Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Press Release: Alverson's 'Entertainment' pre-premiere screening

Date: October 20, 2015
To: All media for immediate release
Re: Screening of "Entertainment"
From: The Bijou Film Center

The Bijou Film Center will present "Entertainment" at the Byrd Theatre in Carytown on Sun., Nov. 8. The show starts at 6:30 p.m. After creating stirs at various film festivals, including Sundance, "Entertainment" will begin its theatrical first run in New York City next month. Five days prior to that premiere it will play one-time-only here in Richmond.

Following a special happy hour gathering at the Portrait House (5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.), across the street from The Byrd, Richmond's own Rick Alverson -- the director of "Entertainment" -- will be on hand to introduce the film.

Admission: Tickets at the box office will be $10.00 (the box office will open at 6 p.m.). Advance tickets are available online at Eventbrite for $7.00 (plus a processing fee of $1.38) each. Paper advance tickets will be available for $7.00 (cash or check) at Bygones Vintage Clothing and Steady Sounds until the day of the show.

The proceeds from this screening will be split between the Byrd Theatre Foundation's "Journey to the Seats" and the Bijou Film Center.

The After-Party will unfold at the New York Deli following the screening. It will feature a live comedy showcase, which will be hosted by Herschel Stratego. As a special treat, the protagonist in the film, The Comedian, aka Neil Hamburger (as played by Gregg Turkington), will appear on that program. Admission will be free.


"Entertainment" (2015): Color. 110 minutes. Directed by Rick Alverson. Cast: Gregg Turkington, John C. Reilly, Tye Sheridan, Michael Cera.

Film Note: The film's protagonist is an abrasive comedian who hurls his absurd material at small audiences in bleak dives in forgotten towns. The laughs come more from the situations than the jokes. Between gigs the nameless comedian is frequently shown as a passive observer of what sights he encounters traveling through the desert -- sights such as an airplane graveyard. Clearly, he is detached, but from what? Alone in cheap motel rooms, he talks to his estranged daughter on the phone. Does she exist? As odd as some of the characters appear to be, they feel real -- painfully real.

As it mocks our expectations, "Entertainment" is a compelling odyssey. Occasionally, it's laugh-out-loud funny. For viewers who've enjoyed the rather unconventional work of directors such as Robert Bresson, Luis Buñuel and David Lynch, Alverson's new flick could be about to shoulder its way onto their top ten lists. Love it, or hate it, "Entertainment" is a bona fide "art movie" that is probably destined to become a cult classic.

More about the Film:

The Guardian: "Sundance 2015 review: 'Entertainment' -- a comedy about emotional collapse and existential despair."

Interview with Rick Alverson in Crave.


The Bijou Mission: The goal is to establish the nonprofit Bijou Film Center in Richmond, Virginia. Its centerpiece will be a small independent cinema (approximately 120 seats) that will strive to present the best of the artsy first-run independent and imported films available. They will be sandwiched between short runs of selected classics, perhaps an occasional festival.

Co-presenters and Sponsors:

The event's co-presenters are: VCU's Institute for Contemporary Art and the Virginia Film Office.

The event's sponsors are: Big Secret; Candela Books + Gallery; Michael Harl Graphic Design; New York Deli; Portrait House; Steady Sounds; Ed Trask; Chuck Wrenn.

More About The Bijou: For background information these two articles reveal more about our quest, go here and here. And, we have already won an award from the Theatre Historical Society of America. More background pertaining to the Bijou Film Center can be found on the Bijou's Facebook page and its Bijou Backlight blogzine. This is the fifth event in the series of fundraisers presented by the Bijou Film Center over the last year. The success of our previous events has helped to bolster our confidence that Richmond is ready to support a well-programmed art house cinema.

Break a leg: When The Bijou opens for business, before the first film lights up the screen, its founders and staff will pause to toast our goal -- to become the hub of all things film in Richmond. We'll raise our glasses in The Bijou's small adjoining café/coffeehouse, which will regularly serve sandwiches, soups, salads, bagels, pastries, coffee, tea, beer, wine and so forth.

Beyond the exhibition of our gourmet film fare, we hope to be a friend to Richmonders interested in the preserving of old films and the making of new films. However, for the time being, we are focused on finding the best location for the Bijou Film Center to put down its roots. While we have made some recent progress on this front, it's too soon to say anything more.

More info: Bijou Film Center, PO Box 4994, Richmond, VA, 23220;

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