Enjoy Joan Rivers, ‘Trotsky’
Here are two offbeat and quirky comedies to warm you up on cold December nights: “The Trotsky” (New Video, $24.95, not rated)
It’s not surprising to find Jay Baruchel in another youth-oriented comedy, as the skinny Canadian actor has made his mark in comedies such as the TV series “Undeclared” and the movies “Tropic Thunder” and “She’s Out of My League.” But “The Trotsky,” written and directed by fellow Canadian Jacob Tierney, is a youthful farce with a difference — it’s a political satire that blends real ideas and issues with absurdist humor. The film, which debuted at the 2009 Toronto Film Festival, was shown at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year and is being released on DVD.
Baruchel plays a teenager from Montreal named Leon Bronstein. (For those who are not up on the history of the Russian Revolution, Leon Bronstein was the real name of Leon Trotsky, the Bolshevik comrade-in-arms 3
Bring a flashlight and wear warm clothing, 6 p.m. at Aullwood Garden MetroPark, 930 Aullwood Road, Butler Twp., meet in the parking lot. (937) 277-6545, ext. 1609.
Aullwood Winter Moonlight Walk:
of V.I. Lenin, founder of the Red Army, theorist of “permanent revolution” and loser of a Soviet power struggle to Joseph Stalin after Lenin’s death.) Baruchel’s Leon thinks he is the reincarnation of his revolutionary namesake, even though he was born into a privileged family — he attends a boarding school and his father (Saul Rubinek) owns a clothing factory in Montreal. Furthermore, Leon believes he will re-live the life of Trotsky, including leading a revolution, marrying a woman 10 years his elder, being forced into exile and murdered by Stalin’s henchmen.
“The Trotsky” is a clever and enjoyable comedy, one based on the assumption that movie audiences are smarter and more open to new ideas than Hollywood thinks we are. 4
Wear warm clothing, 6:30 p.m. at Aullwood Audubon Center, 1000 Aullwood Road, Bulter Twp. Free. (937) 890-7360 for registration.
Big Winter Moon — Full Moon Walk:
“Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work” (MPI Media Group/IFC Films, $27.98/$34.98 Blu-ray, rated R)
Comedian Joan Rivers doesn’t want to retire, because, as she admits in this excellent documentary, made by Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg when Rivers was 75 (she’s now 77), she wants to maintain her lavish lifestyle. But her career is at a low ebb during the year-long course of the film, which features behind-the-scenes footage of Rivers at home and at work, interviews and reminiscences with Rivers, her daughter Melissa, comedian Kathy Griffin and others, plus archival footage of her appearances on TV. She’s constantly looking for work, and we see her performing in live shows, soliciting commercials, making TV appearances, writing and performing in her own theatrical show and appearing on Donald Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice.”
“Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work” shows that Rivers remains as quick and funny as ever. But perhaps more telling is what else it reveals — a pathetically needy and narcissistic woman. 5 8 p.m. at the Schuster Center, Main and Second streets, Dayton. $31-$76. (937) 228-3630. www. ticketcenterstage.com
“The Christmas Music of Mannheim Steamroller: