Funnyman (1967) John Korty

Funnyman (1967) 
Genre: Comedy | Drama
Country: USA | Director: John Korty
Language: English | Subtitles: None
Aspect ratio: 1.37:1 | Length: 92mn
Dvdrip Xvid Avi - 704x480 - 29.970fps - 697mb

An improvisational comedian, working with The Committee improv group in San Francisco, struggles to be taken seriously.  

Note from original uploader:
You wanna know how many years I’ve been trying to get this movie?  And by years, I mean decades?

I got this copy from a fellow movie buff in L.A. who’d gotten a transfer of the film directly from Korty himself.  It’s in surprisingly good shape, and despite the inevitable scratches it has a clear picture and vibrant colours.  I’m going to take a guess and say that Korty mastered his own print from the resources at George Lucas’ production facilities, given that the two of them have collaborated and known each other for years.

Despite ending up doing an Ewoks movie, the bulk of Korty’s work was a little edgier and experimental.  Along with the ‘break-out-of-the-box’ social climate of the 60s, film students were being influenced by the French New Wave, the underground scene in NY, alternate European cinema, and rediscoveries of lost classics.  This gave way to a boom of expressionistic-impressionistic (and generally self-indulgent and unwatchable) indie films.  Those that took themselves seriously were doomed to obscurity, while those with a breezier approach and sense of humour (such as Robert Downey) managed to rise above pretension.

Which brings us to FUNNYMAN.  Korty’s story is straightforward enough, but he tells it in a way that’s a perfect time capsule for the 60s.  He films it black and white, sepia, tints, and full colour.  It skips from improv to music montage to documentary style filming.  Jazz plays on the soundtrack.  Animation excerpts pop up.  Spoof advertisements pop up.  Yet it’s all logical and in service of the story, following two subplots pertaining to the funnyman of the title, improv comedian Peter Bonerz.  He’s questioning himself over the decision not to form a permanent relationship with the one girl that seems to mean more to him than the others he falls into bed with; meanwhile he’s looking to secure funding for an experimental theatrical production by pitching ideas for an advertising agency.  In the third act of the film, he leaves the city and goes on a spontaneous trip to the coast and countryside, where the film settles into a normal colour palette that suggests that he’s finally becoming grounded.

Ah, those 60s.  They don’t make ‘em like this anymore.
 Funnyman (1967)

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