Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain.
We beg to differ.
For the past 13 years, Wendy Eidson has been behind that curtain, turning the wheels, flipping the switches, and ensuring that the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival goes off without a hitch – any noticeable hitch, that is.
Before taking the helm of the film festival, Eidson spent more than a decade in the film industry, working with Ralphie on “A Christmas Story”, the Master of Suspense on “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” and, more than once, saw Cher before she went in for hair and makeup on set.
Now, the festival director is busy channeling her inner Roger Ebert as she directs the review process for more than 1,000 entries for the 2017 festival, up from around 750 the previous year, to curate the selections for the six-day festival.
Even with the chaos leading up to the March 14 opening of the festival, Eidson was kind enough to tear herself away from the griping (and sometimes not so gripping) dramas and documentaries to nominate Jennifer Lawrence to play a compelling Wendy Eidson in the theoretical biopic, talk about true cinematic greatness as well as guilty pleasures, and cast her Oscar ballot in the eternal silver screen debate: popcorn or candy.
Who would play you in the film of your life?
In a perfect world Jennifer Lawrence would play me because she’s amazing in every way! In reality, Hillary Swank is probably more appropriate…which would be pretty great too!
Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Atticus Finch – “To Kill a Mockingbird”
Which cinematic character do you most relate to?
When I was little, I remember seeing Patton and wanting to be him! I was such a weird kid! Now I would say my role models are great mother roles, like Sally Field’s character in “Forrest Gump,” all the great mom’s in animated movies like “Dumbo,” “Charlotte’s Web” (the spider), “Bambi” … I cry every time I watch those movies. Maybe because they all die?
What’s your favorite movie?
That’s a very tough question to ask someone who is addicted to movies. I wish you could break it down by genre or decade, but since you’re putting me on the spot, I’m going to have to go with “Forrest Gump.” It’s a perfect movie. My favorite movie at this year’s film fest is a tie between “My Mother’s Wound” (a drama), and “Ruta Madre” (a comedy). It’s hard to pick just two though…all 75 films in our competition are good!
What is really your favorite movie? We’re talking that movie that you’re embarrassed to admit that you’ve watched 30 times.
Haha…. ok, The “Wizard of Oz.”
Popcorn or candy?
Popcorn every time.
Animated or live action?
I like both… see above.
One remake that is better than the original?
Ack…. I can’t think of any but I keep thinking of “Chicago” – the movie is much better than the Broadway show! Does that count?
One film that you see as cinematic greatness?
Everything David Lean has made – “Lawrence of Arabia,” “Ryan’s Daughter,” “Doctor Zhivago” …etc.
Your most interesting interaction with a famous person, go.
Wow…I’ve been very lucky to have met a lot of famous people in my life…this one pops into my mind first for some reason. I was working as an assistant director on a TV show and Mark Hamill, of “Star Wars” fame, was a guest star. He needed to make a phone call so I took him to a phone booth (this was before cell phones!) and he just stood there. He didn’t know how to use a pay phone! I had to show him how to do it…and he was an adult!
I also saw Cher many times before hair and makeup. That was “interesting.”