An Oscar-Nominated Director

When you stay on the grounds at the Alegria Inn, you get breakfast in the charming dining area that looks across the garden to the beach.  Usually in B&Bs, people chat a bit at breakfast, even if they don’t know each other, and my stay was no exception. On Wednesday morning I talked briefly to the couple who was checking out, and gave them suggestions for places to visit in Healdsburg. There was another couple staying; two young men. One had a shaven head and an accent I couldn’t place, although I thought it might be Swedish. His partner was Asian. They were quiet, and talked mostly about movies. We exchanged pleasantries and talked about how happy we were that it was raining.

On Friday, Ellen told me that they had stayed for six days, and were staying one more night before heading to the city. It had been a working vacation for them, she said, because they had been doing phone interviews during the visit. “He’s a film director,” she said. “He made a documentary about Indonesia. I probably shouldn’t say anything, but he’s nominated for an Academy Award.”

“He ” is Joshua Oppenheimer and the movie is The Act of Killing. A few minutes later, the two of them came in for breakfast. I was trying to think of a clever way to ask about their movie without blowing Ellen’s cover in some way, but Joshua made it easy. Ellen and I had been talking about the Mendocino Coast Writers’ Conference, and Joshua asked me if I were a writer. We talked a little bit about the conference (his father has started writing and he wondered if this would be a good experience). That gave me the opening to ask about what he did, act interested when he said he was a film-maker, and say innocently, “Anything I might be able to see on Netflix?”

So he told me about the movie. He was very humble. He didn’t mention the Academy nod. He gave me a brief explanation, but Wikipedia has a good description. Ellen said one of her innkeepers saw it and said it was good, but difficult to watch.

Joshua is an American but he’s lived in Denmark for the past several years (hence the accent). I know the Oscars show doesn’t televise Best Documentary, but I hope Joshua and his partner get to dress up, hang with their friends and sip champagne, and attend the ceremony. And I hope they win.

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6 Responses to An Oscar-Nominated Director

  1. Chad Hull says:

    Look at you… schmoozing with celebrities. Such a glamorous life.

    They’re so much easier to like when they’re humble as opposed to divas.

  2. Marion says:

    I have the feeling he might be very exacting on the job.

    By the way, are you weathering the storms all right, so to speak?

  3. Chad Hull says:

    Thanks for asking. I’m doing well; my job put me up in a hotel across the street from work. It’s takes forty minutes off my commute! Tonight and tomorrow should be ugly, but I think we’re scheduled to thaw out completely on Saturday.

    If I ever come across the means, I’m moving to Cartagena and never coming back.

  4. Marion says:

    Glad you’re okay. Cartagena has high humidity. Just sayin. California’s nice. 🙂

  5. Chad Hull says:

    I think I’m immune to humidity induced misery. There’s 88 percent humidity here right now! That said, I can admit that parts of California’s weather is kinda perfect year round.

  6. Marion says:

    Well, we could do with a bit more rain here right now.

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