While the last few weeks have seen an Anime Convention, PAX East and Boston Comic Con invade the Boston streets, a quieter event is getting ready to kick off.
The 10th Annual Independent Film Festival Boston begins April 25 and goes through May 2 with films being shown at the Somerville Theatre, Brattle Theatre and Coolidge Corner Theatre.
There are 106 films being shown over the eight day affair and tickets are available for individual shows or for the entire event. As the Boston Comedy Examiner, I decided to take a look at some of the comedies in this years festival, as well as, some of my highly anticipated films.
The IFF Boston kicks off with one of its own and a highly anticipated film “Sleepwalk With Me,” from Shrewsbury native and comedian Mike Birbiglia. The film is a spin-off his Birbiglia’s high successful one man show of the same name and has been receive acclaim at this years Sundance Film Festival and South by Southwest. Written, directed and staring Birbiglia, the movie follows a struggling comedian who finds that the things that are kicking his ass in real life make for good material.
“Liberal Arts” is also expected to be a highly sought after ticket. The new film, which is written by, directed by and stars “How I Met Your Mother” lead Josh Radnor received a rare standing ovation at this years Sundance Film Festival. The movie follows Jesse (Radnor) a thirtysomething wishing for his days at Kenyon College, a small Ohio college (which Radnor actually attended). When visiting an old professor, he meets a bubbly sophomore and the two start a relationship.
There are a number of other comedies sure to be talked about when the festival is over. 2 Days in New York is Julie Delpy’s follow-up to her directorial debut 2 Days in Paris from 2007. The film co-stars Chris Rock.
“Gayby” follows two best friends, Jenn, a single straight woman in her 30s and Matt, her gay best friend since college who decide to have a baby together.
“See Girl Run” stars Robin Tunney (The Mentalist) and Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation). Emmie (Tunney) is a married business woman who become too comfortable in life and heads to her home town to follow some “what if?” moments from her past, mainly her high school boyfriend Jason (Scott).
“Good Bless America” is director Bobcat Goldthwait’s dark comedy about a a man named Frank (Joel Murray, Mad Men) who gets feed up with reality TV and political pundits. When he gets informed he has an inoperable brain tumor, he embarks on a killing spree that could claim the Kardashians.
There are several comedic documentaries showcased this year. Some of the highlights include:
“From Nothing, Something,” which follows the creative process of a number of people in different professions including comedian Maria Bamford and singer/songwriter Sara Quin of Tegan and Sara.
“One Night Stand” follows the behind the scenes goings on of an annual New York City event, the 24 hour musical. Featured in the film are well-known actors such as “Saturday Night Live’s” Rachel Dratch, “Modern Family’s” Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and “Wicked’s” Mandy Gonzalez, as well as Emmy Award-winning composer Lance Horne and Tony Award-winning director Ted Sperling.
Beauty Is Embarrassing which follows Wayne White. You may not know the name but you know the artist. The man was the creative director behind Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. With people like Matt Groening, the creator of The Simpsons, helping us understand him, the documentary is what happens when you bring humor and absurdity to fine art.
There are a handful of other films that I am excited for which include:
We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists - Documentary
An inside look at the infamous hacker group Anonymous and the mainstream attention that hacking and its ramifications. Director Brian Knappenberger intertwines multiple, seemingly impossible missions: (1) to trace the genesis of computer hacking in its modern form, (2) to explore the evolution and activities of some of the world’s most clandestine hacking groups, and (3) to examine the psychology that drives one to hack, whether for fun or for social change.
24 Hours At The South Street Diner - Documentary
The film is just what the title suggests. It’s 24 hours in the only 24 hour eatery in Boston, the South Street Diner. Opened in 1947, The South Street Diner is a local Boston landmark, catering to all crowds at all hours. It has received several awards and been featured in television and movies alike.
Knuckleball - Documentary
A look at the knuckleball pitch and the few men that have mastered in at the highest level. Former Boston Red Sox Tim Wakefield along with R.A. Dickey and legendary knuckleballers Phil Niekro and Charlie Hough sit around and swap war storier of the games most stressful pitch.
All Ages: The Boston Hardcore Film - Documentary
A look at the Boston underground punk music scene from the early 1980s. Containing never-before-seen footage of seminal bands such as SS Decontrol, DYS, Gang Green, Jerry’s Kids, The F.U.’s, and Negative FX, “All Ages” captures the intensity of the Boston punk scene in all of its dimensions.
For a full rundown of all the films and their times please visit iffboston.org.