IFFB 2012 Opening Night: Live with Ira Glass and SLEEPWALK WITH ME

By at April 26, 2012 | 6:24 am | Print

As has become the custom, opening night at the Independent Film Festival of Boston was packed. This writer thought she had time to go to the bathroom after shooting the red carpet at the Somerville Theater and still get a decent seat but, boy, was she wrong.

Ira Glass at the Independent Film Festival of Boston 2012Lines were already wrapped around the building an hour before showtime. Buzz amongst those standing in the line was all about Ira Glass. Host of the very popular NPR radio show, This American Life, Glass co-wrote the evening’s film, Sleepwalk With Me, with comedian and the real-life sufferer of the story, Mike Birbiglia (who happens to be a local, from Shrewsbury, MA). What originally started out as a short segment on the famous radio show became two years of hard work in filmmaking, thanks to Birbiglia’s persistence.

Sleepwalk With Me tells of Birbiglia’s struggles with marital commitment, his goal of being a successful comedian, and his sometimes dangerous sleepwalking disorder. (See Norm’s review of Sleepwalk With Me). In the Q&A that followed the film, Glass explained how closely the film follows Birbiglia’s real life. Those jokes in the movie that don’t fly were really his as he was developing his stand-up routine. The crazy dreams and relationship missteps were all his. Birbiglia is brave to show us how messed up he was — the audience could have easily turned against him.

Ira Glass at the Independent Film Festival of Boston 2012

Glass joked with the audience and charmed them with his stories. Perhaps the most interesting tidbit Glass shared was the call he got from comedy producer-director Judd Apatow after he saw the film, asking why his own films cost $40 million dollars to make. Nice support for the independent film industry!

Sleepwalk With Me opens in theaters August 24th.

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