Director: Leah Wolchok Run Time: 83 min. Format: Digital Rating: NR Release Year: 2015
Starring: Emily Flake, Liana Finck, Zach Kanin, Bob Mankoff, Mort Gerberg, Roz Chast
Nitehawk Cinema & Tribeca Film Institute Summer Documentary Series presents VERY SEMI-SERIOUS, an offbeat meditation on humor, art and the genius of the single panel.
Q&A following the screening with Executive Producer Deborah Shaffer and graphic novelist Liana Finck, moderated by Jose Rodriguez (Director of Documentary Programming, Tribeca Film Institute). Introduction by Caryn Coleman, Senior Film Programmer, Nitehawk Cinema.
The New Yorker is the undisputed standard bearer of the single panel cartoon. Whether they leave us amused, inspired, or even a little baffled, the iconic cartoons have become an instantly recognizable cultural touchstone over the past 90 years.
With Very Semi-Serious, viewers get an unprecedented glimpse into the process behind the cartoons. Legends Roz Chast and Mort Gerberg submit their work alongside hopefuls like graphic novelist Liana Finck. While on the other side of the desk, Cartoon Editor Bob Mankoff sifts through hundreds of submissions every week to bring readers a carefully curated selection of insightful and humorous work, striving to nurture new talent and represent the magazine’s old guard, while also considering how his industry must evolve to stay relevant. Leah Wolchok’s light-hearted and sometimes poignant debut film offers a window into The New Yorker’s signature brand of subtle, contemplative humor, and perhaps also onto what it means to laugh at ourselves. – Cara Cusumano
Part of the 2015 Nitehawk Cinema and Tribeca Film Institute Summer Documentary Series. Visit the film page for VERY SEMI-SERIOUS.