Very Semi-Serious

Leah Wolchok, 83 min, USA.

The iconic cartoons of The New Yorkers have become an instantly recognizable cultural touchstone over the past 90 years, and Leah Wolchok's intimate documentary offers an uprecedented glimpse into the process behind the cartoons. The film follows cartoon editor Bob Mankoff as he sifts through hundreds of submissions and pitches every week to bring readers a carefully curated selection of insightful and humorous work. It also features interviews with New Yorker staffers and insights from legends Roz Chast and Mort Gerberg.

Very Semi-Serious is an offbeat meditation on humor, art and the genius of the single panel. The film takes an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at the New Yorker and introduces the cartooning legends and hopefuls who create the iconic cartoons that have inspired, baffled—and occasionally pissed off—all of us for decades.