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JIM & ANDY: THE GREAT BEYOND, all about the men

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If you've seen Man on The Moon, this next documentary is a must. Jim Carrey, who played Andy Kauffman in Milos Forman's 1999 film, has had an extraordinary journey throughout the making of the film, and so have the people around him, who were exposed to a lot more than they signed up for. However, in the end, everything seemed to have been worth it. Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond, the Netflix documentary, tell the story of Carrey's total transformation into Kauffman.

The actor had a documentary crew follow him around during the production (Kaufman’s girlfriend, Lynne Margulies, and his friend and collaborator Bob Zmuda), and their footage has been sitting on a shelf for nearly 20 years because the studios didn't want people to think Carrey is an asshole. The footage was knitted together along with a present-day interview with a philosophical Carrey, director Chris Smith (American Movie) has all the elements of an inquiry into the madness behind fame, art, performance and the issue of when a joke has gone “too far”.

jim andy

"Smith uses the footage to create a double portrait of Carrey and Kaufman, and of the former’s extraordinary portrayal of the latter. What it reveals—and what makes the film indispensable—is that Carrey remained in character as Kaufman (or as Kaufman’s alter ego Tony Clifton, the crude and aggressive insult singer) throughout the shoot, off-camera, behind the scenes, in his dressing room, and even in venues outside the studio, such as on an impromptu visit to Steven Spielberg’s production company. What’s more, Carrey is an active participant in “Jim & Andy,” speaking at length on camera in a recent interview, in which he discusses his entire life and career and goes into specific detail about his incarnation of Kaufman. Some of his remarks prove deeply illuminating about his work in the role, but the use that Smith makes of those remarks, structuring “Jim & Andy” around Carrey’s own retrospective view of this performance and of his life and career, draws attention away from the archival footage, which is more than of merely archival significance—it’s a better film about Kaufman than “Man on the Moon,” and Carrey gives an even greater performance in that footage than he did in Forman’s bio-pic." (The New Yorker)

"In other words, the Dumb and Dumber star goes full method – and the results are excruciating to watch; he regularly torments professional wrestler Jerry “The King” Lawler (whom Kaufman himself had a daft public feud with) on set, infuriates Forman with his refusal to step out of character and drives vehicles with a paper bag over his head. But then, as a contemporary Carrey, with a luxuriant beard, explains to camera, if Forman (an Oscar-winner with One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) wanted a straight-down-the-line impression of Kaufman, then he could do that, as he’s great at impressions, but he was under the impression he wanted a full-bodied performance. It’s what Carrey ultimately delivers in his finest acting turn, which deservedly garnered him a Golden Globe." (Independent)

"

In “Jim & Andy,” we watch Carrey submerge himself in the cantankerous, growly Clifton mystique. On the days when they’re shooting Tony Clifton scenes, he refuses to break character, forcing Miloš Forman to give direction to this stunted, exhausting man who will not listen to a thing he says. Carrey, like Andy, revels in taking the joke too far. We see priceless footage of the night that Tony showed up at the Playboy Mansion and partied with Hugh Hefner, who thought that he was in on the joke; he presumed that he was hosting Jim Carrey. And then, after two hours, into the party walks…Jim Carrey! Hef turns white as a sheet, and Tony Clifton gets booted out of the party. But at that moment, he lives.

“Jim & Andy” is fleetly edited and engrossing, animated by a sense of discovery. Chris Smith, an intensely personal filmmaker, has never worked in this sprawling mode of multi-media, celebrity-centered documentary classicism, and he turns out to be a natural at it. In 90 minutes, he tells Jim Carrey’s story, tells Andy Kaufman’s story, and meditates on the resonant way that they interfaced. We see startling clips of Carrey when he was high school, trying out impersonations of Steve Martin, Jimmy Carter, and James Dean (his face literally becomes Dean’s), plus the “Saturday Night Live” audition he did in 1980." (Variety)

Check out the trailer below:

Tags:   netflix, news, documentary, film, Jim & Andy

Related:   Man on the Moon


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