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This is not a movie about “political correctness” or about justifying heartlessness or cruelty in the name of comedy. Is that as incongruous as the sparkly showgirls of “Springtime for Hitler”?). ), based on the Aggregate theme by Elegant Themes | powered by WordPress. Brooks has the last word when he says “Comics are the conscience of the people, and they’re allowed a large berth in any direction…even if it’s in bad taste.”. Yet laughter, too, can be used to make serious points, and the frontiers of what constitutes “good taste” (or at least what doesn’t constitute unforgivably bad taste) continue to be pushed outward. Copyright (c) 1997-2020 MaryAnn Johanson. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for The Last Laugh at Amazon.com. ‘The Last Laugh’ Review: A Mawkish Attempt at an Old Kind of Schtick, From left, Richard Dreyfuss, Andie MacDowell and Chevy Chase in the Netflix original film “The Last Laugh.”. Tech/design contribs are pro down the line. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for The Last Laugh: Crime Stories at Amazon.com. SHARES . Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. please share with your friends and followers!
The mix of levity, serious themes, marquee names and archival materials in Ferne Pearlstein’s entertaining, thought-provoking documentary should find primarily broadcast buyers in numerous markets. Variety and the Flying V logos are trademarks of Variety Media, LLC.
a wise and funny defense of the necessity of the court jester to speak truth to power. October 16, 2016 6:35 pm.
On the other hand, we see her visit Las Vegas with a friend who can’t seem to freely enjoy the excursion or any other experience nearly 70 years after her own camp experience. please help keep truly independent film criticism alive! Comic talents, authors and others debate narrower issues: Why it’s usually OK to mock Nazis, but not the Holocaust (because ridiculing oppressors is one thing, their victims another); just when the “too soon” rule expires on sensitive subjects (nobody bridles at mocking the Spanish Inquisition, for instance, but 9/11 jokes are still “wrong”); whether Roberto Begnini’s Oscar-winning ego trip “Life is Beautiful” is “absolutely brilliant” (as the Anti-Defamation League’s Abraham Foxman opines) or “the worst movie ever made” (Mel Brooks, an MVP commentator here); and the divide over current envelope-pushers like Sasha Baron Cohen, whose characters often parody anti-Semitism and other prejudices, albeit in subversive ways that actual bigots might well interpret as confirming their biases. As we first meet her, she tells a joke about Dr. Mengele; later, she journeys to a Holocaust survivors’ convention in Las Vegas for a conversation about humor as a survival mechanism and as a way to retain one’s humanity in a terrible situation, though some of Firestone’s fellow survivors feel otherwise, that there was no place for humor then and still isn’t now around this issue.
Archival materials here afford a rich array, from seized Nazi footage of prisoner-performed cabaret acts to Chaplin’s “Great Dictator” megalomaniac’s ballet and behind-the-scenes footage of Jerry Lewis’ still-unreleased “The Day the Clown Cried.” Plus, of course, myriad clips from latterday comedians (including many interviewed here) — and “Springtime for Hitler,” naturally. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 53% based on 15 reviews, with an average rating of 5.38/10. The site's consensus reads: "Chevy Chase and Richard Dreyfuss are a sight for sore eyes, but they unfortunately do not get The Last Laugh in a generic buddy comedy that never musters any jokes worthy of their comedic chops". Documentarian Ferne Pearlstein gets them all on camera in The Last Laugh to talk about taboos in comedy mostly as concerns this particular difficult topic, though it clearly has a much wider application. (I will never ever sell or share your email address. Photographed, edited and directed with the minimal competency of an 1980s TV movie, with every scene slathered in a pushy, secondhand musical score (lest we’re ever left to decide how to feel about any of its events for ourselves), “The Last Laugh” is also hobbled by the weakness that has plagued stand-up narratives from “Punchline” to “The Comedian”: all the onstage material, whether intended to be bad or brilliant, simply isn’t funny.
An Expert Weighs in With Some Tips, Foo Fighters, Pink, Cher, Jon Bon Jovi to Perform at Joe Biden Virtual Event Tonight, BMW’s New R 18 Classic Touring Motorcycle Channels Vintage Vibes, Smaller Conferences Ready for Basketball With Limited Testing Resources, Bring Your Walls To Life With a Captivating Piece of 3D Art. The Holocaust is the modern bar-setter for topics that by popular agreement are too grave to ever allow trivialization. "The Last Laugh" documentary from Ferne Pearlstein asks provocative questions about humor on horrific topics like the Holocaust. Never miss a review!
[, Analyzing comedy can tend to ruin the humor, but that doesn’t happen here. Promise. As more than one stand-up pro notes here, the stakes rise with the bigger risk; if you’re going to joke about a “taboo” subject, it better be a very good joke. Click here for my ranking of this and 2017’s other releases. Box Office Again, Stevie Nicks on Her New Concert Film and the ‘Crazy’ Resurgence of ‘Dreams’, ‘The Vow’: What Happened to Keith Raniere, Allison Mack and Other Key Figures, Kanye West Says His 'Calling Is to Be the Leader of the Free World', Unsure How to Select Artwork? Facebook Twitter. All rights reserved. All that glitz and neon? There are very few taboos left in comedy. When you purchase a ticket for an independently reviewed film through our site, we earn an affiliate commission.
Is it in poor taste to make Holocaust jokes? Greg Pritikin’s “The Last Laugh,” on Netflix, is a transparent attempt to do for Chevy Chase what “The Hero” did for Sam Elliott, or “The Last Movie Star” for Burt Reynolds, or “Hello My Name Is Doris” for Sally Field: It places an aging star at the center of a low-budget, character-driven indie and reminds us of his gifts. (No one here says that comedy’s golden rule might be “Punch up rather than punch down,” but that’s pretty much what it comes down to.) https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/15/movies/the-last-laugh-review.html
“Comedy puts light onto darkness, and darkness can’t live where there’s light,” Silverman offers philosophically; on the old adage about comedy equaling tragedy plus time, Gottfried quips, “Why wait?”, But perhaps those are rather easy things to say for those too young to have lived through the Holocaust, so Pearlstein also follows 90-year-old Holocaust survivor and educator Renee Firestone on her own personal exploration of this great comedic taboo. “The Last Laugh” asks the non-musical question — well, non-musical unless you’re talking about “The Producers” — “Can Nazis and the Final Solution ever be funny? And Chase here works overtime: He does schtick, plays dramatic beats, romances Andie MacDowell, even sings and plays jazz piano. An Auschwitz inmate turned educator, Renee Firestone emerged from great suffering—including the death of her sister after Nazi “medical experiments” — with joie de vivre intact, perhaps even amplified by so much personal loss. Documentary ‘The Last Laugh’ A Fascinating Look At Comedy & The Holocaust [BFI London Film Fest Review] Oliver Lyttelton. Analyzing comedy can tend to ruin the humor, but that doesn’t happen here; instead we are treated to a provocative, hilarious (and sometimes cringe-worthy, but far less often than you would expect), and genuinely important discussion of where the boundaries are, when they can and should be transgressed, and who gets to make such decisions. That’s funny, isn’t it? Pearlstein’s very deft assembly manages to raise all these ideas and others for viewer consideration while underlining that there are few, if any, definitive responses to them — humor being the most subjective of values, even when it comes to an apparent moral absolute like the Holocaust. The Last Laugh documentary review: punching Nazis (with comedy) by MaryAnn Johanson. An A-list roster of comedians as well as several Holocaust survivors ponder the outer limits of humor and "good taste.". This is a provocative, hilarious, and important discussion of comedy taboos, who gets to transgress them, and why. Fri Mar 03 2017, 04:48pm | 10 comments. This is a provocative, hilarious, and important discussion of comedy taboos, who gets to transgress them, and why. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. the movie seems to silently ask. But he doesn’t really have the chops for this kind of showcase — his earlier vehicles, while funny, never required him to be much of an actor. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. Even concentration camp survivors have wildly different perspectives on the matter. Analyzing jokes can ruin humor, but not here. Small-screen clips of the late Joan Rivers and others illustrate how an uninspired wisecrack that might’ve otherwise been forgivable can induce channel-changing revulsion when it happens to hinge upon Jews and ovens. Should they be joked about?” A starry roster of comedians as well as several actual Holocaust survivors weigh in, providing a range of answers that underlines just how personal, and changeable, notions of humor and offense are. As Al Hart, a retired agent for stand-up comics who takes his very first client (Richard Dreyfuss) on the road for one last tour, Chase mostly engages in his trademark mugging, while his earnest moments are smothered by the clumsiness of the filmmaking. If there’s one thing we should never joke about, it’s the Holocaust, surely? And vice versa. Get a once-a-week email notification of all the latest goodies. This thought-provoking doco explores the subject. (A Holocaust survivors’ convention in Vegas? Mel Brooks — the guy who wrote “Springtime for Hitler” — would beg to differ, of course. MaryAnn’s quick take… Analyzing jokes can ruin humor, but not here. Film Review: The Last Laugh Insightful and well-explored documentary about comedians addressing the Holocaust and other ostensibly taboo topics lines up comedy legends, Holocaust survivors and others.
She provides a liberal barometer of what’s permissible in comedy, as she watches a number of comedians riffing on YouTube and elsewhere, deeming some genuinely funny and others simply tasteless. You'll laugh until you cry. No content appearing on this site may be reproduced, reposted, or reused in any manner without express written permission. The picture’s single saving grace is Chase’s co-star Dreyfuss, who deploys all of his considerable charisma. As would Carl Reiner, Rob Reiner, Sarah Silverman, Harry Shearer, Gilbert Gottfried, Judy Gold, Larry Charles, and a whole bunch of other professionally very funny people. He shines, but not brightly enough to bring this moribund project to life. The Last Laugh is a wise and funny defense of the necessity of the court jester to speak truth to power, which is just as vital today at it ever was. 26. International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. The eternal battle between humor and censure is illustrated in a brief throwback to Lenny Bruce’s legal battles, and his latterday (if seldom litigated-against) equivalents like Dave Chapelle, Ricky Gervais, Sarah Silverman, “South Park” and so forth, all of whom frequently depend on the shock value of “inappropriate” material. “Punch up rather than punch down” is what it comes down to. Comedy can be a survival tactic and a means of revenge against tyranny, even as it can also be a tool of crass insensitivity.
film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997. Tragedy compounded by survivor guilt has left her living in a world where comedy seems superfluous at best.
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