AFF 2014 Review: 3 STILL STANDING

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

This documentary by directors Robert Campos and Donna LoCicero examines the San Francisco comedy club scene during the 1980s and some of the comedians who have gone on to greater success.  The late Robin Williams, Dana Carvey, and Rob Schneider, emerged from the club scene there and found more lucrative work in television and film.  Through the years, the changing economic climate, technological advancements, and changing business practices have affected the scene. Even though it has been a bit of a struggle, three comedians from San Francisco still continue to work in stand-up for a living.  Will Durst, Johnny Steele, and Larry “Bubbles” Brown never got their big breaks in TV and movies, but have managed to maintain moderately successful careers in a field they absolutely love.

Campos and LoCicero have made a fascinating and insightful documentary with 3 Still Standing.  Their film features a collection of pricelless interviews with Robin Williams, Dana Carvey, Rob Schneider, Paula Poundstone and several others who toiled in San Francisco during its comedic heyday. The film also gets up close and personal with Durst, Steele and Brown.  These talented and smart comedians are both compelling and entertaining to witness in both their personal lives and while on stage performing.  These comics are obviously dedicated to their craft and have done what they could to adapt to the changing climate of their careers. The fact that they continue to persevere is an inspiration to anyone who has considered following in their footsteps.  Kudos must be given to Campos and LoCicero for selecting a great subject for their film and for presenting it in a natural and genuine manner.  The filmmakers lovingly dedicated their film to Robin Williams who sadly passed away a few months ago.

 

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