Sunday, June 15, 2014

"1969" Reading Wows at LA Film Festival

Stephany Folsom and Clark Gregg
Tonight we had the pleasure to attend the Black List Live! staged reading of 1969: A Space Odyssey, or How Kubrick Learned to Stop Worrying and Land on the Moon. Writer Stephany Folsom's crack screenplay was brought to life by folks like Clark Gregg (Agents of SHIELD,) Jared Harris (Mad Men,) Kathryn Hahn (Crossing Jordan) and Lance Reddick (Fringe.) A packed house at the historic Los Angeles Theatre delighted to a stage full of insanely great talent and a good story compellingly told.

The script details how the US Government recruited Stanley Kubrick to fake the moon landing when it appeared the real thing might not be feasible. The conspiracy theory  behind the story has been around since the '70s, and Kubrick himself liked to tease the audience by planting Apollo 11 clues in his films. Folsom's script takes that ball and runs with it, throwing difficult Kubrick into an almost buddy-movie situation with feisty government agent named Barbara Penn. The yarn is clever and seems to get Kubrick right.

1969 made the Black List last year and launched Folsom in a big way. She recently landed a deal to adapt Harlan Coben's best-seller "Missing You" for Brett Ratner and Ratpac Entertainment. Given the big industry crowd tonight, can a movie be far behind? perhaps not, as Kurtzman + Orci are attached as producers. A big win for Folsom and screenwriters everywhere.


Anonymous said...

I saw this reading on this site's recommendation... Well, whoever runs this blog must be sleeping with the writer or something. Don't believe the hype machine, this reading wasn't a stunner. The script is subpar, particularly given the interesting premise. It was a good idea executed poorly. The pacing was painfully slow and I counted at least a dozen walkouts. Maybe it was due to the stuffy venue, or the fact that it started almost an hour late, but really I think it was the shoddy writing and rickety presentation. When someone walks out on your script during the climax, there's a problem. I heard groans and grumbles of discontent all around me throughout. Oh, and the house was definitely not packed, there were a ton of empty seats when it started. Overall it was an underwhelming experience not worth the $40 ticket price. The poster is cool, though... too bad they wanted extra for that!

Admin said...

You paid $40, whoa! We paid $20 each but parking was $5 more. I can assure you, no one is sleeping with the writer. And the house was packed. There were empties towards the back but there were easily 300-400 people there. I agree there were places where it dragged but I think that has more to do with the nature of staged readings than with the material. The poster is cool but you're right, not worth another $20 (or $40 signed.) I didn't see any walkouts, but that's not surprising given that yeah, they did start very late, the seats were really uncomfortable, and a lot of people were sitting there with arms folded ready to Judge. In any event, sorry you felt it wasn't worth it. Just rememberf, we had nothing to do with this event and in fact Black List is a competitor :) Jim C.