July 10 – 14
Comedy auteur and architect of the “slacker-striver romance” subgenre, Judd Apatow has a style that is consistent and immediately recognizable, whether as a writer, director, producer, or all of the above. A stand-up comic in high school, Apatow enrolled in the screenwriting program at the University of Southern California and was soon a co-creator and executive producer of The Ben Stiller Show, sharing an Emmy for writing. His five-year stint on The Larry Sanders Show brought him his first directing credit and an assured grasp of character-based comedy.
He then developed Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared, two of the most beloved cult television series in recent memory, and in the process assembled what would become his stock company. After a decade of producing films (including Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy), he became a household name with The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up, as well as a slew of other hits he produced: Superbad, Pineapple Express, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and HBO’s Girls, all of which instantly joined the ranks of the past decade’s key pop-cultural objects.
Apatow asserts his belief in romantic fidelity despite the protestations of many of his characters, and his frequent collaboration with friends—nine projects with Paul Rudd, eight with Seth Rogen, seven with Jonah Hill—give the impression of a joyful, laidback cottage industry. Apatow cites John Cassavetes and Hal Ashby as favorite filmmakers, influences that surface in his masterful use of improvisation and his obvious fondness for his characters, flawed and immature though they may be. On the occasion of the release of his latest feature, Trainwreck, join us in celebrating his pantheon of freaks, geeks, and some very funny people.
World premiere benefit screening!
Intimacy-averse Amy Schumer (who wrote the script) faces the fearsome possibility of long-term commitment with surgeon Bill Hader in Apatow’s latest comedy, by equal turns raunchy and insightful.
We are delighted to have comedy auteur Judd Apatow sit down with his most celebrated protégé, Lena Dunham, creator and star of HBO’s Girls. Join us for what is sure to be a fascinating and hilarious discussion between these two collaborators and pop-culture luminaries.
Though it was canceled by NBC in 2000 before the completion of its lone season, frequent Apatow collaborator Paul Feig’s series—executive-produced by Apatow and featuring many of the actors who would go on to comprise his stock company—has become one of the key texts of recent pop culture. The Film Society is pleased to present every episode of Freak and Geeks in our Amphitheater.
A man approaching middle age with no amorous experience is pushed by co-workers to end his dry spell in Apatow’s directorial debut, which balances raunch with genuine warmth and is sparked by Steve Carell’s empathetic turn.
A simple gardener is mistaken for a sage and welcomed into society circles in Apatow favorite and acknowledged influence Hal Ashby’s satirical take on media culture, with Peter Sellers offering a touching penultimate performance.
The most successful production to bear Apatow’s name and the first to earn Oscar nominations, star/co-writer Kristen Wiig’s brainchild puts a distaff spin on Apatow’s trademark crudeness-to-sentiment ratio.
Jilted by his actress girlfriend, lovelorn Peter flies to Hawaii to forget her, only to wind up in the same hotel as his ex and her new rock-star squeeze in writer-star Jason Segel’s riotous tour de force, produced by Apatow.
Make it a double feature with Get Him to the Greek and save!
The sorely underrated sequel to Forgetting Sarah Marshall again finds Russell Brand as ridiculous English rocker Aldous Snow, whom hapless A&R man Aaron (Jonah Hill) must retrieve from London and deliver to L.A.’s Greek Theatre for a potentially career-revitalizing performance.
Make it a double feature with Forgetting Sarah Marshall and save!
The prototypical Apatow hero (Seth Rogen), a shiftless, genial stoner, must get his act together when a one-night stand with a career woman (Katherine Heigl) results in an unplanned pregnancy.
Two career sailors, tasked with escorting a young seaman to naval prison, decide to show him a good time along the way. Echoes of Hal Ashby’s New Hollywood classic, sparked by Jack Nicholson’s zesty performance and Robert Towne’s foul-mouthed script, resound throughout Apatow’s films.
Freaks and Geeks co-stars Seth Rogen and James Franco are reunited as a process server/perpetual stoner and his emotionally needy drug connection who find their lives in danger after leaving a traceable joint at a crime scene.
Borrowing from American Graffiti and American Pie but staking its own claim in the coming-of-age sweepstakes, Superbad chronicles the last three weeks of high school for a pair of inseparable misfits.