For the first time in its fourteen-year long history, the Newport Beach Film Festival kicked off the year's season with a documentary film that packs as much wallop and frenetic energy as a mosh pit circle.
Director Doug Hamilton's Broadway Idiot follows world-famous punk band Green Day as their album American Idiot is transformed into a Broadway musical. Hamilton captures the process from beginning to end, juxtaposed with Green Day's own trajectory to super stardom.
The opening night red carpet affair was all a-flutter with photographers and press lined up, while the festival volunteers and staff busily attended to guests in formal attire. Big Newport has never looked lovelier in the Orange County sunset, proudly flaring its bright neon lights against the purple and pink-colored sky. The line of audience members stretched far past where I could see, but the crowd went wild at the arrival of Broadway Idiot's main protagonists, Billie Joe Armstrong, Tre Cool and Mike Dirnt of Green Day. Also spotted on the red carpet: Michael Gladis, who plays Paul Kinsey on AMC's stellar "Mad Men," and stars in the festival's first Friday night showcase feature In Security.
Right before the screening, the members of Green Day were invited to deliver some opening words.