Posted by Alia Haddad on July 2, 2012 at 10:18 am
This past Saturday, I made my way to Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) to partake in one of their many events currently taking place as part of their most recent film festival.
Like most, if not all, film festivals, this one was open to the public, and thank God for that, because the amazing programmers that be decided to not only screen Noah Baumbach’s inception film, Kicking and Screaming, to commemorate its 17th anniversary, but they also accompanied this screening with the film’s director as well as a slew of cast members.
I immediately jumped at the chance to see this movie on the big screen. As a Cinema Studies MA, I’m embarrassed to say that I had never seen the movie, and as I got further along in my program, it became quite clear that I needed to. For those of you in my shoes, Kicking and Screaming is a 1990s movie about a group of college friends (Gen X-ers?) who decide to stay on campus after graduating in an attempt to avoid, or perhaps face, real life. For anyone who’s ever been in the college graduating pool, Kicking and Screaming is at once relatable. Could this movie get any better?! Well, with a cast made up of Parker Posey, Eric Stoltz, Chris Eigemam, and Josh Hamilton it indeed could.
So, as I sat among my peers (a whole lot of them as every single seat had been sold), watching this beyond-great movie, I was getting increasingly excited for the panel that followed.
And excited was the proper emotion as the panel, like the movie, was beyond great, made up of Noah Baumbach, Oliver Berkman (the co-writer), Josh Hamilton, Chris Eigeman, and surprise member Parker Posey (which absolutely made my night!).
Moderated by Chuck Klosterman (author of Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto), the panel was perfectly honest and gave great insight into the 90s classic on hand. What kind of insights? Well I’m happy you asked! Panel highlights included: Eric Stoltz’s character was written into the story after the script had been completed in order to ensure funding from Trimark; the two nudity scenes were also part of Trimark’s stipulations; the cast spent one week getting to know each other before filming; it was during this week that Parker Posey decided she did not like fellow cast-mate Jason Wiles, who played her onscreen boyfriend; and the scene where the bookclub discussed Cormac McCarthy’s All The Pretty Horses was largely improvised and was chosen because that was the last book Baumbach had read. Other fun tidbits about Chris Eigeman were also elucidated throughout the panel like the fact that he finds the movie so hard to watch because he hates his hair and the Craft Services on set provided his first experience (positive it was) with orange ruffy. Oh, and Parker Posey never, ever watches herself on screen–what a hoot!
It was a perfect night that included a great movie and great panel. It’s definitely time to go rewatch Kicking and Screaming now. Now, if you’ll excuse me…