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JIM & ANDY: THE GREAT BEYOND, new documentary

jim-andy-the-great-beyond

In 1999, Milos Forman directed Jim Carrey in the Andy Kaufman biopic Man On The Moon, a role that brought him the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Musical/Comedy. The film was largely based around Carrey recreating some of the most famous moments from the comedian’s life. As you can imagine, if you know anything about Kaufman and Carrey, the recreations didn’t stop when the cameras were off. In fact, the cameras weren't really off and all those behind-the-scenes moment made it into the Jim And Andy: The Great Beyond documentary, that just received a full-length trailer.

Directed by Chris Smith and produced by Spike Jonze, the Netflix documentary explores the depth of Carrey’s transformation to Kaufman, a comedian he deeply admired. When he was cast as Kaufman in the biopic, Carrey took that admiration to the next level, embodying Kaufman on and off the camera. Often times, as seen in the trailer, Carrey wasn't the easiest person to be around. You can observe co-stars Danny DeVito and Paul Giamatti enticed by the accuracy of Carrey's performance and then frustrated with how far he continues to take it. The documentary features footage that was reportedly kept under wraps for years because Universal didn’t want people to think Carrey “was an asshole."

netflix

The official synopsis reads:

Director Chris Smith’s fascinating deep dive into actor Jim Carrey’s time spent portraying famed and complicated comedian Andy Kaufman. Using approximately 100 hours of footage shot on the set of Man on the Moon documenting Carrey’s transformation into Kaufman for four months.

Jim Carrey earned critical acclaim and a Golden Globe for the performance, but many of the production’s most Kaufmanesque moments played out behind the scenes, thankfully captured on video by Andy’s former girlfriend, Lynne Margulies and former writing partner, Bob Zmuda. In Jim & Andy, Carrey looks back at the resulting footage 18 years later, reflecting on how he and Andy came up in oddly parallel universes, his experience channelling Andy and Tony and more broadly the spiritual journey of his career.

jim and andy

Kaufman was notoriously an eccentric provocateur, and Carrey’s behind-the-scenes antics on Man on the Moon threatened to derail the production. But the documentary examines not into the faux-pas of filmmaking, but the artistic process itself and Carrey’s newfound philosophy as an actor who has spent many of the past years out of the spotlight. In Marshall Shaffer’s Toronto International Film Festival review of Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond, he calls it “a treasure trove of comedic brilliance and revelatory insights into the process of a performer whose comedy is something like a ‘fugue state,’ as [Carrey] puts it.” (via Slashfilm)

“Universal didn’t want the footage we took behind-the-scenes to surface so that people wouldn’t think I was an asshole,” Carrey reveals in the trailer for Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond – With a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton. Together with Smith, Carrey examines the footage of him inhabiting the role of Kaufman for the first time, as he reflects on his identity as a comedian and actor.

Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond will premiere on Netflix on November 18, 2017.

Check out the trailer below.

"The material of him on set is unbelievable. Watch him annoy the hair and makeup people with loud music, watch him crash cars on the lot and trespass into Steven Spielberg’s office. Gaze on with wonder as this pompous and very talented clown refuses to answer to the name Jim. Co-star Danny DeVito thinks it’s funny but Judd Hirsch is just not having it. When Kaufman’s foe, wrestler Jerry Lawler, comes to set playing himself, all hell breaks loose. Carrey refuses to break character, and it results in an injury. (Maybe – who knows if any of this is real?) Forman looks exasperated, but Carrey is the star and if this is what Carrey sees as his process, Forman will have to put up with it.[...] By the end of this documentary Carrey is so in awe at his own acting he suggests he could become anyone and have people believe it – even Jesus Christ." (The Guardian)

"The immersion factor is illustrated again in a lovely anecdote Carrey shares from when he met with director Michel Gondry while going through a painful breakup, a year before shooting started on Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. (There are distinct echoes of the brain-bending work of Gondry, as well as that film's screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and this film's producer, Spike Jonze, in Smith's doc.) Mimicking Gondry's French accent, Carrey recalls him exclaiming, "Oh my God, you are so beautiful! You are so broken! Please don't get well!"

It's difficult to know at times whether Carrey is playing with us or legitimate with his talk of a benign Mr. Hyde side emerging to take control of his personality. But when he wistfully observes, "Andy came back to make his movie," he's oddly convincing, making this an original, unexpectedly affecting tribute to two distinctive comic performers." (The Hollywood Reporter)

Tags:   netflix, news, comedy, documentary, trailer, Jim Carrey, film news, Andy Kauffman

Related:   Man on the Moon


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