Monday, February 23, 2009

Romero Weekend

So I spent the weekend with George A. Romero.  And it was totally totally awesome.  First, JP and I went to a signing and met him face to face.  I'll admit to being nervous but he was so genuine and down to earth!  He took the time to talk to everyone and was honestly just so cool.  I have a picture of the three of us but accidentally left the camera in JP's office so will post it when I get that back.  

Then we went to a screening of Night of the Living Dead after which there was a Q&A session with Romero.  Let me tell you, it was fascinating.  I'd always thought that they'd set out to make Night as a social commentary about race.  But it turns out that the only reason they cast Ben as a black man is because the best actor among their friends happened to be black.  Romero said that when writing the script he'd basically thought of all the characters as being white and didn't think to change it.  And in fact, that it's NOT overtly addressed in the script is one of the things that makes the movie feel like such a commentary on race.

So when asked what kind of statement he was trying to make with the film, Romero said it was about the inability of people to pull their sh*t together in the face of a huge obvious threat.  Which, if you've seen the movie, is exactly what happens (as well as in Dawn of the Dead).  For some reason this just made everything click together in my head because I was always so frustrated by both Night and Dawn and how the characters just constantly screwed up.  I don't know why I never stopped to think that Romero did this on purpose -- that this was the *point* of the films!  I feel like an idiot now that I realize this!!

On Sunday we went to a small seminar with Romero answering more questions.  Someone asked him if he'd ever thought of writing a novel and he said he's started plenty of them.  And then he said that he gets advice about writing scripts, books, etc and he always says the same thing: finish it!  He repeated this over and over again: you have to finish the work before you can move to the next step.  Excellent advice!

They also showed a sneak peek of his next movie which I think is called Island of the Dead.  Awesome! Definitely an amazing weekend all around!

1 comment:

Carrie said...

I'm so very jealous that you met Romero. I idolize that man. I'm a bit of a zombie freak, and he is the undisputed king of zombie film. You'er very lucky. I've been to some horror conventions, but he's never been there.