There has been no shortage of documentaries about the Holocaust but, until now, none of them have featured Sarah Silverman, Chris Rock and Louis C.K. In Ferne Pearlstein’s The Last Laugh, which premieres today at the Tribeca Film Festival, she delves into the history of humor about the Holocaust.
Given its extensive use of archival material, 16mm was, perhaps, a natural choice for Pearlstein — whose previous credits include Sumo East and West, Imelda — when it came to her choice of format.
Behind The Scenes Shooting in film was definitely not for practical purposes. I do own my own 16mm camera. But on my first shoot, when I went to rent my Super 16mm magazines as I had done many many times before, I quickly learned that there was so little demand for these mags that the rental house had taken them all apart for parts.
So shooting in film was definitely an aesthetic choice. But as a DP, it is how I enjoy shooting a film. And as a director, I thrive on the challenge of working within the confines of a limited number of 10-minute rolls. It’s my way of thinking through the process and mapping out the film, while not overshooting, which is a risk shooting digitally.