For 8 weeks, the NY Film Critics Fall Series gives viewers a chance to screen films before they are released. Following the screening, viewers have the chance to see a live discussion with the cast, filmmakers and industry affiliates.
The most recent screening of the Paramus series was, VERY SEMI SERIOUS, directed by Leah Wolchok. The documentary shares a behind the scenes look into the cartoonists of The New Yorker. This film puts a face to those who have been very successful cartooning for the magazine as well as those who are just getting started and finding their voice.
Bob Mankoff is the current cartoon editor for The New Yorker. Throughout the film, viewers are given the chance to see the weekly process Bob goes through in finding the 15 cartoons that will be chosen for the week.
The film was filled with humor, and there were several laughs shared throughout the screening. It was interesting seeing the perspective of the cartoonists.
Following the screening, Caryn James hosted a live discussion with cartoonist, Mort Gerberg.
He described the cartoon meeting process with Bob as his weekly humiliation.
When asked what is the most authentic thing we see about The New Yorker. He answered, “The idea of the New Yorker and the brand. You can’t get any higher. If you were to play on stage, this is what you aspire to.”
In the film, Bob Mankoff says that he can judge a cartoon whether he is in a good mood or not. An audience member asked Mort if he would submit a cartoon more than once based on Bob’s mood and he told the audience that many will bring cartoons back again and again in hopes of that cartoon being bought.
Based on a question from the audience about the future of The New Yorker, Mort believes there will still be a New Yorker in 10 years, but it won’t look the same as it does now, just as it has changed from how it used to look.
‘Very Semi Serious’ will have a theatrical run at Lincoln Plaza in NYC from November 20th until December 3rd. The film will premiere on HBO on Monday, December 7th at 9 p.m.