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.