The black comedy stars one of the fest’s co-founders, Robert De Niro, as an unhinged wannabe comic who kidnaps a popular latenight talk show host, played by Jerry Lewis, in an effort to score his big break. Sandra Bernhard and Diahnne Abbott also star.
Pic isn’t as buzzy a choice as last year’s closer, “The Avengers.” Instead the New York-set title from city icons Scorsese and De Niro underscores the fest’s roots as an event founded as much for Gotham and its community as for the movie industry. According to fest co-founder Jane Rosenthal, Scorsese was the one who suggested incorporating restored films at Tribeca when the fest was founded in 2002.
Restoration of “King of Comedy” is a joint project from the Film Foundation, Regency Enterprises and the film’s production company, Twentieth Century Fox. Pic is digitally restored in 4K from the original camera negatives at Sony Colorworks, while John Polito at Audio Mechanics handles the digital audio restoration.
Movie will screen at the Borough of Manhattan Community College’s Performing Arts Center, the downtown venue where many of Tribeca’s larger screening events take place. The fest runs April 17-28, with “King of Comedy” set for April 27.