I’ve been going to the Hero Complex Film Festival in Los Angeles for a few years now, and it has been a blast. They have things like Zack Snyder and Robert Kirkman discussing zombies after a screening of DAWN OF THE DEAD, followed by Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg discussing zombies with SHAUN OF THE DEAD. That discussion I got into with Orci and Kurtzman about the SCIENCE OF STAR TREK was also at Hero Complex. But the Hero Complex blog and festival were the brainchild of Geoff Boucher. Last year he left the LA Times to set up shop at Entertainment Weekly. The LA Times kept the rights to Hero Complex, so the web site has carried on, but, to be honest, I haven’t been following it as closely since Geoff left.
I was happy to see that Geoff still had the same kind of energy and resources at his new gig, since he set up a special section of EW called CapeTown. He even started up the corresponding EW CapeTown Film Festival, which, despite the name, is actually held in Los Angeles. This was maximally confusing to me, since about the time it was coming together I had just returned from Cape Town, South Africa, and thought all those tweets referred to a film festival there!
EW’s CapeTown Film Festival will be having its inaugural event this year April 30-May 6. This has such insanity as several 30th anniversary screenings of RETURN OF THE JEDI with special guests on May the 4th (har har), Leonard Nimoy back to discuss STAR TREK on Monday May 6, a screening of THE THING with John Carpenter on May 2, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK with Kurt Russell on May 3, and a DESPICABLE ME, CORALINE, GOONIES, and TWELVE MONKEYS quadruple bill on Sunday May 5 with Neil Gaiman, Travis Knight, Richard Donner, and Terry Gilliam! There’s more -- you can find the whole schedule here.
Meanwhile the Hero Complex Film Festival is still going strong, and just announced this year’s lineup. It will also feature John Carpenter, speaking between screenings of THEY LIVE and HALLOWEEN on May 10. Frank Darabont will be there for a screening of THE MIST on Saturday, May 11, followed by a double feature of PAN’S LABYRINTH and THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE with Guillermo del Toro. Finally, on Sunday, May 12, we’ll get a screening of INDEPENDENCE DAY with Roland Emmerich, and Chris Carter talking about the X-FILES between screening 3 episodes of the show. The full schedule is here.
That’s kind of a strange lineup for something called the Hero Complex Film Festival. Not a hero in sight. Geoff always had genre films, but there was usually a firm grounding in comics. Seems like they are going in a somewhat different direction without him. There are many great folks associated with Hero Complex, who remained after Geoff’s departure, and I’m eager to see what direction they are taking things.
I asked Geoff about the rivalry, and here’s what he had to say,
It was hard to leave the Los Angeles Times after 21 years and even harder in a way to leave behind Hero Complex which started in 2008 as my idea and my baby. But my new successes are being built on top of the good name of Hero Complex and I feel a part of it's success story as it goes on without me. There's room for two heroes in this town and I can you tell you that both of these events were improved by the healthy rivalry between Hero Complex and CapeTown. I think we won this year if you look at the names and the ticket prices but I'm sure they feel good about their schedule as well.
It is a great time to be a geek in Los Angeles! We get not just one, but two back-to-back festivals trying to outdo each other!