Btown welcomes the king of the B movie

Just yesterday, I was talking to my dad about one of his favorite films: the 1979 cult classic “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School,” featuring the legendary punk rock band the Ramones. Dad was telling me about the day he and one of his middle-school teaching buddies decided it would be fun to show a particularly loud scene from the film to their fellow teachers, many of whom had grown up with Johnny Mathis, not Johnny Ramone, under the guise of a “teacher training” video.

Roger Corman will discuss his six decades in film IU Cinema on Friday, April 18.

Roger Corman will discuss his six decades in film at the IU Cinema on Friday, April 18.

Dad will be happy (and perhaps a little bit jealous) to hear that the guy who made possible that little act of teacher rebellion, the legendary filmmaker Roger Corman, will be here at the Indiana University Cinema this week. Corman, who has built a legacy that is unparalleled and helped launch the careers of a countercultural generation of filmmakers, will address his art and legacy during the latest Jorgensen Guest Filmmaker Lecture at 3 p.m. Friday, April 18.

Martin Scorsese. Frances Ford Coppola. Joe Dante. James Cameron. Ron Howard. Jonathan Demme. Peter Bogdanovich. All of these incredible directors graduated from the “Corman School” of filmmaking and learned the finer points of their craft from a Hollywood rebel who somehow managed to be among the most influential and prolific producer/directors in American cinematic history.

Like many others, I’m guessing, I associated Corman with low-budget B movies. It was only after hearing the two-time Academy Award-nominee Bogdanovich (“The Last Picture Show”) talk about Corman’s immense influence on his own work that I began to connect Corman with the masterful and path-breaking moviemaking for which he is renowned.

Bogdanovich’s talk also occurred at IU Cinema. Back in 2011, Bogdanovich helped dedicate a facility that’s quickly become a haven for the greatest living actors and filmmakers from around the world to share their insights and showcase their best works.

And sure enough, the king of the B movie gets an A-list warm-up act. Meryl Streep is here in Btown on Wednesday.

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