Justin Molotnikov’s Crying With Laughter was the first screener I watched in advance of SXSW this year. Though it is described as a thriller, that is a particularly unfair label to put on it. When I sat down with Justin, who is here in Austin for the North American premiere of his film, I learned that he couldn’t agree more, and in the best of senses.
The film follows down-on-his-luck comedian Joey Frisk, whose visceral brand of jokes can be tough to laugh at. Very quickly the film changes its tone from the mundane to the mysterious. Then again to the adventurous, and eventually to the melancholy. The brevity with which it moves from emotion to emotion, or from genre to genre, is astounding. Crying With Laughter will surprise you around every turn.
Justin and the film’s producer, Claire Mundell, took some time out of their schedule to sit with me and discuss their film and some other tid-bits. Perhaps the most interesting thing Justin and Claire mention is that the script grew out of a lot of workshopping and improv. In fact, they say, it was easier to get the film funded without a script than it would have had they had a finished one from the outset. Sound backwards? Listen in as they explain their process in making this first feature.
Crying with Laughter has two more screenings at SXSW: Tuesday March 16th, 1:30am at the Alamo Ritz and Wednesday, March 17th, 4:30pm at the Alamo Lamar. It is also available on Amazon Video On Demand and will soon be available on demand through your cable provider in the U.S. You can find out more information at the film’s Official Website.