Festival director Jack Kaprielian has officially kept OC Weekly in the loop about his Irvine International Film Festival, which ends its third run Friday.
Keeping us in the loop on an unofficial basis each year has been Mr. T R Black, a critic/cheerleader of the cinematic event that this year moved to Laguna Hills.
Laguna Hills is, of course, near Laguna Woods, the small city that basically arose out of the former Leisure World retirement community. In a dispatch to festival fans, Black described a comical scene that played out when the wrong film was thrown up on a Laguna Hills theater screen advertised to be showing Running From Crazy, which is about actress Mariel Hemingway's famous family and mental illness.
For a sneak preview of Black's report below, just imagine angry folks in their eleventies revolting so violently that mall cops had to be called in.
In the spirit of journalistic full disclosure, I must report that there was a bit of a snafu on Saturday. The scheduled film, Running From Crazy, was inadvertently replaced with Running For Jim. I was hoping maybe Jim was crazy, thus creating a bridge of appeasement. Unfortunately, there are some pretty ornery seniors in Laguna Hills (no comments on the proximity of the theatre to Seizure World, please) and, I kid you not, security had to be called. It seems no amount of refunds and/or free passes offered by festival directors and theatre personnel could mollify these angry members of the entitlement generation (yes, Brokaw had it WAY wrong…) Even as a certified mediator, I could not quell this emotional, irrational bunch. Ironically, in retreating to the lounge, I was actually living the film, running from crazy.
The relief lasted only moments though, as the producer of Running From Crazy was none too pleased that her film was not showing and that she would have to stay in OC for an extra couple of hours (missing a birthday party). She stomped away back to LA in a huff. Hollywood types, eh? More irony here, in that when I queried her about why her film, out for many weeks in LA, had not made it into OC theatres, she replied, "it is too expensive to play a documentary in OC." Huh? Then why are you leaving when it is finally getting shown here? Oy Vey! As a trained mediator, it was disappointing that I could not reason with any of "those" people. I mean, I was looking forward to the Hemingway documentary, too. I was disappointed, as well. However, the mistake had been made and very reasonable offers to rectify it were dismissed. I suppose the angry mob wanted Sears to provide tires that could be put around the bodies of the festival directors and set afire. The mall has rules about such things, though. So, I was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice: I offered to run home to get my very rare DVD, a bio pic on the career of Jackson Browne after 1978, including all of his memorable hits since that time, entitled, Running on Empty. No one was pleased. I was finally out of final solutions.
Mr. Black, given comments on this site about this reporter, please do not ever again paint the image for readers of burning tires around the torsos of wrongdoers.