Attending Vulture Festival LA
When I love a movie or television show I want to learn all about it. I find all the behind-the-scenes info fascinating. Luckily, I live an area where I can attend plenty of events devoted to the genre and recently I found myself at a brand new one (thanks to a press pass), Vulture Festival LA.
Vulture Festival is a 2 day pop culture celebration from the entertainment site, Vulture. Normally held in New York the festival decided to head west this year and made its headquarters in the heart of Hollywood at the Roosevelt Hotel (home of my beloved TCM Film Festival). The weekend was filled with panels and screenings celebrating a diverse range of topics from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills to to Stranger Things to Pixar’s Coco.
I was lucky enough to attend three panels and enjoyed them all thoroughly. On Saturday, I attended Sofia Coppola and Adam Moss In Conversation – an intimate discussion with the famed filmmaker.
I’ve long been a fan of Ms. Coppola and was excited to gain some insight into her craft. Though soft spoken she was very forthcoming about her road to the director’s chair. Growing up she didn’t have a specific passion and instead loved several different subjects like fashion, art, photography and music. This frustrated her as she didn’t know what to do for a career – as a teen she had wanted to be a magazine editor and she attended Cal Arts with the intention of being a visual artist but neither of these worked out. On a whim she decided to make a short film based on a story she had heard in middle school and during the process she learned directing came easy to her and realized she had absorbed quite a bit from her childhood on her father’s film sets.
My favorite Sofia Coppola film is Lost in Translation and, happily, it was discussed in depth. Funny enough, she thought it was an indulgent project and didn’t think people would like it. It’s partially based on the time she spent in Tokyo and she thought, “who’d want to hear about a privileged girl moping?” As a fan of the film, I can honestly say it’s much more than that. Of course, the heart of it is the relationship between the characters played by Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray. It turns out Coppola wrote the film with Murray in mind and would not make it without him. It took her a good year to get him to commit and wasn’t entirely confident he had until he showed up on set in Tokyo!
Since Lost in Translation Sofia Coppola’s gone on to direct several features including this years’, The Beguiled. In summing up her career she stated that it’s important for her to make movies with complete creative control and she purposely keeps her budget low so she can do just that. She’s a total renegade and hearing her in conversation cemented her status as one of my favorite filmmakers.
On Sunday, I returned to Vulture Festival to celebrate two of my favorite current shows, Schitt’s Creek and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
I love, love, love Schitt’s Creek. When it debuted I tuned in just to see Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy and ended up falling in love with the hilarious story of an extremely wealthy family who loses their entire fortune and is forced to live in a small town they once bought on a whim, Schitt’s Creek.
Season 4 premiers January 24th but we were lucky enough to watch the first episode. Of course, it’s absolutely hilarious and I can’t wait to see the rest of the episodes. After the screening the four main cast members, Dan Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Annie Murphy and Eugene Levy came out for a short discussion.
Dan Levy co-created the show with his dad, Eugene, and explained it’s about people who haven’t experienced genuine love and kindness in their lives and now they’re starting to and Eugene added it’s “four family members learning to be human.”
Now that it’s season four and the characters are starting to get settled in town what’s next for them? Each lead contemplated the question and according to O’Hara and Levy their characters are still intent on leaving. Moira feels threatened because she came from a place like it and is afraid to go back and Johnny is trying to make to the town better simply so he can sell it in the future. Meanwhile, the kinds are coming grips with their station. Alexis has resigned herself to have a good time as best she can and David has a lot to work through but it’s slowly getting chipped away. As Eugene Levy stated they are “realizing their lives are in Schitt’s Creek in spite of it all.”
Right after the Schitt’s Creek panel I headed to see the cast of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend celebrate their 100th song. Now in its 3rd season, the show is one of the most innovative on TV and features 2 to 4 original songs per episode. The songs are some of my favorite parts and it was fun to join the entire cast in celebrating them.
Throughout the hour we viewed several numbers while the cast sang them live and offered insight into their production. With original music and lyrics, elaborate costumes and intricate choreography it’s a wonder the entire show comes together at all!
After its tenure on the east coast, Vulture Festival LA was a resounding success. Every panel I attended was completely full and the talent involved was generous with their time and insight. I learned so much about my favorite films and movies and can’t wait to find out what next year brings.