Director Panel Lobero Theater 2/2/2008

While the ladies were under represented in this directors panel humor was so abundant that it made up for even this short coming. I especially liked the fact that the mediator let the panel make jokes and basically put the whole place at ease. It seemed as if none of the panel members took themselves too seriously but at the same time they were able to answer question succinctly and informatively. Of course some were better than other and people walked away with their favorites in mind. It seemed as if they was a great deal of talent on the stage as we had movies like Juno, The Diving Bell and Butter Fly. Ratatouille represented. At one point at the extreme point of making fun, the one said can we just get rid of the word awesome. It sounds like a kid word. So awesome was tossed around all during the session. Also the issue of screen size came up and it was proposed that theaters were made small to avoid making them wheel chair accessible. From that point on the fellow who made this claim was constantly hounded as a cripple hater. This was the air of the whole panel which made what could have been boring, what is often boring, into something intellectually interesting and light at the same time.

We had Jason Reitman who was by far the most witty and he seemed to know quite a bit about the industry. Having been the son of Ivan Rietman I was interested in how his life was as a child so directly connected to the film industry because of who his father is. He touched on it a little when he said instead of the typical home baby sitter routine he was dropped off at the cineplex where he would watch two, three maybe four films. His movie Juno is doing great at the box office.

Judd Aptow the director of Supper Bad and Knocked Up was also articulate and funny. Adam Shankman the director of Hairspray and Stuck on You was the most talkative and the most demonstrative. He was constantly interjecting stupid but funny remarks. It appeared as if he was the only one up their that was totally relaxed with himself. In order to make a joke at one point he stormed off the stage in mock protest. I could not see any of the other directors doing that.
Another talkative person was Julian Schnabel who directed the movie The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Julian was not shy as he appeared at first. In fact by the end of the question and answer Julian had dominated major portions of the conversation. To this reviewer that was the only drawback that Julian and Adam were so present that I did not hear more from Judd Aptow or Jason Rietman .

As it turned out I found this forum to be the best and the most exciting stop on my trip through the Film Festival. I was especially appreciative that my instructor Nico Maetsu handed me the ticket. It is a breath of fresh air to think that there is a world of cinema out there than might be funny, light and have a little healthy dose of self reflection. It’s good to know that not all the decisions in film are made at a board meeting for Sony/Coke ( that only want box office receipts, so they dictate that the next movie to watch is Rambo #12. )

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