Image - Barry Sonnenfeld wearing long scarf

Past Event

Director Barry Sonnenfeld: Tales from a Neurotic Filmmaker

Film and television director Barry Sonnenfeld has outrageous and hilarious stories to tell—from his idiosyncratic upbringing in New York City to his breaking into film as a cinematographer with the Coen brothers to his unexpected career as the director behind such huge film franchises as The Addams Family and Men in Black and beloved work such as Get Shorty, Pushing Daises and A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Barry Sonnenfeld's philosophy is, "Regret the Past. Fear the Present. Dread the Future." Will Smith once joked that he wanted to take Sonnenfeld to Philadelphia public schools and say, "If this guy could end up as a successful film director on big budget films, anyone can." 

Come for an engaging conversation that will inspire anyone who thinks they can't succeed in life because of a rough beginning.


Copies of Barry Sonnenfeld, Call Your Mother are available for purchase at checkout (shipping to U.S. domestic addresses only).

This program is part of The Commonwealth Club's Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.

Bernard Osher Foundation

Photo by Sasha Erwitt.

September 21, 2021

United States

Image - Barry Sonnenfeld
Barry Sonnenfeld
Director, Men in Black, Addams Family, Get Shorty; Author, Barry Sonnenfeld, Call Your Mother: Memoirs of a Neurotic Filmmaker
Image - John Boland
In Conversation with John Boland
President Emeritus, KQED; Member, Commonwealth Club Board of Governors

3–4 p.m. program
(all times PDT)