Neil Berkeley

Harmontown

Dan Harmon is a contradiction. He is happy and sad, loving and cruel, appreciative and narcissistic – but above all, he is bitingly honest. This trait is what makes him a great writer and a compelling documentary subject. After getting fired from Community (the show he created), Harmon began the podcast, “Harmontown,” which became his form of therapy in the wake of this latest rejection. Hamontown follows Harmon, along with his co-host Jeff B. Davis, Dungeon Master Spencer Crittenden and his girlfriend Erin McGathy, as they take “Harmontown” on the road. Harmon is also faced with writing two new pilots, one for CBS and one for FOX, which become “homework” he is constantly working on (or not working on) while on the road. Director Neil Berkeley asks Harmon at the beginning of Harmontown what he learned while on tour and the rest of the documentary works to try and answer this question. Berkeley allows Harmon to interact with the camera and even gives Harmon his own camera, but this choice is when the film falters because Harmontown is best when documenting Harmon, not putting him directly in the driver’s seat. Harmon is known for being boisterous, which has been known to get him into trouble (a fact confirmed by many of his friends and former co-workers), but it is during his more reflective moments that Berkeley is able to capture that reveal what a tortured soul Harmon is. And the true problem is he is brutally aware of this fact.

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Neil Berkeley‘s new documentary, Beauty is Embarrassing, invites us into the blissful insanity of Wayne White – the artist behind Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, several iconic music videos and a ton of incredible prints. Both men join me to discuss the nature of art, why it could possibly be embarrassing, and then I try to get them to say the word of the day. Download Episode #149

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Beauty is Embarrassing

You’re probably a fan of Wayne White’s artwork even if you don’t know it. In fact, that’s a bet Mark Mothersbaugh would be willing to make. The iconic musician is one of many to appear as a talking head for the new doc Beauty is Embarrassing, but he’s not the biggest one. The biggest talking head is, of course, one of White’s creations. This new trailer for the film, which is out on September 7th, celebrates some incredible art and a bizarrely beautiful mind. Check it out for yourself:

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