On the whole, the Mavericks sessions this year lack the ‘cutting edge’ sensibility and controversy of times past and seem likely glorified talk show format encounters, with a nod to creative process. There are some exceptions. The only one that interests me is the Ken Loach/Paul Laverty discussion of the use of privatized soldiers in Iraq, as part of an overall trend in wargame planning. Moderated by Michael Moore, the chance to see veteran social justice filmmaker Loach and Moore have conversation is worth the outing alone. Both men are rarely seen in a more congenial conversational mode, and both men have a spirituality that feeds their sense of social justice that is quiet and private but makes its presence felt in their work. Loach must be in his late 70s by now and these opportunities will only get rare. The session with Apichatpong Weerasethakul would also draw my attention except that I fear this will mostly be a lovefest for a man who is (justifiably) the darling of the indie exhibition world and will not offer any real insights into craft or process. The blockbuster Mavericks session will be Bill Gates, being interviewed by An Inconvenient Truth director Davis Guggenheim. One of those gigs that could be penetrating and insightful, or a non-profit infomercial. We’ll see.