It’s comedy week with new independent films premiering at Mary D. Fisher Theatre
Sedona AZ (September 29, 2013) – It’s comedy week at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre as the Sedona International Film Festival presents the Northern Arizona premieres of “When Comedy Went to School” and “Populaire” showing Oct. 8-12.
WHEN COMEDY WENT TO SCHOOL
The birth of modern standup comedy began in the Catskill Mountains — a boot camp for the greatest generation of Comedians.
Why are there so many Jewish comedians? “When Comedy Went to School” answers this question with an entertaining portrait of this country’s greatest generation of comics — the generation that includes the likes of Jerry Lewis, Sid Caesar, Jackie Mason, Mort Sahl, and Jerry Stiller, all of whom make appearances in the film, sharing hilarious and personal experiences.
The answer is also found in upstate New York’s Catskill Mountains, aka the Borscht Belt, where Jewish immigrants transformed lush farmland into the 20th century’s largest resort complex. Those Catskill hotels and bungalow colonies provided the setting for a remarkable group of young Jewish-American comedians to hone their craft and become worldwide legends. It was truly “When Comedy Went to School”.
Hosted by comedian/actor Robert Klein, “When Comedy Went to School” features interviews with comic greats who redefined standup and sketch comedy, and forever altered the course of American humor. They offer their unique, heart-felt and oftentimes hilarious anecdotes about what the Catskills meant to their careers.
Former Catskill busboy Larry King recounts his experiences, and displays a surprising comedic touch himself. Hugh Hefner discusses his role in supporting the ‘New Comedy’. “When Comedy Went to School” also pays homage through rare archival clips to many other Catskill veterans, including Danny Kaye, Mel Brooks, Red Buttons, Buddy Hackett, Lenny Bruce, Henny Youngman, Don Rickles, Totie Fields, and Rodney Dangerfield to name a few. In later years, Billy Crystal, Joan Rivers, Woody Allen and a very young Jerry Seinfeld built on this foundation.
“When Comedy Went to School” will be shown at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre Oct. 8-12. Showtimes will be 4 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 8 and 9; and 7 p.m. Thursday and Saturday, Oct. 10 and 12. (There are no screenings of this film on Friday, Oct. 11, due to a special screening of “Memphis” from Broadway in the theatre.)
A young, small-town office worker is catapulted to instant fame when her talent at the keyboard makes her a contender for the title “Fastest Typist in the World” in “Populaire”, a delightful French homage to the playful romantic comedies of the 1950s.
Shy and awkward Rose Pamphyle (Déborah François) dreams of being a secretary, but in Normandy in 1958, life beyond the confines of wife and mother seems impossible. Determined to succeed on her own terms, Rose leaves her quaint village for the nearby town of Lisieux, where her nimble two-fingered typing prompts local insurance agent Louis Échard (Romain Duris) to hire her as his assistant.
Disorganized, clumsy and absent-minded, Rose proves to be a disaster as secretary, but a savant as a typist, even just pecking away with two fingers. The fiercely competitive Louis insists that she enter in a speed-typing contest if she wants to keep her job. Installing himself as her coach, he relentlessly drives her toward becoming the fastest typist in France—perhaps even the world!
As the timid small town girl becomes a world-class contender under Louis’ tutelage, Rose realizes what she really wants and goes for it with the same verve and energy she brings to the keyboard. An effervescent comedy about a little-known, real-life sport, “Populaire” evokes a period that became a turning point in the working lives of women around the world with the sly humor, vibrant color and spirited music of the era.
“Populaire” will be shown at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre Oct. 8-12. Showtimes will be 7 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 8 and 9; and 4 p.m. on Thursday and Saturday, Oct. 10 and 12. (There are no screenings of this film on Friday, Oct. 11, due to a special screening of “Memphis” from Broadway in the theatre.)
Tickets are $12, or $9 for Film Festival members. For tickets and more information, please call 928-282-1177. Both the theatre and film festival office are located at 2030 W. Hwy. 89A, in West Sedona. For more information, visit: www.SedonaFilmFestival.org.