Lockwood Thompson, was an avid art collector and trustee to the Cleveland Public Library. He set up a trust fund before he passed, in which the Cleveland Public Library now uses to hold the Lockwood Thompson Dialogues. The program is a collaboration between the Library and Cleveland Public Art. Basically, it features well known artists, in different areas, that will come in and basically have a conversation amongst themselves, as well as some Q & A with the spectators afterwards. This year featured director Lisa Cholodenko (High Art, The Kids Are Alright), famed producer Ted Hope (American Splendor, 21 Grams), and to top that off, Oscar award winning director and writer, Spike Jonze (Where the Wild Things Are, Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Jackass).

Lisa CholodenkoTed HopeSpike Jonze

Being the group of film nerds that we are, myself and my group of friends arrived about an hour and a half early, and much to our chagrin, we were not the 1st ones there. One guy beat us to the punch, but no big deal, we still had great seats. Once the stars came out and were introduced, the time flew by as their conversation touched down on topics such as, starting off in the industry, handling the fame, and dealing with the film companies. I was completely amazed at how shy Spike Jonze was, stumbling over words, not knowing what to say, getting embarrassed…very normal and soft spoken. It was refreshing to see someone so famous that hasn’t let fame go to his head. Not too mention it’s hard to imagine that a guy as quiet as he is, is a director. It kind of reminds myself of…me. Lisa was almost the same way, but a tad bit better than Spike. Ted on the other hand, was the voice that carried the conversation, which is great, because I’m not so sure Lisa and Spike’s conversation would be all that interesting without someone leading them. Ted Hope, who’s name isn’t quite household, has been around in the business for several years and has produced over 60 features, from television to the big screen. In short, he’s been there, done that.

The only problem I had with the event, is that is was way too short. But for free, you really can’t complain. They spoke between themselves for about an hour and a half and then fielded the questions from the crowd. Each question asked was answered by all three, each giving their opinons and sharing their thoughts. However, that didn’t last too long as they were verbally hurried to move it along, the Library needed to close. Even if a question was directed at Spike or Lisa, Ted always snuck in his much appreciated two cents, because again, he’s been there. Ted talks, you listen. After the show, they were rushed by people looking to get a handshake, an autograph, and just a plain old thank you. All in all, a great event that I hope the library continues to bring in top notch guests in the industry.

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