The Last Laugh (2016) torrent download

The Last Laugh

2016

Comedy / Documentary

6.8

Synopsis

THE LAST LAUGH dares to ask: "Are we allowed to joke about the Holocaust?" This outrageously funny and thought-provoking film puts the question to legends and critical thinkers including Mel Brooks, Sarah Silverman, Gilbert Gottfried, and many others (including survivors), offering fresh insights into the Holocaust and what else-9/11, AIDS, racism-is or isn't off-limits in a society that prizes freedom of speech. After screening at over 100 festivals (including Tribeca, HotDocs, Traverse City, BFI London, Rome, IDFA), and Certified Fresh at 98% on Rotten Tomatoes, THE LAST LAUGH was released theatrically in March 2017 and broadcast in April 2017 (Independent Lens/PBS) where it was runner-up for that season's Audience Award.

Director

Ferne Pearlstein

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ferguson-6 7 /10

what's not funny?

Greetings again from the darkness. The best comedy often touches a nerve. Jokes can make us feel uncomfortable and even a bit embarrassed for laughing. Although the best comedians are traditionally those who attack the politically correct world we live in, there are certain topics that remain taboo even to the bravest comedians: child molesting, rape, AIDS, 9/11, and the Holocaust. Director Ferne Pearlstein examines the issue of taboo comedy through numerous interviews with some well known and successful comedians, authors, and even Holocaust survivors.

Much of the focus here is on the Holocaust, and some of the familiar faces providing insight include Mel Brooks, Sarah Silverman, Gilbert Gottfried, and Rob and Carl Reiner. We learn the most important rule is … never tell a crappy joke about a dark subject – it better be really funny! We also learn that while the Holocaust is mostly off-limits, the Nazi's are fair game. Bugs Bunny, Charlie Chaplin, The Three Stooges, and The Marx Brothers have all mined the Nazi world for the sake of comedy and satire, though maybe none have done so as frequently or successfully as Mel Brooks ("Springtime for Hitler")

One of the most interesting recurring threads of the film involves Auschwitz survivor Renee Firehouse. North of 90 years old, this remarkable lady is extremely sharp and understands the importance of laughter … while also never being shy about what she thinks is NOT funny. Ms. Firestone even meets up with the effervescent Robert Clary, a fellow Holocaust survivor, and known to many as LeBeau on the TV show "Hogan's Heroes".

A trip to the Holocaust Survivor Convention on the Las Vegas strip offers up more thoughts on the role comedy played in keeping these folks alive. We see rare footage of carefully staged Cabaret acts from within the concentration camps … who even knew this went on? The recently re-discovered footage of Jerry Lewis' "The Day the Clown Cried" is also shown, and the commentary from Harry Shearer makes it clear that the rest should never find an audience.

Authors Etgar Keret, Shalom Auslander and Abraham Foxman each provide their thoughts on forbidden comedic topics, and clips are shown from "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and Brooks' "The Producers", as well as scandalous moments from Louis CK, Joan Rivers, Chris Rock, and the most censured comic of all, Lenny Bruce. Laughter may be the best medicine, but sometimes it's interesting to take a step back and determine exactly what is off-limits. When has a joke gone too far? It appears from Ms. Pearlstein's project that the line in the sand is determined by personal taste, preference and judgment.

Reviewed by leftbanker-1 10 /10

Thought Provoking

"I don't think it's funny."

If there were stupider words ever written, I'm still looking around to read them. I don't know a lot about anything, but I know that humor is the most subjective subject in human existence. Standards or humor change, they ebb and flow like the tides. Tell a joke to 100 people and if it's a really good joke, only about 30 will laugh, another 20 will shrug their shoulders and chuckle slightly, and the other 50 will scratch their heads in confusion (or be offended, or be indignant, or whatever).

"The thing about a joke about the Holocaust, AIDS, the Aids crisis, 9/11, it's all about the funny. It's got to be funny. You can't tell a crappy joke about the biggest tragedy in the world."

Thank you, Judy Gold. That is absolutely brilliant. Here is one thing coming from me: no one has the right to tell me what I can and can't laugh at, it's like trying to tell me what music to listen to. No amount of tragedy in anyone's life gives them that right. If you think that Family Circus cartoons are funny, I won't get in your way, but don't try to censor things I think are freaking hilarious.

I firmly believe that all those years ago in that beer hall in Munich, if someone had stood up and made fun of Hitler for the ridiculous little creep that he was, the spell would have been broken and people wouldn't have followed him.

I totally didn't recognize LeBeaux from Hogan's Heroes (I didn't know his real name, Robert Clary), and I watched every episode of that show. He's still alive at 94, so take that, Nazi creeps.

"Someone once said, 'Tragedy plus time equals comedy.' I always felt like why wait?" -Gilbert Gottfried

I love Gilbert Gottfried since I can remember, even though he's only a few years older than I.

Of course, there are people who wouldn't find anything humorous about the Holocaust, and there wasn't, of course. This doesn't mean that you can't find humor in it now. There are people who don't find any humor in anything. I'm not one of those people. Humor is like food and water to me. I spend a good part of every day like a hunter-gatherer trying to track down something, anything that will make me laugh.

Why does the daughter of a survivor enter so prominently in this film? Her mother doesn't need a translator. I certainly don't care to hear about things that she finds funny or not funny.

The old woman who couldn't enjoy a fake gondola ride in Las Vegas was a total buzz-kill. Of course, no one should be forced to ride in a fake gondola in Las Vegas. Las Vegas is just a horrible place and no one should be forced to go there against their will. Haven't they suffered enough? What has kept that woman alive all of these years when even something as completely innocuous as the song Volare reminds her of the death camps? Lighten the hell up! It reminds me of the old gag from The Onion" That's not funny; my brother died that way.

You don't have to be a Holocaust survivor to understand that life is basically tragic. We all die. Everyone. And then it's over. You can kid yourself with your religion, but that will only last until your heart stops beating. Laugh a little, pray less.

There is some guy from the Anti-Defamation League, Abraham Foxman, who obviously has nothing approaching a sense of humor, and that's OK because that isn't his job. He criticizes a bit from the movie Borat.

"Sacha Baron Cohen says, 'I am exposing, I am airing prejudice.' The only problem is, that the people that are laughing aren't laughing at the prejudice they're applauding the prejudice!"

Whether or not you think the bit is funny is something that is your business, and perhaps toothless hicks are applauding at the prejudice exposed in the skit, but the people who watch Sacha Baron Cohen are definitely laughing at the utter stupidity of the prejudice and how easily the racists are manipulated into exposing their own racism. He takes a moronic country ballad and in a couple of verses, he turns it into people singing along for genocide without questioning their own mindless hate. First of all, the hicks portrayed in the film have probably never even seen a Jew before. Then there is the fact that none of those hillbillies are laughing. They are actually taking this preposterous song at face value, and that is funny, at least to me.

Only moments earlier, the same guy said, "How you do it makes a difference. If you do it with care, with love, with respect, it's more acceptable, it's not comfortable, but it's more acceptable."

If you want your rumor only served out in acceptable and comfortable doses, please stick to Family Circus cartoons, just don't tell me what I can or can't find funny.

Mel Brooks and Gilbert Gottfried attacking the film, Life is Beautiful, was more irony than I thought I could bear. I would never defend the film by itself, but I would certainly defend someone's right to make the movie.

Reviewed by aldiboronti 5 /10

Interesting but this has been done so many times

It's watchable and instructive at times but honestly I must have seen half a dozen documentaries on the subject of Holocaust humor and the feelings of both the survivors and present-day Jewish comedians.

There's nothing new here at all and just for a change I'd like to see documentaries about the humor of others involved in those events. The SS, for instance, must have made jokes, both at the expense of their victims and probably their superiors too. It would be interesting to hear about those. And what about the Poles? What did they find to laugh about during the war? It's good to hear about Jewish humor but they weren't the only people with a sense of humor in those days.

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