Harmontown (2014)

GENRESDocumentary
LANGEnglish
ACTOR
Dan HarmonJeff Bryan DavisErin McGathySpencer Crittenden
DIRECTOR
Neil Berkeley

SYNOPSICS

Harmontown (2014) is a English movie. Neil Berkeley has directed this movie. Dan Harmon,Jeff Bryan Davis,Erin McGathy,Spencer Crittenden are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2014. Harmontown (2014) is considered one of the best Documentary movie in India and around the world.

A documentary that follows Dan Harmon on tour for his podcast series after he was fired from Community in 2012.

Same Director

Harmontown (2014) Reviews

  • It's honest, raw, and pretty darn hilarious

    basil19842014-04-09

    I adore director Neil Berkeley's previous documentary, 'Beauty is Embarrassing', as much for its subject (artist Wayne White) as for its casual style. It's uncanny that his subject in 'Harmontown', Dan Harmon (creator of TV's 'Community' and writer of Oscar-nominated 'Monster House') is almost, physically and intellectually, Wayne White's Doppelgänger. I'm sorry to say that I largely 'missed the boat' with Harmon's body of work: 'The Sarah Silverman Show' definitely struck me as irreverent and funny but 'Community' always seemed a bit mediocre which, in Harmon's defense, when graded on the network-sitcom curve, I do consider completely watchable and good for a giggle. It wasn't until Harmon's erratic work ethic got him fired from both of those creations that he found his own form of therapy in podcasting an unconventional stand-up show containing no jokes, no preparation, and the occasional Dungeon & Dragon session. The documentary follows the show's tour across the US with his cohorts, Spencer Crittenden (the awkward 'Dungeon Master' plucked from the original Los Angeles audience), Jeff Bryan Davis (comedian and TV personality), and, his girlfriend, Erin McGathy (well-known podcaster). Despite his narcissism (which is balanced by a heaping side of self-loathing) and notorious tendencies to sociopathically manipulate those around him, there is a sense from his audience that he is the Jesus of well-intentioned nerdom. I won't say that I'm a complete convert but I will absolutely subscribe to his podcast (also called 'Harmontown'); like the film, it's honest, raw, and pretty darn hilarious.

  • The feel-good documentary of the year, for Dan Harmon and Community fans at least.

    Sergeant_Tibbs2014-10-08

    You may have to already be invested in Dan Harmon before approaching his documentary Harmontown. I discovered his NBC show Community during the season 3 hiatus and fell head over heels for it watching it about 3 times in a row. Since then I've been in for the ride, if sporadically during seasons 4 and 5. If you're not in the know, Dan Harmon created Community in 2009, a satirical and zany sitcom, and was the showrunner through seasons 1 to 3. He was fired for season 4 while being replaced by the showrunners of Happy Endings, which resulted in a mediocre season, reviled by many fans. It was a messy departure, particularly with spats between Harmon and star Chevy Chase who subsequently left the show. In the meanwhile as a form of productive therapy, Harmon created a weekly live show called Harmontown, recorded as a podcast with his friend Jeff B. Davis, a familiar face from Whose Line Is It Anyway. Part standup, part improv (they never prepare, relying on refreshing spontaneity), part chat show, they begin every podcast with saying that they don't know what it is. They don't want any form of structure and each show is unique to its audience. The result is often a reflection upon his own style; gooey, yet raw, juvenile, yet meaningful. He also helped kickstart a new Charlie Kaufman stop motion film Anomalisa, of which I contributed to and am still waiting for. Even though I haven't listened to Harmontown just yet, I'm certainly invested in Harmon's endeavours. Fortunately he was rehired to run Community for season 5 and will do for season 6, though they're moving from NBC to Yahoo. Just like with the podcast, the documentary begins by saying that it doesn't know what it wants to be. Harmon and director Neil Berkeley chase the story as it comes. If anything, it wants to make you smile. Harmon says this repeatedly, he wants to make people happy and wants to be the reason that people are entertained. Even so, he is not a happy man. Disheartened by having to be torn apart from his passion project (the documentary is set before his return, 3 weeks in 2012 during a rare U.S. tour) and under pressure from networks to write various pilots. As envious and admirable he is, I am glad I'm not him. Subsequently his Harmontown shows are centred around his creative self-deprecation, albeit while surrounded by adoring fans, or nerds as he puts it. That's what Community is and that's what Harmontown is – a gathering of nerds and outcasts opening up where they feel accepted and loved. It's truly cathartic for everyone involved. Not just a therapy for Harmon, but for the audience too and it rubs off. Between traditional documenting techniques, the film can't resist 'meta' moments as Community frequently indulges in. It doesn't try to hide the moments that are staged for the camera and they usually leave the outtakes in because they're much more charming. It's more honest to just be honest about the fake parts and that's exactly what Harmon's work tries to point out. There's also lots of candid moments where you can see the crew or the cameraman is getting himself ready during the shot, but it doesn't matter. The documentary does reflect back on Harmon's pre-Community career and has interviews with familiar faces, though they're fleeting. This very loose and aimless style does initially lead to a clumsy feeling doc with an indulgent topic that's difficult to see justified. But it does win you over. It's all about the atmosphere of an affectionate unit trying to figure it all out while giving something back. This is best demonstrated by the addition of Spencer Crittenden, a one-time audience member and now frequent contributor and close friend to Dan Harmon. It's a rags-to-the- coat-tails-of-semi-fame story, but a very endearing one, and he's now a fan favourite. Reportedly, there's a cut of the film that's entirely about Spencer. He's a 23 year-old Dungeons and Dragons master with a bone-dry sense of humour. He always gets cheers from the crowd whenever he's brought to the stage and he's a joy to watch being brought into this world so lovingly. Also on the journey is Harmon's girlfriend Erin McGathy, who although a wonderful and cheery person, their relationship suffers under close quarters. The tension in their relationship is explored in an emotionally draining portion of the film, hitting us in the guts right after some of the most uplifting moments. The documentary eventually and organically finds its way, even though there's inherently not much at stake. As with most stories, it's about the journey and not the destination. It's an honest representation of a man whose achievements and narcissism are in constant flux with his self-loathing and consequences of his selfishness. Fortunately, the comedy of the Harmontown shows shine through too and it has a delightful irreverence to the humour. Even so, it never shies away from a lot of deep and raw aspects of the human condition and that's what makes it so rewarding. The content does outshine the filmmaking quality here, though it's still quite good. Ultimately, it left me with the same warm fuzzy feelings I get in my belly as when I watch the highs of Community as you watch people here truly connect with each other. Harmon seems to be infectious. A rich, referential and simple storyteller that's never quite finished nor wants to be. Both sweet and sour, Harmontown is the feel good documentary of the year. 8/10

  • Harmon is a handful.

    dreyestud2014-03-17

    I caught this movie at SxSW. I had almost no expectations for this movie. I confused Dan Harmon with the guy who created Scrubs and Cougartown. I was wrong Dan Harmon most recently was the creator of Community, one of my favorite TV shows. It's public knowledge that he got fired from Community. What I did not know was that Dan Harmon did a live comedy show with Jeff Davis (of Whose Line is it Anyways). So this documentary is about a 30 show road tour that these guys did across the United States. It turns out that the very "out there" comedy that comes out in Community is the result of very "out there" thinking by Dan Harmon and his comedy show is more of a "watch us have fun" kind of show rather than the traditional stand up comedy where a comedian presents his pre-written bits to the audience. The live show Harmon presents (called Harmontown, also a podcast) is very organic and spontaneous. It was a compelling and entertaining documentary. Worth catching.

  • Well-Rounded Portrait of a Self-Destructive Creative Genius

    drqshadow-reviews2015-11-02

    An intimate behind-the-scenes documentary covering Dan Harmon (creator of Community, co-creator of Rick and Morty) and his short tour of seat-of-the-pants live podcasts in the winter of 2012. It dangles precariously between worshiping the man (via dozens of high-profile testimonials) and vilifying him (the same talking heads almost unanimously have a bad story to tell about his self-destructive nature) which makes for a difficult, conflicted narrative. Especially as he seems to have no interest in seriously changing his ways, even after breaking down and confessing to his many sins. Harmon's connection with his audience, and with his small cast of cobbled-together costars, is special and real, the kind of rapport that thousands of wannabe cult productions chase to their last breath. Maybe his shortcomings as a human fuel that fire in ways that a more composed creative wouldn't, but it still begs a question: how much more prolific could this guy be if he'd ever get his act together? Even his most passionate fans seem to realize that he can be a real dick at times, most notably when he airs the dirty laundry of a late-night fight with his long-suffering girlfriend right there on one show. The same fans who lined up at the door to hear what he'll do or say next agree almost unanimously that he was in the wrong, leaving him to awkwardly eat a little crow. The documentary itself is a bit long, especially in getting to a conclusion, but otherwise does a nice job of mixing laugh-out-loud moments from the stage with heartfelt confessions and closed-door implosions away from the public eye. Great if you're already a fan, but a little narrow and long-winded if you're not.

  • A Look Behind the Curtain

    gavin69422015-03-31

    A documentary that follows Dan Harmon on tour for his podcast series after he was fired from "Community" in 2012. Dan Harmon was born in Milwaukee and graduated from Brown Deer High School in Brown Deer, a suburb of Milwaukee. He also attended Marquette University and Glendale Community College, later using his experiences at the community college to form the basis of the show "Community". Harmon was a member of ComedySportz Milwaukee and also (alongside Rob Schrab) a member of the sketch troupe The Dead Alewives. Why do I provide this biography of Harmon's early life? Because as a Wisconsin native, this intrigues me and makes me wonder how much of what Harmon has experienced translates to his writing, and how much of that retains a Wisconsin flavor. Indeed, with both Dead Alewives and "Community", he has referenced Dungeons and Dragons, another Wisconsin creation. After watching this documentary, I hope everyone watches the pilot for "Heat Vision and Jack". If you have never seen it ,you need to. And if you have, it has probably been a while and time for a review.

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