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Thom Powers, Rick Crom, Aaron Rosenbloom, and Dustin Sussman - Oh, Rick! screening at IFC Center - March 6, 2018
STF hosts Oh, Rick! with Rick Crom and Filmmakers
Stranger Than Fiction is a documentary series hosted by Rafaela Neihausen and Thom Powers. The duo has 14 year roots in Greenwich Village and are the curators of the annual November event DOC NYC. The Tuesday night Stranger Than Fiction event is held at the IFC Center adjacent to the West 4th Street subway stop. The series favors feature length programming with the occasional short.
Each film in the Tuesday screenings is concluded with a Q and A session. The final three films of the 2018 Winter season are:
March 13 - WILD WILD COUNTRY
Q &A with directors Maclain Way, Chapman Way and Executive Producer Mark Duplass
March 20 - OCCUPATION DREAMLAND
Q&A with director Ian Olds
March 27 - THE CHINA HUSTLE
Q&A with director Jed Rothstein
Last Tuesday, March 6, the 2018 Winter season series screened OH, RICK! a documentary of Entertainer Rick Crom. Rick started in New York after leaving Chicago with his fellow improv troupe performers in a van with a dream of making it in the Big Apple.
The documentary questions the measure of success and in this case, Rick Crom's success.
The film narrows its narrative on Crom's stand up comedy career as an MC and co-host with then stand up comedian/Comedy Cellar founder Bill Grundfest and his early performance on Broadway in the show Urinetown.
Rick Crom is also the guy who wrote the book, music and lyrics for Newsical The Musical. Although this information was not featured in the film, the audience participating in the Q and A showed a desire to see that film made as well.
OH, RICK! did give insight into the journey of an entertainer in New York, a gay man in the industry of entertainment in the 80's when that was hush hush, and a dream to appear on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson that never came to fruition. In the film, Rick is frank about life. Life is not fair he says, "You don't get what you want, you don't get what you deserve, you get what you get." That reflection alone makes him successful. The success of Rick shined through many forms throughout the film, in his talent as a writer of comedy and music, charisma and generosity as a performer and the outpouring of respect from a who's who of stand up comics. Dave Attell, Sarah Silverman, Judy Gold, Jeff Ross, and Bill Burr to name drop a few.
OH, RICK! was directed by Dustin Sussman and Aaron Rosenbloom and first screened at DOC NYC in 2017. The film recently screened at the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival on February 28, 2018 as it's premiere to LA audiences. The directors were mindful to credit the cinematographer Clint Burns who worked for the cost of zero dollars over three years. Also mentioning those who helped out of goodwill and a desire to see the film completed including the many famous faces who appeared out of great respect for Rick Crom. Rick's funny was evident on screen and carried into the Q and A session.
When asked what he has worked on since his regular appearances at the Comedy Cellar, he reminded us where we have seen him... The gay guy at the poker table on Louie C.K.'s show and as Bernie Sanders for The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. Crom reminisced about the time he went to Baltimore to film one of the four episodes he was set to appear on the hit show House of Cards. Rick filmed one episode that included scenes with Robin Wright only to have the scandal of the show become breaking news two weeks later. "So I too have been fucked by Kevin Spacey," Rick quipped. He forged on to be in HBO's Divorce and most recently in the movie The Post. Crom showed in person and in this film resilience.
The film was well received by the audience present for the March 6, 2018 Stranger Than Fiction presentation and continues to shop for distribution.
Check out more photos from the Stranger Than Fiction screening of Oh, Rick! in our photo gallery.