Waiting for Guffman

Director: Christopher Guest

U.S.A| 1996. Colour. Dolby stereo. 84 minutes.

Anybody who has had even the most fleeting of encounters with the unique world of amateur dramatics will find plenty to recognise in Christopher Guest’s artistic breakthrough as a film director, which takes the Spinal Tap approach to a portrait of a small middle-American town preparing for its 150th anniversary. Key to the innumerable joys to be had here is watching a splendid cast of choice character actors – Guest (unforgettable as fish-out-of-water drama queen Corky St. Clare), Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Parker Posey, Bob Balaban, Michael Hitchcock, Larry Miller and the incomparable Fred Willard-nail one painfully funny, horribly true scene after another, bouncing left-of-centre improvisations off each other with tangible glee. This is the first (and very possibly the only) ever Irish theatrical screening of Waiting for Guffman. Miss it at your peril. The Godot reference implicit in the title, by the way, makes itself clear in the devastatingly funny final scenes.

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