When I was a student at AFI in the producing program from 1997-1999, Jim Hosney lectured for 30-45 minutes then showed us a film on Tuesday nights.
He's now blogging and has listed 100 of the great American Films in his first entry.
Now his students over the years from Crossroads, AFI and other places he taught are throwing him a big bash for his retirement over the Thanksgiving weekend. I wish I were in town, because it will probably be an amazing event. I learned about it via a Facebook group, The Hosney Underground.
I saw some incredible movies in Jim's lecture hall: The 400 Blows, The Conformist, Day for Night, The Loved One, Last Tango in Paris, 8 1/2...Jim's enthusiasm was boundless for these films. This class was the first time I'd sat in a lecture at the AFI where I felt my intellect was being addressed - so much of our coursework was about the nuts and bolts of how to be on set. I'd just come from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where there was a much more intense and scholarly atmosphere. The first lecture I slipped into I was stunned at how crowded it was and how this guy with the big black geeky glasses was reading from Cahiers du cinema. Then we saw the films, and sometimes he even spoke after them. It was a struggle to stay awake, not because I was bored but because our days were long and jam-packed. The classes sometimes ran to 10:30 or 11:00 PM. Sitting in a dark room when you're tired makes falling asleep a breeze!
Jim Hosney made my time at AFI incredibly rich and I thank him for it. I hope every one of his students, adepts and acolytes will join in honoring and celebrating his contributions to us and our business.