‘80s comedy director talks national reviews, local screenings; Humboldt’s last week of news

In the latest episode of Humboldt Last Week: Ferndale native Jacob Cooney directed a new ‘80s comedy called “Pitching Tents” which has been garnering national reviews and local screenings.

The film’s cast includes Michael Grant (“Brooklyn 99”), Jonathan Lipnicki (“Jerry Maguire”), Jim Norton (“Louie”), Booboo Stewart (“Twilight”), Eric Allan Kramer (“Two and a Half Men”), Richard Riehle (“Office Space”), Vincent Pastore (“Goodfellas”), Victoria’s Secret model Samantha Basalari, a couple of Chris Farley’s brothers -- Kevin and John, and many others.

Here’s this synopsis: “In a working-class town in 1984, a high school senior's future creates a tug-of-war between his no-nonsense father and his crackpot guidance counselor until an encounter with a goddess helps him uncover his true destiny.”

“The film is about following your dreams -- it’s set in a small town,” Cooney said. “In some ways it kind of parallels my life and following my dreams to become a filmmaker. Ferndale was a big part of pushing me to do that, they brought me in with open arms and tried to foster the arts for me all through my life...”

The coming-of-age film that one reviewer compared to “Dazed and Confused” incited screenings April 22 at the Old Steeple in Ferndale and April 26 at the Mill Creek in McKinleyville.

While Variety and LA Times critics were not exactly the intended audience, they did note “nostalgia is a hell of a drug” and the film “swam in the waters of the naughty, the taboo, the decidedly not politically correct.”

“They best way to watch any movie is in a theater with a group of people, and you feel the energy and hear the reactions,” Cooney said. “(Or) within a group setting. If you’re alone in your house hunched over a laptop, you might get a different experience.”

The story and interview with Cooney begins at 5:38. Totally makes sense -- he worked on Jim Carrey's Ferndale-shot film "The Majestic" when his was in college.

Also covered: More on the alleged murder of an HSU student, cartoonish clouds, an organization is looking for guys than can be a positive influence on kids that need it, arson, cheap Portland flights this summer, viral funnies by Fortunans, cat skinning, a TV shakeup, and more.