James Flynn’s film directorial debut, Eastern College, tells the story of a small group of recent college graduates who are about to go their separate ways. Shot on location at Flynn’s alma mater, Miami University, Eastern College manages to avoid the clichés of many college-set coming-of-age comedies, putting a personal spin on a well-worn genre. Think a Midwestern version of an Andrew Bujalski film — laconic, very talky investigations of relation ship-challenged, college-educated twentysomethings on the brink of adulthood. Eastern College debuted earlier this year at the Oxford International Film Festival. Since then, Flynn, who currently lives in Chicago, has been plotting his next move.
“We’ve gotten some offers and some interest and some bites, both big and little, but I’m new to this game and just trying to navigate it right now while not getting completely screwed,” he says.
Q: What’s the coolest thing about you?
Flynn: I’m still in the Midwest.
Q: What filmmaker has had the biggest impact on your work?
Flynn: C’mon! Do I really only get one? Fine, then I’m going to be pretentious and pick a dead foreign guy, and that guy is Jean Renoir. My backup is Billy Wilder.
Q: Who’s the coolest person you know?
Flynn: If I don’t say my girlfriend, I’m pretty much screwed.
EASTERN COLLEGE screens at 10 p.m. Friday at Miami University’s Peabody Hall.
PHOTO COURTESY JAMES FLYNN