Film Insider Series — In Search of Fellini

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As a movie critic, I get asked all kinds of questions. People ask me if I’ve been to the Cannes or Sundance Film Festivals. When I tell them about a few of the crazy and interesting things I’ve seen at Sundance, I usually tell them how they have film festivals in their own backyard. I have more incredible stories of the events that have taken place at the San Diego International Film Festival.

When I’m asked if I ever go to the red carpet movie screenings, I tell people about some of those stories. Usually I don’t want to deal with the L.A. traffic just to go to one of those. Last year there was a movie that had its world premiere screening in San Diego, with the entire cast. It was the latest Star Trek film. I was talking to a few of the cast members, and after a conversations with Chris Pine (Captain Kirk), my wife came over and said, “Did you tell him how much you loved ‘Hell or High Water’?”

I was so mad at myself. It was my favorite movie of the year, and I completely forgot he was in it.

When critics have a favorite movie of the year, it’s often some indie or foreign film most people haven’t seen. They ask me where they can see those movies, or why they didn’t see any commercials for it.

Well, I saw Hell or High Water four times in the theatre, but the first time was when it screened first in San Diego — as part of the Film Insider Series that the folks with the San Diego International Film Festival put on.

I’ve been to screenings they’ve had with big name actors. One had Adam Scott (most probably know him from Parks & Recreations; my guilty pleasure is the jerk he played in Step Brothers). Another time they brought out Jason Segel, who most know for his wacky comedies with Seth Rogen. He was there having a terrific conversation and Q&A regarding The End of the Tour, where he plays legendary writer David Foster Wallace.

A few weeks ago I missed an event they did with HBO’s new series Big Little Lies. Actor James Tupper showed up (along with his wife Anne Heche). I’m certainly not going to miss the next event.

The next chance you and I have of catching one of these great events, is on March 21. It’s going to be “In Search of Fellini.” Now, I’m not just excited to see this because it stars Maria Bello. I loved her in Towelhead and The Yellow Handkerchief, and I’ve had a crush on her since 2005, when she starred in five different movies (Thank You For Smoking being the overly praised one, A History of Violence being the better one).

I was also laughing at the title — In Search of Fellini. You see, when I was a teenager, I saw Fellini’s “8 ½” and spent two years searching for the incredible soundtrack (Nino Rota composed the tracks; probably better known for his Oscar winning music in The Godfather trilogy).

And as a lover of The Simpsons, I was thrilled to hear that this was co-written by Nancy Cartwright. She does a lot of terrific voice-over work, but most probably know her as the voice of Bart Simpson. She’s going to be there to chat about the movie.

So if you’re searching for a good time…searching for a good movie…searching for an event you’ll never have a chance to attend unless you’re at Cannes…how about Searching for Fellini?

Join us March 21. You can be the thousandth person to ask Cartwright to say, “Don’t have a cow, man!”

Or, you can ask her a question about her latest movie, which you will have just finished watching.

As a movie critic, people tell me I should attend events like this to network. I act like that’s why I’m going, but who am I kidding? I love seeing good movies and hanging out with celebs! And doing it with a glass of champagne in my hand makes it all the better.

For more information visit
To purchase a pass to attend the Film Insider Series (5 Films, Cocktail party, Q&A, champagne reception) Click Here (

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