ALL POLITICS IS COMEDY.  Online Film Discussion hosted by Acme Screening Room

“Man is the only animal that laughs and has a state legislature.”
― Samuel Butler, British political satirist 

Politics and comedy go well together -- especially on film. And especially given today's political environment, we need to laugh at politics.

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During these four weeks we will take a look at eight of the best political comedy films of all time. Each week we will "compare & contrast" a pair of these films in a discussion group. Standup comedian and former elected official Joey Novick will facilitate a lively, insightful and entertaining discussion of the pair of films.

Joey Novick has been a political comedian, camp counselor, editorial director, attorney, busboy, radio show host, professional speaker, child actor and an elected official in New Jersey - but not necessarily in that order. His solo show, "Comedian Elected to Town Council in New Jersey", was nominated for best comedy performance at the Capital Fringe Festival in Washington DC.

The ACME Screening Room is an independent and documentary film series founded by Friends of Lambertville Library in partnership with the Lambertville Free Public Library and the City of Lambertville. The series regularly features guest speakers (authors, directors, activists), post-film discussion programs and/or exhibitions held in conjunction with a film. Our programs bring the world of film to life for our audience members and create a space to thoughtfully reflect on films by artists at all levels: from local filmmakers to nationally recognized professionals.

Upcoming Films

 Watch each film on your own schedule before the Zoom meeting. Most films are available for free at www.actvid.com. Or you can use the website JUSTWATCH.com, to find out on which streaming services ach film is available. To register without a donation, please email acmescreeningroom@gmail.com. Come with your thoughts, opinions and questions. A Zoom link will be emailed to you the day of the meeting.  

Week #1 THE CLASSICS

Wednesday, February 10: 630-730pm  

The Great Dictator (1940): Dictator Adenoid Hynkel tries to expand his empire while a poor Jewish barber tries to avoid persecution from Hynkel's regime. Charlie Chaplin's first talking movie produced in response to the rise of Adolf Hitler in Europe.

 

 

 

Duck Soup (1933): Rufus T. Firefly is named president/dictator of bankrupt Freedonia and declares war on neighboring Sylvania over the love of wealthy Mrs. Teasdale. The Marx Brothers at their absolute absurd finest.

       *Register Here

*Please write "Politics" and the Week # of the Films in the Comment section.

 

Week #2. MAIN STREAM MEDIA - CYNICISM & MANIPULATION 

Wednesday, February 17: 630-730pm  

Thank You for Smoking (2005): A charismatic fast talking spin-doctor for Big Tobacco who'll fight to protect America's right to smoke,  even if it kills him -- while still remaining a role model for his 12-year old son. When he incurs the wrath of a senator bent on snuffing out cigarettes, his powers of "filtering the truth" will be put to the test.

 

                    

Wag the Dog (1997): During the final weeks of a presidential race, the President is accused of sexual misconduct. To distract the public until the election, the President's adviser hires a Hollywood producer to help him stage a fake war. A stellar cast featuring Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman. With a crisp clever script written by Hilary Henkin and David Mamet Oscar nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay.

    * Register Here

*Please write "Politics" and the Week # of the Films in the Comment section.

Week #3 THE MANY CHARACTERS OF PETER SELLERS

Wednesday, February 24: 630-730pm  

Being There (1979):  A simple-minded gardener named Chance has spent all his life in the Washington D.C. house of an old man. When the man dies, Chance is put out on the street with no knowledge of the world except what he has learned from television. 

                   

 

 

 

 Dr. Strangelove (1964): After the insane General Jack D. Ripper initiates a nuclear strike on the Soviet Union, a war room full of politicians, generals and a Russian diplomat all frantically try to stop the nuclear strike. Made at the height of the Cold War with the Soviet Union, showcases the extraordinary comedy talents of Peter Sellers playing three distinct roles. 

    * Register Here

*Please write "Politics" and the Week # of the Films in the Comment section.

 

 Week #4 Wednesday, March 3: 630-730pm  ELECTIONS: WINNING AT ALL COSTS

Election (1999): Tracy Flick is an unlikable overachiever running for student body president. Jim McAllister, a popular high school social studies teacher, enlists the popular high school athlete to run against her attempting to sabotage her candidacy. The film received an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay, and a Golden Globe nomination for Reese Witherspoon for Best Actress.

 

                    

Bob Roberts (1992):  Mock documentary about an upstart candidate for the U.S. Senate written and directed by actor Tim Robbins. Bob Roberts is a folk singer with a difference: He offers tunes that protest welfare chiselers, liberal whining, and the like. As the filmmakers follow his campaign, Robbins gives needle-sharp insight into the way candidates manipulate the media.

    * Register Here

*Please write "Politics" and the Week # of the Films in the Comment section.