Guest comedy has 'Mighty' bow at DGA

Christopher Guest invoked a classic pic in his typically wry remarks before Monday’s “A Mighty Wind” DGA preem.

The helmer, who’d forgotten his glasses, squinted and said the first words in his notes appeared to be: ” ‘I’m not much for speechifying,’ which is either the first draft of this or something from ‘The Ox-Bow Incident.’ “

A 1943 William Wellman Western is not the kind of cinematic allusion anyone would use at, say, the MTV Movie Awards — at least not successfully. But “Wind” star and longtime Guest collaborator Harry Shearer said that faith in the aud’s intelligence is key to the pic’s humor. Its jokes “don’t have to be hammered home,” he explained. “The humor happens as opposed to being extruded in an industrial process.”

“Chris is also an expert at tying flies for fly-casting,” said Billy Crystal. “To me, these movies are perfect little flies.”

Catherine O’Hara said Guest is “shooting the purest of documentaries. He never tells the people how to behave in any way. But he cuts it the way he wants” to turn 80 hours of footage into 90 minutes of film.

Among those in the DGA’s lobby for the after-party were Warner’s Dan Fellman and Dawn Taubin; Castle Rock’s Martin Shafer, Andy Scheinman, Glenn Padnick and Rob Reiner; producer Karen Murphy; stars Bob Balaban, Eugene Levy, Michael McKean, Fred Willard, John Michael Higgins and Ed Begley Jr.; plus guests Rita Wilson, Martin Mull, Jack Black, Dennis Miller, Martin Short and Drew Carey.

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