It is once again my favorite time of the year. It's the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. I've traded my press pass for a State Street Pass (one that gets you into most of the screenings) this year and I am intent on taking full advantage of it. Of course I will be blogging about my SBIFF experience.
I arrived in town on Saturday, I wasn’t planning on seeing anything that night. However, when I saw that there was a movie about an OJ Simpson inspired musical, I couldn’t resist. This unique movie is, Orenthal: The Musical. So as per usual, I dragged my dad down to the Metro 4 for the 10:30 pm screening of Orenthal. Orenthal: The Musical is a mockumenatry based around an unemployed young man that attempts to create a musical inspired by the OJ Simpson trial, and the Shakespearean play Othello. Going into Orenthal I wasn’t sure what to expect. I ended up loving it. It was funny, had dynamic characters, and my dad was "pleasantly surprised," which really says something. There you have it. If you were searching for an attorney's seal of approval on a notorious murder case gone musical.
The theater was packed with cast and crew from the movie, most adorned with "Free OJ" buttons and Bronco's jerseys. Following the screening there was a Q and A with the director and writer, Jeff Rosenberg. When asked what the story behind Orenthal: The Musical's conception, Rosenberg replied that the idea came out of an epiphany in the middle of an English class seminar that the OJ Simpson Trial and Othello are remarkably similar, who knew? What I found funniest about Orenthal: The Musical was that years ago, Rosenberg made a bet with one of his friends that Orenthal would never become a movie. The deal was that if Rosenberg succeeded in making a movie out of the concept his friend would get a tattoo of Rosenberg’s face on his arm. On Saturday Rosenberg’s friend pulled through and got a tattoo of Jeff’s face on his forearm. To stubborn dreamers like myself, that would be more rewarding than winning any Oscar.
Craig Smith is a law professor and has been blogging about the local Santa Barbara scene since 2006. When he’s not teaching law school classes or blogging, he enjoys bike riding, skiing and playing piano.