Film Review: Dying Laughing

Dying Laughing is a fascinating documentary from directors Lloyd Stanton and Paul Toogood. Through their own words, comedians tell the story of making people laugh.

A series of US and UK comedians are interviewed about their stand-up career. The topics that come up in these conversations include the start of their career, being on tour, formulating jokes, and dealing with hecklers…

With Dying Laughing, filmmakers Lloyd Stanton and Paul Toogood paint a portrait of the life of a stand-up comedian. To do this, they speak to a variety of well-known comics; sourcing experience, anecdotes and wisdom from them. These voices have varied experience, but come together to tell a convincing tale.

Dying Laughing is not a laugh riot. This is clear from early on in proceedings. Instead of a collection of witty anecdotes, the film offers a spectrum of stories and emotions as it details the life of a stand-up comedian. It is a richer and more memorable film for this, as it explores both the highs and lows of the vocation.

The filmmakers interview a range of well-known comedians, speaking to some of the most successful faces in the game. These include Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Sarah Silverman, and Billy Connolly. The comics featured give a frank portrayal of the world of stand-up comedians, and do not shy away from the less than flattering aspects of the comedy world. There are times when the film goes to dark places, as the interviewees discuss the loneliness of the being on the road, as well as mental health and dealing with the stress of the stage. Yet the film also focuses on the positives, as comedians extrapolate on the joys of a successful gig, how comedy has helped them, and meeting their idols.

Dying Laughing is succinctly edited to create a flowing conversation that lands on different topics in a seamless manner. The passion from the subjects is abundantly clear; Stanton and Toogood give them the space and the structure to tell their own tale.

Dying Laughing is in UK cinemas and On Demand on 16th June 2017 www.dyinglaughingfilm.com and will premiere at the Prince Charles Cinema on the 15th June 2017.

Trailer Round-Up

Four trailers of new movies to share this week, as well as a new a clip of Disney’s Brave. Spring/Summer offerings include a pregnancy comedy, a remake of an 80s television show, a fantastic Aardman animation, and a blockbuster sequel.

21 Jump Street

For those that are unaware, 21 Jump Street was a television show which made Johnny Depp a star in the 1980s. It was popular at the time, but never really gained a later cult following. It is for this reason I do not foresee a backlash against this new film version. According to the trailer, the film seems to retain the same premise as the television series; cops go undercover at a high school to investigate criminal activity. 21 Jump Street is out in cinemas on 16th March 2012.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting

Based on the New York Times bestseller, What to Expect When You’re Expecting is a comedy about pregnancy. The film features a host of stars, including Cameron Diaz, Chace Crawford and Chris Rock. The film also stars Jennifer Lopez, but hopefully she will not feature too heavily given the assemble nature of it. What to Expect When You’re Expecting is due for release Spring 2012.

Wrath of the Titans

A sequel to 2010’s Clash of the Titans, Wrath of the Titans catches up with Perseus ten years after the events of the previous film. Wrath of the Titans reunites the original cast of Sam Worthington, Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson. Like its predecessor, the film is released in 3D; hopefully the quality of this will have improved. Wrath of the Titans is released on 30th March 2012.

The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists

This week I was lucky enough to see The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists. I can honestly say it is tremendous fun.The film features Hugh Grant as the voice of Pirate Captain, beloved by his crew but a weak contender for Pirate of the Year. The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists is released on 28th March 2012.

Brave

Set in Scotland, Brave is the newest animated feature from Disney Pixar. The animation in the clip above looks amazing. Merida, voiced by Kelly Macdonald, appears to be very much in the same vein as other recent Disney princesses. From the clip above, Merida seems independent and strong-willed, traits that are associated with modern Disney heroine. Given its setting, Brave is released is Scotland on 3rd August 2012, with the rest of the UK able to catch the film on the 17th August.