Returned from Sundance last night — 28 movies, 7 interviews, zero parties and a whole lot of peanut-butter sandwiches — and here's the first fruit of my labor: my interview with Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, who've parlayed cult TV shows Tom Goes to the Mayor and Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! into their first feature, Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie. (The film is availble on demand beginning tomorrow, and will be in theaters from March 2.) As is typicall the case with their disassociative oeuvre, the movie both resists summary and renders it moot, or to put it in Heidecker's words, "This isn't a story you tell your friends." But it's as loopy, inspired and fitfully disturbing as their fans have come to expect, another step in their fairly astonishing success story.
Heidecker also stars in the Sundance premiere The Comedy, a substantially more unsettling, and deliberately less funny, portrait of moneyed, amoral hipsters living the Willamsburg life. Heidecker's character, who seals the deal with prospective sexual conquests by taking them back to his boat, doesn't do much of anything, but he has an abiding fascinating with manual labor, pitching in unbidden with a crew of Spanish-speaking landscapers and eventually applying for work as a dishwasher. But mostly, he just fucks around with his friends, a group that includes Wareheim and LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy, playing pickup Wiffle Ball or stripping down to their skivvies and spraying each other with cheap beer. It's a grueling watch at times, particularly when Heidecker launches into verbal attacks on service workers who can't fight back, one that apparently prompted some tense exchanges at the movie's second public screening. Not surprisingly, The Comedy is still awaiting distribution, but here's hoping it'll go on to start arguments all over the country. UPDATE: It's not a distribution deal, but The Comedy is now "presented by" David Gordon Green and Danny McBride's Rough House Pictures, which is a step in that direction. Here's a clip, from Alverson's Vimeo page: