Sunday, April 21, 2013

Talking Tribeca: Setup Punch

I’ve had the pleasure of screening some feature-length and short selections from this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, which takes place April 17th-28th.

Setup Punch
Directed by David Schlussel
Festival Screenings

This 19-minute short stars Elijah Wood and Alia Shawkat, of “Arrested Development” fame. Ruben Stein (Wood) prepares for his stand-up act, and we see him nervously examining an engagement ring in the bathroom moments before he goes on stage. As he smiles at his girlfriend (Shawkat) on his way up to the stage, Ruben anxiously downs his drink and steps up to the microphone. What ensues is an entrancing portrait of a comic inherently at home on the stage and determined to use his natural talents to help him craft what he sees as a romantic, and, more fittingly, memorable proposal to woo the love of his life. Watching Ruben skirt about the stage is undeniably interesting, and, in less than twenty minutes, this adventure manages to take a few unexpected turns. Wood is particularly terrific in the lead role, and, though her part is minimal, Shawkat is, as usual, perfectly cast. This short film is screening as part of the “Worst Day Ever” program.

See it or skip it? See it. It’s an entertaining and creative ride.

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