The Celeste Bartos Chief Curator of Film at the Museum of Modern Art, Raj Roy returns to the podcast (he last appeared on Episode 123) to talk with me about the 46th edition of New Directors/New Films. The annual festival which showcases emerging filmmakers from around the world takes place from March 15 — 26th at both the museum as well as at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Tickets are currently available for most of the screenings. Raj Roy co-chairs the festival with the Film Society’s Dennis Lim.
Documentary filmmaker Ferne Pearlstein stops by to talk about her new film, “The Last Laugh” a feature documentary that proceeds from the premise that the Holocaust would seem to be an absolutely off-limits topic for comedy. But is it? History shows that even the victims of the Nazi concentration camps themselves used humor as a means of survival and resistance. Featuring such talking heads as Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Sarah Silverman, Robert Clary, Rob Reiner, Susie Essman, Harry Shearer, Jeffrey Ross and others, the film will make you ask the question “how dark is too dark?” The film which just enjoyed a theatrical in NYC and is opening today at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Theater in Toronto and at will be opening at the Laemmle Theaters in LA next Friday, March 16th. For a complete list of screenings visit “The Last Laugh”‘s website. The film will have its broadcast premiere on the series Independent Lens on Holocaust Remembrance Day, April 24th.[57 mins. 53 secs.] Filmmaker Rosemary Rodriguez, director of the new indie comedy, “Silver Skies”, is the guest on this final segment. Rosemary is joined from one of the cast members, Jack McGee. The film concerns the sale of a senior residence and the attempt by its residents (which also include the late Alex Rocco, Valerie Perrine, Barbara Bain, George Hamilton & Mariette Hartley) to fight back. The film opens in Florida today and will be available for rental on Netflix in May.