Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

NUNN ON ONE MOVIES Director Bo Burham brings viewers to 'Eighth Grade'
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times
2018-07-15

This article shared 1086 times since Sun Jul 15, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


The eighth grade can be a traumatic time for many teens, as shown in the new A24 film Eighth Grade. Actress Elsie Fisher plays Kayla, who navigates her way in life while attending the last week at a suburban school.

Bo Burnham writes and directs Eighth Grade—his first feature film. He began his career by making YouTube videos that have been viewed more than 228 million times.

He acted in The Big Sick and starred on television in Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous.

Burnham's stand-up was released on Netflix most recently with Make Happy and before that as a musical called Bo Burnham: what.

He talked about the new middle-school movie that already has critics raving.

Windy City Times: Where is your name from?

Bo Burnham: Robert is my real name, but I was always called "Bo" since I was a child. My mom wanted to name me Bo, but thought if I became a doctor I would need an actual name to fall back on. I became the opposite of a doctor!

WCT: So the movie Eighth Grade is about the anxiety that people face. The character paces when talking on the phone. I have always done that.

BB: Oh—me, too. I won't even be on the phone. I will just pace outside and people will come up to me to see if I am okay or not.

WCT: Did you see another A24 studio movie The Florida Project?

BB: Yes, I did.

WCT: It is a different age group, but another example of depicting young people realistically.

BB: The Florida Project was a beautiful version of that. It was about the freedom of being free at that age. There is something infectious about how free she is. In this it is a lot heavier to be 13 than five.

WCT: Had you seen Josh Hamilton, who plays the father in Eighth Grade, in 13 Reasons Why?

BB: I had seen some of that. I saw Kicking and Screaming, so I was a big fan of his.

WCT: Were you worried about putting a recognizable actor in with the relatively unknown cast?

BB: No. Josh is pretty transformative. When you shave his beard off you can't totally recognize him, so I wasn't worried about that. Josh is a chameleon of an actor.

WCT: Was there any LGBT students in the school?

BB: I don't know that there isn't. Whose orientation is said other than Kayla's? You don't know Gabe's.

WCT: I thought Gabe was gay at first.

BB: Kayla's sexuality is not meant to be clarified so he could be. You are there for five days so we are not panning from kid to kid and explaining them.

It is there without being voiced. There are posters all over and you might not be able to see them up close, but there are LGBTQ+ inclusion posters going around to these schools. There are trans posters in public schools and that was mind blowing to me. I didn't realize how far the conversation had gone so quickly. It wasn't like that for me 13 years ago. It is a great thing.

The entire spectrum of sexuality with kids is an entire conversation that has to be held with sensitivity. The film across the board was to lend the kids some privacy. It was five days of their life where we cruised around.

It isn't about her getting her first training bra. We want that to play out without being said and engage with the emotional aspect of it.

WCT: Would you make a Ninth Grade?

BB: I would. I might make a Fifth Grade first.

WCT: Where did you find Elsie Fisher?

BB: She is from two hours north of Los Angeles. She doesn't have a Los Angeles vibe as a kid or like where I was from north of Austin. She came in and it was no question.

WCT: I noticed the acne on her face was shown realistically.

BB: That was another thing that we wanted to show and not state it. It is not pointed out or referenced. It was just there—as it is in life.

WCT: What do you think about how social media is depicted in the film and what it will be like down the road?

BB: I think it will be like smoking and we will realize we shouldn't have been doing it. I didn't want to be preachy about it or talking from some ivory tower about it. I wanted to take inventory of it and what is happening to us emotionally.

This is what it feels like but people should have the conversation about what should happen or what it means. I didn't want the movie to be instructive but instead descriptive.

WCT: Aren't many comedians full of anxiety?

BB: Yes. Comedy can be truthful or defensive or both.

WCT: Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

BB: I am think I am both, but truly an introvert. I think I am naturally introverted but my interests pull me to be extroverted. I think everyone has a little of both.

I don't crave going out, but my interests pull me into where people are.

WCT: You have a new teen drama called Gay Kid and Fat Chick?

BB: It was a script I wrote when I was 21 before all of this. I tried to get it made and direct it. I wasn't able to do that. I made the script for Eighth Grade and then returned to it.

In reexamining the script as an adult I realized it was not my story to tell. I personally understand Kayla's anxiety. but I don't personally understand the stories of the two characters in this script as much. Amy York Rubin is directing the movie who can speak way more to the actual experience of it being a lesbian. We are going through the process of upping the script that was written in 2012. I am taking my cues from her. She will be more the voice of that film. She is incredibly talented and I am excited.

WCT: Does your family still think you are gay? That was a joke in you used in the past.

BB: They may. That was 2006.

WCT: It seems like you have grown a lot.

BB: Oh, yeah. My initial stuff where you saw my songs online, I was 16. I disavow that. I find that stuff offensive and cringeworthy. In 2006 it was a whole different world. If anyone looks back at the stuff they wrote at age 16 I bet they can't stand behind it. I was writing insensitive, weird, stupid stuff. I tried to keep an open ear and mind and learn.

I think that script will turn out to be something good and substantial. It was culturally very different I wrote it the first time.

WCT: That goes back to social media and the Internet where things are out there forever.

BB: Exactly. I can never obliterate that, but I can say I have grown and can forgive myself for not being fully formed.

WCT: When you set out with Eighth Grade what did you want people to get out of it?

BB: I wanted to make a movie that I really wanted to see. I really craved seeing something depicted real that I hadn't seen before.

Even on set I was a fan of Elsie and what I was seeing. That has always been my thing. I make what I like and hopefully there are other people like me that like what I like.

WCT: Do you want to do more stand-up?

BB: If I feel the need to express something onstage in that way. Hopefully I will soon. It feels less necessary than ever.

Everyone is giving their opinion all the time. Do we need to sit in a room and watch someone get up to give their opinion for an hour and a half? The whole world is stand-up comedy and the president is a stand-up comic.

That is why I wanted to do this, to tell a human story with someone who is struggling to find the words, rather than get up and give a cool monologue.

Revisit junior high when Eighth Grade premieres in Chicago theaters July 20.


This article shared 1086 times since Sun Jul 15, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

MOVIES 24-hour horror marathon at Music Box on Oct. 23-24 2021-09-24
- "The Music Box of Horrors," sponsored by CreepyCo., will return to the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave., from noon on Saturday, Oct. 23 through noon on Sunday, Oct. 24. The event will include special ...


Gay News

'Firebird' opens Reeling Chicago LGBTQ+ Internat'l Film Fest tonight 2021-09-23
--From a press release - CHICAGO, Illinois — Tonight, the 39th annual Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival invites audiences to enjoy an in-person pre-party and theater screening of 'Firebird' for Opening Night at the Music Box Theater. Director P ...


Gay News

REVIEWS: Movies of Reeling 2021 2021-09-22
- Reeling: The 39th Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival will take place Friday, Sept. 23-Thursday, Oct. 7. After a virtual edition in 2020, Reeling returns with in-person screenings this year, kicking off with the Estonian romantic drama ...


Gay News

MOVIES 'Shang-Chi' actor in anti-gay controversy 2021-09-20
- Actor Simu Liu—the star of the latest Marvel action movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings—is embroiled in controversy over alleged Reddit comments he made about how pedophilia is "no different from being gay," ...


Gay News

FILM REVIEW Chastain mesmerizes in 'Tammy Faye,' but bio offers few surprises 2021-09-20
- Televangelists featured in some of the of the most spectacular falls from grace in the '80s. Television preachers who'd spent the better part of the '70s and the '80s insinuating themselves into pocketbooks, not to mention ...


Gay News

8th Annual Black Alphabet Film Festival on Nov. 5-7 2021-09-17
- The 8th Annual Black Alphabet Film Festival (BAFF) will take place Nov. 5-7 at the University of Chicago's Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St. One of the longest running Black ...


Gay News

Brittany Devon meets a 'Platonic Girlfriend' 2021-09-15
- Queer, genderfluid actor Brittany Devon has created a brand new project to explore with Platonic Girlfriend. It is the story of a relationship between straight woman Alice and a queer, nonbinary person named Dev. Devon stars ...


Gay News

THEATER Out actor Dan Butler to be in 'When Harry Met Rehab' 2021-09-15
- Don Clark, a Chicago-based film/theater producer as well as co-owner of the Chicago Magic Lounge, will present the world premiere of When Harry Met Rehab—a comedy that takes sobriety seriously and is based loosely on the ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Boy Meets Boy,' Jennifer Hudson, 'SVU,' tennis honor, ABBA 2021-09-12
- Ariztical Entertainment is releasing the German movie Boy Meets Boy on DVD and VOD on Oct. 26. According to a press release, the plot of the 70-minute movie is as follows: "Harry has been partying for ...


Gay News

MOVES Talking about 'Everybody's Talking About Jamie' 2021-09-08
- The new movie Everybody's Talking About Jamie tells the inspiring story of Jamie New, a young drag artist who overcomes hardship and homophobia in Sheffield, England. Out actor Max Harwood stars as New, who gets by ...


Gay News

Survivor shares the story of trauma and thriving in 'Untold' 2021-09-07
- WARNING: This article contains material of a graphic nature. Gina M. Garcia is finally sharing her story of thriving after trauma in her new docu-drama biography, Untold: This is My Story, which premieres Sept. 6 at ...


Gay News

MOVIES Fall films harvest famous names for LGBTQ+ stories 2021-09-01
- The film industry is featuring world-renowned names like Lady Gaga, Truman Capote and Tammy Faye on the big screen this fall season. Award-winning musicals, true-life stories and far-out fiction are all part of the fun in ...


Gay News

MOVIES 'On Broadway' to open Sept. 10 in Highland Park 2021-09-01
- As theatergoers prepare for the return of Broadway after an unprecedented absence of 18 months, Kino Lorber is releasing Academy Award nominee Oren Jacoby's documentary On Broadway. The tribute to one of the most vibrant ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Billy Porter, 'Death Drop,' Brandi Carlile, vintage films, Gaga 2021-08-29
- Billy Porter will direct a queer teen comedy feature titled To Be Real for Amazon Studios, which is being helmed by Gabrielle Union's I'll Have Another Productions, NME.com noted. Porter, who is currently working on his ...


Gay News

EVENTS Celebrity attendees named for Wizard World Chicago 2021-08-28
- William Shatner (Star Trek; TV's Boston Legal), Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy, TV's The Walking Dead), Matthew Lewis (All Creatures Great and Small), James Marsters (TV series Buffy the ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.