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Home · Articles · Movies · Documentary · Certifiably Jonathan

Certifiably Jonathan

None November 30th, 2010


Getting older may mean getting wiser, but that doesn't preclude enjoying a good fart joke now and then.

Or, if you're Jonathan Winters, several times a day.

The venerable comedian, now 85, is the star and subject of "Certifiably Jonathan," a cute documentary/mockumentary showing Friday through Sunday at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Shot roughly half a decade ago, its purposely schizophrenic nature stems from paying tribute to the comic legend, while also pulling one over on audiences "¦ even if it lets them in on the joke.

Winters is known for his film and television work, but few know his real-life passion for creating art. And his paintings are wonderful. They may bear such outlandish titles as "Crazy Old Lady at the Beach with Sunburned Boobs," "Pathetic Black Moon with Awful Vase with Dead Flower in It" and "Two Birds Watching Doris Day's Cat and Dog Drown," but they have real merit.

Depicting everything from evil woodpeckers to new Klansmen, his serious but playful pieces take influence from the Southwestern to the surreal. You can see several of them currently hanging in Founders' Hall of OKCMOA.

The gag behind "Certifiably" is that director Jim Pasternak "” who will participate in a live Q-and-A via Skype after Sunday's 2 p.m. screening "” wants to help Winters achieve his dream of seeing his work hang in New York City's famed Museum of Modern Art.

Pasternak's camera tracks the cane-using comedian as he visits MoMA to discuss the possibility. Winters is told (by a really terrible actress portraying a museum staffer) that he needs to produced three brand-new, large-scale paintings before a final decision can be made. He's well on his way until the theft of one his works elsewhere results in the loss of something else: his sense of humor, and thus, his creative spark.

As Winters tries to regain his funny bone, "Certifiably" grows a little too silly. He hires a hit man to kill the thief, attends a s

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