Looking for something funny and quirky and thought provoking? This live performance documentary by the late stand-up performer Emily Levine will keep you laughing and scratching your head for all its 61 minutes. It’s a hard one to describe. She’s telling jokes and stories, but relating everything in the world to the physics that controls the entire cosmos. Animated scientist characters voiced by John Lithgow, Lily Tomlin, Leonard Nimoy and others add to the fun. Her stories about her life and an illness that robbed her for a time of the wit and intelligence plainly on display here are an entré into her view that we are in the midst of a huge paradigm shift. It’s a lot to take in, but entirely fascinating!
Emily Levine wore a lot of hats in her life. She was a stand-up in the 70s when women were just breaking in. Later she became a successful television writer known for her skill at punching up anemic scripts. But she found her true calling when she was asked to give some lectures at USC. Having graduated cum laude from Harvard, she could speak on many subjects, but it was the way she brought her humor to fields that were usually so dry that set her apart.
In the mid-90s she began experiencing an array of health problems that gave her brain-fog and made her extremities grow. (Lots more on this in the film.) And it was after finally being diagnosed and treated that the idea for this show came to her. She decided to use her own life as the basis for a lecture on science (particularly physics) and the human condition.
The film was made with director/producer Wendy Apple who died in 2017. Levine finished it in 2019 and died that year. Emily @ the Edge of Chaos is a remarkable and odd tribute to a smart and funny woman more people should know about. I highly recommend it!
Streaming now. Check here for a virtual theater near you!