For Reel

Tig (2015)
September 1, 2015, 1:38 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , , ,

Director(s): Kristina Goolsby & Ashley York
2.5 Stars
TigIn August of 2012, alternative comic Tig Notaro delivered a now legendary standup set at Los Angeles’ Largo in which she publicly revealed that, on top of a series of traumas that had recently befallen her, she had been diagnosed with cancer. Although comedy has often been characterized by its uniquely confessional quality (especially in the podcast era, when comedians like Marc Maron have adjusted their form to a ritualistic sort of therapy), the candid and immediate nature of Tig’s set took things even further. The problem with Tig, then, is that it has to contend with the standup set that brought the comedian her new mainstream attention. In retelling the story (which includes many audio clips from that Largo set), the film loses the rawness, the immediacy. The documentary’s best moments, then, come in the aftermath of the set in which Tig contends with the difficulty of reinventing herself, even if the approach very rarely moves past the warm, inspirational surface. Filmmakers Kristina Goolsby and Ashley York have a history with reality television and they don’t shy away from letting montages carry the burden of the film’s emotional content. If Tig succeeds due to the simple fact that it follows an endlessly charming individual, it’s a pale image of the comedian it follows, losing her veracity along the way.

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