- In many ways, Donald Cried is your typical cringe comedy – yet what makes it special is where it goes with those ideas, and how it turns our conception of protagonist and antagonist on its head. It is, in many ways, hard to watch, but the ultimate discomfort comes in asking ourselves how we’d handle the same situations. More in the indie guide.
- BBC satirist and documentarian Louis Theroux tackles the Church of Scientology in his new comic doc My Scientology Movie, with a twist: rather than chase down the reclusive church muckety-mucks and interview the same departed members, he produces a dramatization, with actors playing key figures like David Miscavige and celebrity spokesman Tom Cruise. It’s a funhouse arrangement of mirrors and cameras, yet between the oddball set pieces and documentary muckraking, Theroux is slyly exploring the psychopathy at the heart of this organization – and one that may still lurk in those who’ve left it. Read more in the indie guide.
- More and more of the conversation about contemporary humor and satire has concerned limits – what’s outside of them, and who has the right to challenge those norms. The Last Laugh approaches the topic from a point of specificity, examining how comedians from the 1940s forward have approached that most taboo of topics: the Holocaust. The result is thoughtful, funny, and compelling, and Mel Brooks’s comments on Life Is Beautiful are worth the price of admission alone. More in the indie guide.
- And finally, we should note that The Shack is out this week, which we weren’t invited to review, and probably would have skipped anyway. But its trailer is the funniest thing you’ll see today. Maybe this week. Maybe longer:
And hey, if none of those float your boat, it’s a pretty great week for home viewing too. Enjoy!