Sat, Apr 21

   9:30 / Kabuki

Added Programs

USA, 2011, 99 min


Richard Linklater
Liz Glotzer, Dete Meserve, Judd Payne, Celine Rattray, Martin Shafer, Ginger Sledge
Skip Hollandsworth, Richard Linklater
Dick Pope
Sandra Adair
Graham Reynolds
Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, Matthew McConaughey
Millennium Entertainment, 5900 Wilshire Boulevard, Floor 18, Los Angeles CA 90036. EMAIL: WEB:

Ticket info: The following screenings of this film are "At Rush": Sat Apr 21, 9:30

Explaining the proper methods to superglue eyelids closed and adjust a corpse’s smile, Bernie Tiede (Jack Black) warns, “You cannot have grief tragically becoming comedy.” But can it be funny when someone dies and no one cares? A former evangelist who arrives in Carthage, Texas, to take a job as an assistant funeral director, Tiede uses his magnetic personality, seemingly never-ending skill set and Harold Hill–style of confidence to become the most popular man in town. A sweetheart with “the ability to make the world seem kind,” Tiede even manages to charm Marjorie Nugent (a maniacally frenzied Shirley MacLaine), the local rich widow whom everyone else despises and fears. Eventually, though, Nugent’s abuses become too much for someone in Carthage to take, and once relentless district attorney Danny Buck (Matthew McConaughey) is on the case, even the nicest guy around isn’t above suspicion. Based on a hard-to-believe true story, originally reported by journalist and cowriter Skip Hollandsworth, Bernie features a number of scene-stealing Carthage residents in supporting roles. With this affectionate black comedy, director Richard Linklater returns to the East Texas of his youth to showcase the strange heart of small town life, where, as one character puts it, “people will always suspect the worst, but they’ll also suspect the best.”

—Ryan Prendiville

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Richard Linklater

“My plan B has always been to make a film about people who talk a lot.” Whatever plan A was, Slacker (SFIFF 1991) established Richard Linklater as a prominent figure in a new wave of American independent cinema. A wide-ranging filmmaker, he’s since found success with mainstream (School of Rock) and cult (Dazed and Confused) comedies, fleeting romances (Before Sunrise) and experiments in an animation (Waking Life), digital video (Tape) and science fiction (A Scanner Darkly). Often thriving under self-imposed challenges, Linklater possesses a keen ear for dialogue and a knack for creating memorable characters.