Rick Alverson

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Rick Alverson
Born Patrick James Alverson Jr.
(1971-06-25) June 25, 1971 (age 45)
Spokane, Washington
Occupation Film director, screenwriter, cinematographer, producer, musician
Years active 1996–present
Website madebedproductions.com

Rick Alverson [R. Alverson] is an American independent filmmaker living in Richmond, VA.[1] His films have been characterized by their departure from traditional 3 act structure, use of unscripted dialogue, and confrontational nature.[2][3]


Alverson’s first films were considered neorealist in style because of their use of non-actors and unscripted dialogue, as well as their immigrant, working class subject matter. His first, The Builder (2010), featured co-writer Colm O'Leary in his debut performance as an Irish immigrant struggling to reconcile the American ideal and its manifestation in the real world. Premiering at Rotterdam Film Festival, New Jerusalem (2011), his second feature, starring Colm O'Leary and Will Oldham, again considered the immigrant experience, this time through the lens of religious ideology.

The Comedy (2012), a departure from the subtle form and subject matter of Alverson’s previous films, starred cult-comic Tim Heidecker in his first dramatic role. The film’s subject matter and refusal to cast moral judgment on its characters were considered controversial.[4][5] It examined the flawed idea of an attainable American utopia, a concept recurrent throughout Alverson’s work. Heidecker played Swanson, an upper class, white male confrontationally attempting to define the limitations of the world around him.[6] The third film to be executive produced and funded by the independent record label Jagjaguwar, The Comedy premiered in U.S. dramatic competition at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.[7]

His fourth feature, Entertainment (2015), starring Gregg Turkington, also cast comedic actors in a dramatic context, exploring the relationship between viewership and performance.[8] Both formally and visually his most ambitious to date, the film garnered high praise from critics upon its U.S. premiere at Sundance.[9] It premiered in international competition at the Locarno Film Festival. The Guardian called it “a road trip to the center of a harrowing abyss.” Magnolia Pictures released Entertainment in November 2015 to further critical praise.


Alverson has directed music videos for Sharon Van Etten, Angel Olsen, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Benjamin Booker, Strand of Oaks, Night Beds, Gregor Samsa and Oneohtrix Point Never.[10]


In addition to his directorial work he has released 9 records on Jagjaguwar, most recently with his band Spokane in 2007.[11]




  • Little Hours | Jagjaguwar (2007)
  • Measurement | Jagjaguwar (2005)
  • Able Bodies | Jagjaguwar (2003)
  • Close Quarters | Acuarela (2001)
  • Proud Graduates | Jagjaguwar (2001)
  • Leisure and Other Songs | Jagjaguwar (2000)


  1. ^ "Rick Alverson - Made Bed Productions". Rick Alverson - Made Bed Productions. Retrieved 2016-01-10. 
  2. ^ "BOMB Magazine — Rick Alverson by Ryan Sheldon". bombmagazine.org. Retrieved 2016-01-10. 
  3. ^ "Interview: Rick Alverson on Making Trouble with "Entertainment"". The Moveable Fest. Retrieved 2016-01-10. 
  4. ^ "BOMB Magazine — Rick Alverson by Ryan Sheldon". bombmagazine.org. Retrieved 2016-01-10. 
  5. ^ "No Catharsis in 'The Comedy'". www.austinchronicle.com. Retrieved 2016-01-10. 
  6. ^ "'The Comedy' Is Not Joking Around". www.austinchronicle.com. Retrieved 2016-01-10. 
  7. ^ ""The Comedy" – First impressions of Tim Heidecker's controversial Sundance film". IFC. Retrieved 2016-01-10. 
  8. ^ "Overhauling the Philosophy of Filmmaking with 'Entertainment' Director Rick Alverson". No Film School. Retrieved 2016-01-10. 
  9. ^ "Sundance Review: Rick Alverson's 'Entertainment' Is A Twisted, Existential Comedic Masterwork". The Playlist. Retrieved 2016-01-10. 
  10. ^ Alverson, Rick. "Made Bed Productions Site". Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Spokane". Retrieved November 24, 2011.