Cinemapolis is once again celebrating our modern-day jesters with a festival of films. The 3rd Annual Fool’s Flicks Marathon is a day-long event featuring films of and about the art of stand-up comedy. The program kicks off on Saturday, July 27th at 2pm with three special screenings: The Best of Ernie Kovacs, Man on the Moon, and The Big Sick. Those screenings will be followed by a LIVE stand-up event in the cinema’s lobby, organized by Comedy on the Commons. The Fool’s Flicks Marathon at Cinemapolis is made possible by lead sponsor C.S.P. Management, with additional support from the National Comedy Center in Jamestown.
The annual event is the brainchild of Cinemapolis board member, Howard Leib. In addition to being an entertainment lawyer and the host of the “No Soap, Radio” Hour on WRFI, Leib is also a recovering stand-up comic himself. “I am thrilled that Cinemapolis is saluting the art of comedy with this tribute to stand-up,” says Leib. “Stand-up is the most dangerous form of performing there is, because there is no such thing as polite laughter. It is also the most cathartic of the performing arts, and I’m looking forward to theaters filled with laughing, happy, well-adjusted people.” Leib will be on hand to serve as emcee for the evening’s live comedy event, as well.
This year’s line-up of films brings back some favorites from the past that highlight the life of the comedian—both on and off-stage. The day begins with a special selection of shorts celebrating the centennial of the great Ernie Kovacs. Curated by Ben Model, the archivist for the Kovacs estate, The Best of Ernie Kovacs features unearthed footage that will be part of the Kovacs exhibit opening in August at the National Comedy Center. Model will share insights into the archive via Skype prior to the screening.
Next up comes Milos Forman’s Golden Globe winning exploration of the life and times of Andy Kaufman. Man on the Moon stars Jim Carrey in a career-defining performance as the enigmatic provocateur who died of lung cancer in 1984.
The final film hits the screen at 7:30. Based on the real-life story of screenwriters Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani, The Big Sick was nominated for an Academy Award for best original screenplay in 2018. It combines culture-clash comedy with family drama in hilarious fashion as Nanjiani’s Pakistan-born stand-up is forced to meet the parents of his new girlfriend after she’s struck with a mysterious illness.
Once the movies are done, the stand-ups take over the cinema, with a show of live comedy in the lobby. Comedy on the Commons has brought together a trio of comics from around the region–Travis Blunt of Syracuse headlines a show that also features Angalia Petrillo and Deidre Mollura. Blunt recently made his television debut on Kevin Hart’s Hart of the City on Comedy Central and has shared the stage with the likes of Damon Wayans, Lavell Crawford, Kevin Nealon, Tony Rock and more. Hailing from Scranton, PA, Petrillo has been making a name for herself performing throughout PA, Upstate and Central NY. Ithaca’s Funniest Woman, Mollura is happy to expose her neurosis to groups or individual strangers in exchange for eye contact.