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Penn Gillette and Paul Provenza, The Aristocrats



Penn Gillette and Paul Provenza, of Penn & Teller,
consider themselves amateur filmmakers who barely know how to turn on a video camera, much less record first-rate sound. Yet after spending three-and-a-half years working on their pet personal project The Aristocrats, shot on digital video and blown up to 35 mm, the film has become a sensation. Not because it's a documentary with 105 comedians (from Robin Williams, Phyllis Diller and George Carlin to Chris Rock, Eric Idle, Gilbert Gottfried and Sarah Silverman) but because AMC, the nation's number two movie chain, banned the unrated film for its language. Gillette, the larger half of Penn & Teller, waxes eloquently about Provenza's big heart - evident throughout the film although he's never onscreen. Provenza, also a standup comedian, is equally verbal about the transgressive power that is the heart of all comedy.
 

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Stephen Schaefer hosts candid conversations with actors, filmmakers, producers and movie people near and far. Schaefer has over three decades of writing and talking about movies behind him. He is the author of the Hollywood spoof The Autobiography of Marla Del Marr as told to Stephen Schaefer  and is currently a film critic and entertainment writer for The Boston Herald; and a contributor to USA Today and Entertainment Weekly.
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