Hey, what’s so funny about this film forum?

February 5, 2016
By Marcy Shortuse

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BY SUE ERWIN – The annual Film Forum presented by the Friends of Boca Grande is planned for Feb. 15-19. This year the event is themed “What’s So Funny?”
Now entering its fifth year, “Film Forum: See Something Worth Talking About,” will take a look at comedy through film and TV. Throughout the week of February 15 through 19, a variety of eight favorites will be showcased, leading up to the culminating film forum to be held on Friday, Feb. 19 at 3 p.m.
Forum committee chair Jane Schlegel said organizers thought it would be fun to go with a lighter theme this year, as opposed to more serious topics that they had chosen in the past.
“We had a variety of subjects, and traditionally we did it in a question form like, ‘What is the future of college sports?’
We decided to go in a different direction this year and pick something more fun,” Schlegel said.
She said she caught a few “I Love Lucy” reruns on television and that’s what sparked the idea.
“Comedy is a very powerful thing. The evolution of humor in the 21st century made me think about what are the funniest moves our generation has seen,” Schlegel said.
Schlegel added, “A lot of the comedy today is much more raw than it was 30 or 40 years ago, so we hope to get a good discussion going about the evolution of humor.”
There will be four panelists speaking at the discussion on Friday: Evan Gore (comedy screenwriter, television writer, producer, voice director and improv instructor), Murray Horwitz (American playwright, lyricist, NPR broadcaster and creator of the radio game show, “Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me!”), Boots Tolsdorf (actor and comedian), and Ted Walch (theatre director and film teacher at Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles).
Tad Ingram, actor and theater director, will moderate the event.
Schlegel said the committee started planning the event about a year ago. The panelists are all experts related to the topic.
Forum panelist Murray Horwitz said he was delighted when he was contacted by Valerie Walch, asking if he would be interested in participating this year.
“Her brother, Ted Walch, is an old friend and collaborator and one of the unsung heroes of American theater and film. So I was honored that Ted had recommended me to Val,” Horwitz said.
Although Horwitz was not directly involved in the film selection process, he was asked for suggestions on the final film lists.
“Nowadays, people in their 50s and younger refer to such movies as Ghostbusters, Stir Crazy, and The Big Lebowski as ‘classics’ – and if a classic is something that has stood the test of time, they’re right,” Horwitz said.
Schlegel said committee members are hoping to do ‘man on the street’ interviews the week before the forum to get local input on the event.
“And we want to show it at the beginning of the forum. We think that will add a nice touch,” she said.
All the films are free to attend. There is a $25 charge to attend the panel discussion on Friday.
For more information, go to             friendsofbocagrande.org.