Tribeca Film Festival interview: Kevin Pollak talks his new doc ‘Misery Love Comedy’ with expected hilarity.

Misery Loves Comedy PosterSome of my fondest memories as a kid are family game nights, Sunday breakfasts, and dancing in the kitchen. All of these things we still do. We try to outplay each other. We make fun of the everyone’s ever changing diets. We choreograph the best and worst dance moves in the universe. Being the first of 4 children ignites a fire that never quite goes away. ‘Look At Me Syndrome” is something I live and die by. Young performers are like sponges. They listen to every word as a kid. They are bright and observant, perhaps not coming alive at that age, but letting it all seep into what shapes their humor. *And yes, I did just allude to how awesome I have always been. But enough about me.* Kevin Pollak has created one hell of a documentary to share with the planet, MISERY LOVES COMEDY. Rounding up over 60 comedians, both stand up or just plain funny people in the industry, including the likes of Amy Schumer, Tom Hanks, Judd Apatow, Kevin Smith, Christopher Guest, Lisa Kudrow, Bob Saget, Chris Hardwick, and  Kathleen Madigan, just to name a few. Pollak poses the question that performers know to be true; “Do you have to be miserable to be funny?” The answers comes in form of intimate sit down interviews with a cast only someone with Pollak’s clout could get to say yes so quickly. Filmed over the course of 4 weeks in L.A. and NYC, we are privy to family photos, childhood inspirations, and all the mess in between. Pollak even edited the film himself, sharing that experience was eye-opening and surprisingly enjoyable. This film is non-stop funny. I loved every moment of it. Jim Gaffigan sums up the need to entertain others perfectly, it’s a ‘Narcissists Fantasy’. Question it, accept it, then own it. I do. It’s the only way to live.

When Kevin Pollak offers to take a picture with you, you take a picture. Because Kevin  Pollak.

When Kevin Pollak offers to take a picture with you, you take a picture. Because Kevin Pollak.

In honor of the masterful director himself, and the over 600 hours of interviews he had conducted, in true Kevin Pollak Chat Show style, I give you the audio from our roundtable with this comic genius. Welcome to a slice of MISERY LOVES COMEDY.


Misery Loves Comedy is available on iTunes !! *Ps- it’s #1 right now* Opens today in NYC (IFC Center) with a national release to follow.

Can’t make it to the Tribeca Film Festival? These movies have distribution and will be available to watch soon!

Misery Loves Comedy PosterMisery Loves Comedy – VOD now, In theaters April 24th

Directed by Kevin Pollak. (USA) – New York Premiere, Documentary.
Kevin Pollak directs this insightful documentary that examines the quasi-obsessive need for a comic to connect with an audience.
Conducting interviews with some of the biggest names in comedy including Jimmy Fallon, Amy Schumer, Jim Gaffigan, Judd Apatow, Larry David, and more, Pollak delves into the psyche to find out what led them to life in stand-up, and ruminates on whether you must be miserable to be a comedian. A Tribeca Film release.


Good KillGood Kill – In theaters May 1st

Directed and written by Andrew Niccol. (USA) – U.S. Premiere, Narrative.
Major Tommy Egan (Ethan Hawke) is fighting a war from the safety of a Nevada trailer, but commitment to the mission comes at a price. Gattaca director Andrew Niccol reunites with Ethan Hawke for this timely drama about the human costs of advanced war technology. Co- starring January Jones and Zoe Kravitz. An IFC Films Release.

Stephen Graham as David Knight in Hyena Courtesy Tribeca FilmHyena – In theaters May 1st

Directed and written by Gerard Johnson. (UK) – U.S. Premiere, Narrative.
Michael Logan (Peter Ferdinando) may be a corrupt, coke-addled cop, but he’s a bad lieutenant with a conscience. After years of dodging the same laws he was assigned to uphold, Michael suddenly finds himself trying to change while safeguarding a young Albanian woman from the sex trade. Equal parts grit and neon, Hyena blurs the line between cop and criminal and exposes the illicit underworld inhabited by London’s most ruthless policemen. A Tribeca Film release.

Kurt CobainKurt Cobain: Montage of Heck – HBO May 8th

Directed by Brett Morgen. (USA) – New York Premiere, Documentary.
Kurt Cobain, legendary lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter of Nirvana, remains an icon 20 years after his death. This first-ever fully authorized documentary feature, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck is a raw and visceral journey through Cobain’s personal archive of art, music (both his most famous and some that’s never been heard), written word, and never-before-seen home movies with animation and revelatory interviews from his family and closest confidantes. An HBO Documentary Film in association with Universal Pictures presentation.

MaggieMaggie – In theaters May 8th

Directed by Henry Hobson, written by John Scott 3. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative.
There’s a deadly zombie epidemic threatening humanity, but Wade (Arnold Schwarzenegger), a small-town farmer and family man, refuses to accept defeat even when his daughter Maggie (Abigail Breslin) becomes infected. As Maggie’s condition worsens and the authorities seek to eradicate those with the virus, Wade is pushed to the limits in an effort to protect her. Joely Richardson co-stars in this post-apocalyptic thriller. Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions release.

Thought Crimes_Press_2 TribecaThought Crimes – HBO May 11th

Directed by Erin Lee Carr. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.
Convicted yet then acquitted of conspiring to kidnap, rape, kill, and eat several women, NYPD officer Gilberto Valle quickly rose to infamy as New York’s own “Cannibal Cop”. With exclusive access to Valle, Erin Lee Carr’s unflinching documentary asks a fundamental question that challenges our beliefs about the criminal justice system, and even the very nature of right and wrong: can you be guilty of a crime you only thought about committing? An HBO Documentary Film.

Far From Men_press_1 TribecaFar From Men (Loin des Hommes) – In theaters May 15th

Directed and written by David Oelhoffen. (France) – U.S. Premiere, Narrative.
During the height of the Algerian War, an unlikely bond forms between a reserved French teacher (Viggo Mortensen) and the elusive dissident (Reda Kateb) he must turn over to the authorities. Based on a short story by Albert Camus, David Oelhoffen’s classically conceived period Western is a tense and timely study of war’s political and personal sacrifices. In French with subtitles. A Tribeca Film release.

Silas Selleck (Michael Fassbender) and Jay Cavendish (Kodi Smit-McPhee) in SLOW WEST, an A24 release. Photography by Robbie Ryan

Silas Selleck (Michael Fassbender) and Jay Cavendish (Kodi Smit-McPhee) in SLOW WEST, an A24 release.
Photography by Robbie Ryan

Slow West – In theaters May 15th

Directed by John Maclean. (UK, New Zealand) – New York Premiere, Narrative.
At the end of the nineteenth century, 16-year-old Jay Cavendish (Kodi Smit-McPhee) journeys across the American frontier in search of the woman he loves. He is joined by Silas (Michael Fassbender), a mysterious traveler, and hotly pursued by an outlaw (Ben Mendelsohn) along the way. Sundance 2015 World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic. An A24/DIRECTV release.

Cillian Murphy as Ivan Photo by Allen Fraser, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Cillian Murphy as Ivan
Photo by Allen Fraser, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Aloft – In theaters May 22nd

Directed and written by Claudia Llosa. (Canada, France, Spain) – New York Premiere, Narrative. In parallel narratives, single-mother Nana (Jennifer Connelly) has a mysterious experience at the hands of a traveling healer, years later her troubled son Ivan (Cillian Murphy) sets out in search of his now absent mother. Academy Award®–nominee Claudia Llosa’s (The Milk of Sorrow) decade-spanning family drama is a dreamlike rumination on faith, forgiveness, and family, set against an otherworldly frozen landscape. A Sony Pictures Classics Release.

JimmysHall_Press_1 TribecaJimmy’s Hall – In theaters May 30th

Directed by Ken Loach, written by Paul Laverty. (UK, Ireland, France) – North American Premiere, Narrative.
James Gralton returns from exile and reopens a public dancehall, bravely pushing back against the sharply drawn religious and political margins of his time. Ken Loach (Winner, Palme-d’or 2006, The Wind that Shakes the Barley) paints a romantic drama about a leftist leader, and a 1930s Ireland that celebrates free speech and thought in the face of oppressive dogma. A Sony Pictures Classics Release.

Hungry Hearts_0341Hungry Hearts – In theaters June 5th

Directed by Saverio Costanzo. (Italy) – U.S. Premiere, Narrative.
After a chance meeting and a whirlwind romance in New York City, Jude (Adam Driver) and Mina (Alba Rohrwacher) become pregnant. Convinced their child will be harmed by the pollutions in the outside world, Mina becomes consumed by protecting her baby, forcing Jude to recognize a terrible truth about why his son’s life could be in danger. A Sundance Selects Release.

Angry Sky_Press_3 TribecaAngry Sky – ESPN 30 for 30 June 8th

Directed by Jeff Tremaine. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.
In the 1960s, truck-driver Nick Piantanida discovered skydiving, and set out to break the world record for highest parachute jump by taking a helium balloon to the edge of space. Over the course of a year, his dream to launch the first civilian space program drove him to obsession. An ESPN Films release.

Wolfpack_Press_1 TribecaThe Wolfpack – In theaters June 12th

The Wolfpack, directed by Crystal Moselle. (USA) – New York Premiere, Documentary. Everything the Angulo brothers know about the outside world they learned from obsessively watching movies. Shut away from bustling New York City by their overprotective father, they cope with their isolation by diligently re-enacting their favorite films. When one of the brothers escapes, the world as they know it will be transformed. A Magnolia Release.

OVERNIGHT_Press_2 TribecaThe Overnight – In theaters June 19th

Directed and written by Patrick Brice. (USA) – New York Premiere, Narrative.
Alex and Emily have just moved to LA with their young son. Eager to make new friends, they accept an invitation to a party from the father of their son’s playground mate. After the kids fall asleep, the “playdate” takes a bizarre turn in this racy and hilarious romp. Featuring Judith Godrèche, Taylor Schilling, Jason Schwartzman, and Adam Scott. A release by The Orchard.

Cartel Land-#1 - Autodefensa member standing guard in Michoacán, Mexico, from CARTEL LAND, a film by Matthew HeinemanCartel Land – In theaters July 3rd

Directed by Matthew Heineman. (USA, Mexico) – New York Premiere, Documentary.
A portrait of two men, both leaders of small paramilitary groups that police different sides of the Mexican drug war. With unprecedented access, this film brings forward deep questions about the breakdown of order and entanglement of modern-day vigilante movements at a time when the government cannot provide basic security for its people. In Spanish and English with subtitles. A release by The Orchard.

Sleeping With Other People_Press_1 TribecaSleeping With Other People – In theaters August 21st

Directed and written by Leslye Headland. (USA) – New York Premiere, Narrative.
Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie star as two romantic failures whose years of serial infidelity and self-sabotage have led them to swear that their relationship will remain strictly platonic. But can love still bloom while you’re sleeping with other people? Writer/director Leslye Headland’s (Bachelorette) sexy romantic comedy co-stars Amanda Peet, Adam Scott, and Natasha
Lyonne. An IFC Films Release.

Down in The Valley_Press_2 TribecaDown in the Valley – ESPN 30 for 30

Directed by Jason Hehir. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.
How far would you go to save your hometown team? For many Sacramento residents, faced with the nearly certain relocation of their beloved Kings, no boardroom was too distant. One native son proved it. Follow former NBA superstar turned Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson as he battles owners and executives to keep the Kings at home, in this roaring testament to the passion and power of the small-market fan. An ESPN Films release.

Grandma_Press_1 TribecaGrandma – TBD

Directed and written by Paul Weitz. (USA) – New York Premiere, Narrative.
Reeling from a recent breakup and still mourning the loss of her longtime partner, once-famous poet Elle Reid (Lily Tomlin) is surprised to find her teenage granddaughter on her doorstep in need of $600 and a ride. The two embark on an all-day road trip that ends up rattling skeletons and digging up secrets all over town. Co-starring Julia Garner, Marcia Gay Harden, Judy Greer, Laverne Cox, and Sam Elliott. A Sony Pictures Classics release.

Scottish Highlands Photo credit: Kino Lorber

Scottish Highlands Photo credit: Kino Lorber

Steak (R)evolution – TBD

Directed and written by Franck Ribière, co-written by Vérane Frédiani (France) – International Premiere, Documentary.
Grass fed, grain finished, intricately marbled, and dry aged — the concept of what makes the best steak varies greatly, and it continues to evolve as we move toward more sustainable farming practices. In this gourmet, across-the-world road trip, chefs, farmers, butchers, journalists and other experts weigh in on the various factors at play to help us understand the (r)evolution taking place right now and the challenges ahead. In English, French with subtitles. A Kino Lorber release.

Diplomat_Press_1 TribecaThe Diplomat – HBO will air the film this fall in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Dayton Peace Accords, which ended the war in Bosnia and was one of Richard Holbrooke’s greatest foreign policy achievements.

Directed by David Holbrooke. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.
With the insightful The Diplomat, David Holbrooke attempts the seemingly insurmountable: capturing the legacy of his larger-than-life father, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, revealing an inside view of US foreign policy from Vietnam to Afghanistan. Interviewing an impressive array of world leaders, David grapples with Holbrooke’s public versus private personas, creating a sensitive portrait of fatherhood, ambition, and the force required to affect change throughout the world. An HBO Documentary Film.