Reitman ’95 to interview writer-director

By Justine Goode

Oscar-nominated director Jason Reitman ’95 interviewed writer and director Rian Johnson on Feb. 28 as part of his ongoing “Speaking of Movies” series. The interview was held at 7 p.m. in the Ahmanson Lecture Hall. Johnson is the writer and director of the films “Brick” (2005), a high school crime drama starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and “The Brothers Bloom” (2009), a film with Mark Ruffalo, Adrien Brody and Rachel Weisz.

Video Art teacher Kevin O’Malley recently showed “Brick,” Johnson’s directorial debut, to his Video II class.

“We were all completely baffled,” O’Malley said. “But intrigued.”

The movie resets a classic film noir mystery at a San Clemente high school, with the dialogue written in the distinctive and confusing language of detective stories.

The film won the Special Jury Prize for Originality of Vision at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic.

“Jason has such eclectic tastes when it comes to films and filmmakers,” O’Malley said. “We are always surprised and, invariably, delighted with his choices.”

Johnson is currently at work on the science fiction film “Looper”, a time-travel thriller starring Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Johnson has never directed a film that he did not also write.