2014 Sundance Docs in Focus: NICK OFFERMAN: AMERICAN HAM

nick offermanSundance’s Premieres section includes one nonfiction title: NICK OFFERMAN: AMERICAN HAM, a stand-up comedy performance film, directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts.

Sundance Program Description:

If you like your ham hot and steamy with a sexy side dish of full-bellied laughter, come and dine at the comic feast laid out by the one-and-only Nick Offerman. Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts (THE KINGS OF SUMMER screened as TOY’S HOUSE in last year’s U.S. Dramatic Competition) returns to the Sundance Film Festival for the second year in a row with this live taping of Offerman’s one-man show from the Town Hall theatre in New York.

In NICK OFFERMAN: AMERICAN HAM, the humorist widely known for his breakout role as Ron Swanson in NBC’s PARKS AND RECREATION serves up “10 Tips for a Prosperous Life”—tips that run the gamut from “carry a hanky” to “have a relationship with Jesus Christ… if it gets you laid.” And, of course, if it does get you laid, you can always use that hanky to clean up the spunk. These are but morsels in a full-on comedy banquet of philosophical anecdotes, irreverent songs, and practical woodworking tips served up saucy by one very talented comic ham, complete with minor nudity.

Some Background:
This is Vogt-Roberts’ third film at Sundance, following last year’s THE KINGS OF SUMMER and the short SUCCESSFUL ALCOHOLICS (2010). Offerman, serving as executive producer, appeared in SUMMER as well as in past Sundance films IN A WORLD… (2013), SMASHED (2012), THE GO-GETTER (2007), WRISTCUTTERS: A LOVE STORY (2006), NOVEMBER (2004), GROOVE (2000), TREASURE ISLAND (1999), and GOING ALL THE WAY (1997). Editors Alex Gorosh and Josh Schaeffer previously cut SUCCESSFUL ALCOHOLICS, while cinematographer Matthew Garrett worked on KINGS OF SUMMER, and Ross Riege was the DP on both of Vogt-Roberts’ previous Sundance entries.

Why You Should Watch:
While not the kind of nonfiction usual covered in w(n)td, for completism’s sake, this fun concert film is included here. Offerman’s signature style, similar to his popular Ron Swanson character, but much more ribald, is in full evidence, as the comic runs down his practical and often irreverant advice for better living to an appreciative Town Hall audience. Sundance goers attending this year’s Awards ceremony will be treated to even more Offerman, as the comedian and his wife, Emmy Award winning actress Megan Mullally, will co-host the evening.

More Info:
To keep updated on Offerman’s laconic brand of humor, check out his website. As they become available, I’ll link to Vogt-Roberts’ Meet the Artist Sundance video profile and to his Indiewire filmmaker interview. For screening dates and times at Sundance, click the link in the first paragraph.

To experience the festival through the eyes of this year’s filmmakers, follow my Sundance filmmaker class of 2014 Twitter list.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Sundance

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