Interview: Bo Burnham – Eighth Grade | 2018 Sundance Film Festival
Way back in 2006, Robert Pickering “Bo” Burnham won our hearts with viral home videos during YouTube’s first legs. Since then, the 27-year-old hyphenate has flaunted his talent for comedy, music, poetry, acting and, most impressive of all, writing. He has already had comedy specials on both Comedy Central and Netflix; he has co-created and starred in his own MTV series; he has played the role of a comic in the box-office hit, The Big Sick. This past year, he wrote and directed his own first feature: Eighth Grade.
Already acquired pre-festival by Indie powerhouse A24, it premiered in the U.S. Dramatic Comp at Sundance ‘18. Here, Burnham pairs an age ripe for storytelling – both dramatic and comic – with layers of social media, angst and irony. Just as his earliest YouTube videos evoke both embarrassment and nostalgia, this latest work reminds us that looking back can also help us look forward. In this interview, Burnham discusses moving to the big screen, the themes he tackles, and the personal conflicts he has with the very culture that has supported him.