Hansi Oppenheimer: Finding her groove with the Popcorn King

Photo: All Hail the Popcorn King - Courtesy of Chuck Wiser
Photo: All Hail the Popcorn King - Courtesy of Chuck Wiser /
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Hansi Oppenheimer
Photo: All Hail the Popcorn King – Director Hansi Oppenheimer with actor Yuri Lowenthal – Courtesy of Chuck Wiser /

Hansi Oppenheimer is an up and coming documentary filmmaker who recently premiered her Joe Lansdale opus, All Hail the Popcorn King at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas to a packed theater. We sat down with this creative whirlwind to talk about the power of fandom and her passion for her art.

Hansi Oppenheimer is a star on the rise, make no mistake about it. Her love letter to the work of iconic writer Joe Lansdale, All Hail the Popcorn King, premiered at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas last weekend to a crowded theater.

She is a unique voice and a champion of fandom. Her positivity in a rather dark and divided landscape is truly refreshing. We were fortunate enough to grab this creative workaholic to discuss the ups and downs of making independent movies and the satisfaction that comes when you turn your dreams into reality.

The Interview

In Praise of the Unique Lansdale Voice

Hansi Oppenheimer
Photo: All Hail the Popcorn King – Killer Con – Courtesy of Kasey Lansdale /

1428 Elm: You are a Joe Lansdale fan. Not all fans make movies about their favorite authors or stars, etc. What inspired you to take on this project?

Hansi Oppenheimer: Well, you know I’m a huge proponent of fanworks and transmedia. I consider myself a Fangrrl/Filmmaker and my documentaries as fanworks.

I know a lot of fanwork creators that are inspired by rage or by wanting to fix something in media that doesn’t speak to them or represent them -which I totally understand and whatever fires your creativity is great but my inspiration comes from loving something so much that I’m obsessed with it. I’ve had to live with the topics of my work for years so I know I’d better love it with all my heart.

My first feature about The Replacements took 10 years to make and I’m still very connected to the band’s fan community and listen to their music. I’ve been a fan of Joe’s work since I first discovered it in the early 80’s. I was lucky to have the opportunity to meet him and interview him for my YouTube channel two years ago.

Once you meet Joe, you can’t help but be inspired by his honesty, work ethic, humility, talent and generosity to both creators and fans. He’s a fascinating character and he’s written some of my all-time favorite books and stories. I truly love Joe, his work and his family. I just wanted to do my best for him.

1428 Elm: What about Joe’s work appeals to you?

HO: His unique voice. There’s no other writer that sounds like he does. It’s said in the film that once you’ve heard Joe read his work, you can hear it in your head when you’re reading and it’s true.

That’s the level of his mastery. He’s one of the great storytellers on par with Twain, Faulkner, McCarthy. It might be easy to underestimate his brilliance because of how crazy some of his stories are but it’s really just another facet of his genius. The really good ones always make it look easy, right?