Far-Out Forum Funny Business

Far-Out Forum Funny Business

Posted by Mike Finnegan on Jan 17th 2019

It’s too early to determine if 2019 will be as bumpy a ride as last year. If one subscribes to the belief that laughter is the best medicine, then New York’s premier repertory venue Film Forum begins a nostalgic 60+-films screening series tomorrow through Valentine’s Day designed to offer a funny and bittersweet remedy to the contemporary blues. Curated by resident cinematic guru Bruce Goldstein and Film Forum Programming Associate Elspeth Carroll, Far-Out in the ’70s: A New Wave of Comedy, 1969-1979features well-known greats and overlooked gems galore, including a seven-title mini-salute to the great Elaine May, who’s now enjoying a triumphant Broadway stage return in an acclaimed revival of Kenneth Lonergan’s The Waverly Gallery through Sunday January 27. Inevitably, five selections available on Twilight Time hi-def Blu-rays are on the menu: Paul Mazursky’s California cohabitation classic Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969, showing this Sunday January 20, Tuesday January 22 and Wednesday January 30); the prime Vincent Price horror comedy feast Theatre of Blood (1973, appearing on a wickedly gastronomic Thursday January 24 double bill with 1978’s Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?); Woody Allen’s gag-crammed, nutball exploration of revolutions and romance Bananas (1971) on Friday January 25; the ultra-cool Peter Yates/William Goldman, Robert Redford/George Segal heist thriller The Hot Rock (1972) on Saturday February 9; and Mike Nichols’ merry mismatch of Warren Beatty and Jack Nicholson as would-be crooks in The Fortune (1975) on Monday February 11. Whether they’re topical, titillating, goofy, gruesome or criminally inept, good comedies are always healthy salves to rocky realities. Both Screen Archives and Twilight Time Movies offer Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Bananas and The Hot Rock; only Screen Archives offers The Fortune (find it here: https://www.screenarchives.com/title_detail.cfm/ID/28396/THE-FORTUNE-1975/) and Theatre of Blood (find it here: https://www1.screenarchives.com/title_detail.cfm/ID/31957/THEATRE-OF-BLOOD-1973/). The pleasures they all provide, especially in their original theatrical setting projected before an appreciative audience, are, as Film Forum so eloquently expresses, “far-out!”