard of it in fact). Looking at the trailer I'd say... maybe. I wasn't thinking Judd Apartow but that doesn't rule him out.
You must have seen most of the above though, what do you think?
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
I've seen In Bruges and Napoleon Dynamite. There's probably a bit of Harmony Korine in this stuff too.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
The still for that Eagle vs. Shark trailer instantly made me think of The Undateables. That Channel 4 show where they film disabled people going on dates.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
The still for that Eagle vs. Shark trailer instantly made me think of The Undateables. That Channel 4 show where they film disabled people going on dates.
This is kinda what I mean about punching down - handsome hollywood stars putting on terrible haircuts and bad clothes and pretending to be misfits for our amusement. That's not the whole story of course but there is often something about it that leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
Yeah, Korine's definitely into that: Franco in Spring Breakers, McConaughey in The Beach Bum.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
I've only seen Gummo and Spring Breakers. I liked bits of both, but there's something off about his stuff. It feels a bit gross and exploitative.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Never seen Gummo somehow (commendable the way that you always italicise films by the way, I try it but I just can't stick to it). I'm not sure I'm that interested in him as a director, if Gummo came out now I'd definitely watch it but I don't know when I'll actually go back and fill in the gaps in my film education.
Beach Bum I think doesn't really fit into the category though, just a boring film about nothing but without really having most of the tropes of the ones above I'd say.
 
Adult Swim is a big part of this. Cartoon Network's late-night "anti-comedy" slot that birthed Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Eric Andre, Tim & Eric, et al. Awkwardness and discomfort, but also something about the inherent comedy/tragedy of the provinces, people trying to be charismatic and creative like the celebs and not quite getting it right because they lack the resources/star power/self-awareness
 
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