SXSW – 20th Anniversary Special Screening of Office Space with Cast and Crew

20th Anniversary Special Screening of Office Space with Cast and Crew

Who Attended: Mike Judge, Ron Livingston, David Herman, Gary Cole (2019 Office Space Star of Texas Award Honorees), Richard Linklater (AFS Founder & Artistic Director); Rebecca Campbell (AFS CEO); Holly Herrick (AFS Head of Film & Creative Media)

Moderated by Variety’s Steven Gaydos

It was the release of this film 20 years ago that convinced me that Jennifer Aniston was interested in being an actress and not just a Hollywood star. Two completely different things!

With Office Space, director/writer Mike Judge (Beavis and Butthead television program) has recreated with great accuracy what it is like to have a job where you punch in, work in a cubicle for 7 hours on a computer and then do the whole thing over day after day.

Though the film didn’t do so well in the theatres it has definitely gained a whole new life with its DVD release and is now a cult favourite. Part of the reason is that many people can relate to the lead character Peter’s woeful life and partly because everyone has dreamt about doing whatever they felt like in life.

Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston – The Cooler, Little Black Book) has a miserable life. He is working at a job that he hates, he believes that his girlfriend Anne (Alexandra Wentworth – Jerry Maguire) is cheating on him and he does not know what he really wants from life. Badgered by his girlfriend to seek help with her hypnotherapist Dr. Swanson (Michael McShane – A Bug’s Life, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves), Peter attends his first session where in mid hypnosis the therapist dies. Despite this tragedy, Peter experiences a revelation and decides that he is now going to what he wants to in life.

The first thing he changes is his job; he decides that he is not going to work anymore. This is interesting timing on his part because he does this at a time when his company Initech has brought in the two Bobs, Bob Slydell (John C. McGinley – Seven, Born on the Fourth of July) and Bob Porter (Paul Wilson – Alex & Emma, Punch Drunk), as consultants to help them downsize. He then breaks up with his girlfriend (who tells him she has been cheating on him) and asks out Joanna (Jennifer Aniston – Bruce Almighty, Rock Star), a waitress at a restaurant he frequents. Amazingly enough, and much to his boss Bill Lumbergh’s (Gary Cole – A Simple Plan, Dodgeball) chagrin, the two Bobs love Peter’s honesty and decide to lay off his friends Samir (Ajay Naidu – The Honeymooners, Bad Santa) and Michael Bolton (David Herman – Kicking & Screaming, Dude, Where’s My Car?).

In an effort to get back at Initech, Peter, Samir and Michael come up with a plan to embezzle money from the company. Unfortunately, Michael makes a mistake with a decimal placement and fractional daily amounts become large amounts.

Office Space is certainly not a film for everyone; it definitely has a niche and that target audience absolutely adored this film. Director Mike Judge has not only made a satire on office life, but makes comments on white guys listening to gangster rap, inherent racism in the United States and why fax machines never work. For those who like the Dilbert comic strip and can relate to dying a little every day in a cubicle this is the film for you.

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