Sep 18, 2023 7:00PM


Center for Performing Arts, Moe Auditorium & Film Center - 10150 Bonita Beach Road

Cost $8 General Admission

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“Entertainment,” directed by Rick Alverson (The Comedy) and released in 2015, is a unique film that challenges conventional storytelling and explores themes of loneliness, identity, and the nature of performance. Starring Gregg Turkington (On Cinema at the Cinema), who also co-wrote the film (with Rick Alverson and comedian Tim Heidecker), as a stand-up comedian known as “The Comedian,” the movie delves into the dark and surreal world of his tour across the California desert.

One of the merits of “Entertainment” lies in its unconventional narrative structure. The film eschews a traditional plotline in favor of a series of disconnected episodes, allowing the audience to experience the fragmented and disjointed nature of the protagonist’s life. This unconventional approach enhances the film’s exploration of isolation and the struggle to connect with others on a deeper level. It immerses viewers in the character’s bleak and desolate journey, leaving them with a sense of unease and contemplation.

Another commendable aspect of “Entertainment” is the exceptional performance by Gregg Turkington. Known for his alter ego Neil Hamburger, a stand-up comic character with a unique and often uncomfortable style, Turkington delivers a captivating portrayal of “The Comedian.” His performance perfectly captures the character’s internal conflict, as he tries to maintain his artistic integrity while grappling with personal demons. Turkington’s nuanced acting adds layers of complexity to the film, elevating it beyond a mere character study.

Furthermore, Alverson’s direction in “Entertainment” is visually striking and meticulously crafted. The film’s cinematography, coupled with the barren landscapes of the desert, creates a haunting atmosphere that mirrors the protagonist’s emotional state. Alverson skillfully uses long takes and minimal dialogue to immerse the audience in the character’s world, evoking a sense of discomfort and introspection. The deliberate pacing and attention to detail contribute to the overall thematic depth of the film.

“Entertainment” is a remarkable film that challenges traditional storytelling and delves into the complex psyche of its protagonist. Through its unconventional narrative structure, exceptional performances, and meticulous direction, the movie offers a uniquely handled exploration of loneliness, identity, and the dark side of the entertainment industry. It stands as a testament to Rick Alverson’s unique vision as a filmmaker and leaves a lasting impact on those who engage with its enigmatic and introspective narrative.

Click Here to Watch Trailer

This film is rated R.