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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sean Kelly

Hot Docs 2014: Harmontown

Harmontown

From director Neil Berkeley (Beauty Is Embarrassing) comes this documentary about Community-creator Dan Harmon’s 20-city comedy tour of the United States.  Harmon has always been one to strive for perfection, which consequently made him quite hard a man to work with. When he found himself in-between jobs in 2013, after being fired from Community, Harmon decided to take his popular podcast Harmontown on the road. The tour allows Harmon to reflect on the state of his life and how should probably think about finally growing up.

With the cult success of Community, despite constant ratings trouble, Dan Harmon has become an icon for nerdy folks that don’t quite fit in.  One of those fans, a socially awkward man named Spencer Crittenden, managed to join Harmon’s podcast as its resident Dungeons & Dragons master.  In many ways, Harmontown is just as much about Spencer, and how he comes into his own on the tour, than it is about Harmon himself.  The format of the film is quite casual, with some humorous “fourth wall” breaking moments, with Harmon talking about the various shots needed for the documentary.

Admittedly, I haven’t watched Community since the first season, so I didn’t fully understand Dan Harmon’s cult status. However, after watching Harmontown, I’m prepared to catch myself up to the show, since I likely fit right into the nerds and geeks that make up Dan Harmon’s fanbase. Harmon seems happy about the fanbase he has acquired, which likely contributes to the soul-searching he does over the course of the film, with him getting quite candid at one point about how cruel a person he can sometimes be.  All together, Harmontown tells a compelling story of a man at the crossroads.

8 | LIKED IT

Screenings:

  • Fri, April 25, 11:59 PM – Bloor Hot Docs Cinema
  • Sun, April 27, 3:15 PM – Hart House Theatre
  • Thu, May 1, 9:00 PM - Burwash Quad (Docs After Dusk)

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).