Monday, March 13, 2006

Bickford Schmeckler's Cool Ideas

Had a chance to see a film screening of Bickford Schmeckler's Cool Ideas starring Patrick Fugit (Almost Famous, Saved) and directed by Steve Lew, his first time out. This movie is about a troubled college student who lives mostly in his head. He's trying to express himself in writing something he simply calls The Book. When a coed steals The Book, it takes on a life of its own, having some unexpected effects on readers. Schmeckler ultimately reacquires The Book, comes to grips with his life and obsessions and sets The Book free.

While The Book is a hand-printed effort, the movie is really a metaphor for many of the themes going on in the world of online publishing, the fact that information wants to be free, the greed of the publishing industry, and the ways that meaning is made within the reader, not just resident in the author. Appearances by Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm) and Matthew Lilliard (Scooby Doo) round out a strong cast. This is a funny movie that will make you think.

Fugit and Lew were on hand to answer audience questions after the screening. It's always fun to hear about the process. As you can see from the photo above, Lew is confined to a wheelchair, proving that the disabled can participate and enjoy success as filmmakers.

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