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Entries from Cinecultist tagged with 'SXSW Film Festival'

SXSW Round Up on Metromix

opening night at the Paramount
Originally uploaded by karencinecultist
Who knew watching a bunch of movies in a small Texas town could tucker out the Cinecultist like it did? It's finally Friday, we've been back in New York since Monday night, and still need to post a few thoughts on the couple of other films we caught after our Alamo Ritz double debacle. In the meantime, you can read a wrap up of the festival CC wrote for the national Metromix feed.

Cinecultist is glad to see our reference to breakfast tacos, an only in Austin oddity we found particularly fascinating during our trip, ended up in the final piece. Although it should be noted that a round up of the festival which only features five movies barely scratches the surface of what was on offer at SXSW this year. Just in case that wasn't clear from our Lindsay Lohan level exhaustion references.

Twarted, a Theme at SXSW

a massive waiting line
Originally uploaded by karencinecultist
Twice now the Alamo Ritz has disappointed the Cinecultist. On Saturday evening we stood on line for the Harmony Korine movie but didn't end up getting in and then tonight, we were also denied entrance to the Duplass brothers' movie Baghead. That line stretched around the block and down the alley! Who knew getting to a theater a half hour before the screening with badge in tow would be such a recipe for disaster. Guess that's one of those newbie mistakes you only make once. Or in Cinecultist's case at this SXSW, twice.

Day 2 at South by South West

Nothing makes one feel like a bonafide blogger than free WiFi. Cinecultist is currently in the Ikea lounge area of the Austin Convention Center after a screening, getting caught up on emails and checking in. All around us are earnest, badge wearing interactive and film folks tapping away on lap tops, drinking coffees, chatting and planning their next move navigating this massive festival. It's kind of awesome, the creative hub bub here at SXSW.

Last night CC watched the locally made, fiction film, Goliath, about a middle aged white collar worker dealing with his bourgeois rage and the loss of his beloved cat, and then today we caught the documentary We Are Wizards, about Harry Potter fans. So far we've been sticking with our initial navigation plan of seeking out off-the-beaten path movies, not films that are coming to New York in the next week or so. Both movies were worth seeing for their zany, home-grown qualities.

Goliath is a film directed and written by David Zellner, and produced and edited by his brother Nathan, with both brothers acting in the movie as well as other indie fixtures like Wiley Wiggins and Andrew Bujalski. It has an Office Space vibe, only with even more depressed, hopeless characters who endure soul crushing humiliations. Moments like the bureaucratic signing of divorce papers or the inane chatter in a break room full of imbecile dudes are played out unblinkingly and the resulting laughter is appreciative if also slightly embarrassed. The Zellner brothers are interested in fixating on situations we've all been in, and frankly it's slightly uncomfortable.

After the Zellners, We Are Wizards was a more buoyant and celebratory selection, delving into the world of Wizard Rock—bands devoted to performing original songs about Hogwarts characters—HP fan sites and other creative expression centering on The Boy Who Lived. After attending a few Union Square midnight extravaganzas for Rowling's books and movies, it was really intriguing to see folks from all over the country using post-modern expression to explore their love of Harry. A stand-out character in Josh Koury's documentary is Brad Neely, a geeky cartoonist for Super Delux who recorded his own audio interpretation/commentary for the first film. There's something about this wizarding universe and it's characters which he says allowed him to make his most resonant work. He tells Koury's camera, he still thinks about it all the time. Intriguing that in our pop culture saturated world, it's appropriation that can lead to truly satisfying creativity.

Just now, we saw film writer Dennis Lim walking past and chatted with him about his experience so far. This is Dennis's first SXSW too, and because he's serving as a documentary judge, he's parked here in the Convention Center for the day watching all eight of the competitors. We recommended that when he gets a break from movie watching to eat a meal at the South Congress Cafe. Cinecultist had a delightful brunch there this morning, complete with mimosas and cornbread muffins. Yum. We also ate an equally scrumptious cupcake from the Hey Cupcake airstream truck parked across the street. Oh Austin, you're so quirky.

Tonight, we have plans to hit The Toe Tactic premiere party and check out the advertised performance by Yo La Tengo. But before that we'll have to swing by the drugstore for some decongestant, Cinecultist is battling a bit of a cold or maybe allergies.

Waiting for my first screening to begin

Waiting for my first screening to begin
Originally uploaded by karencinecultist
As the crowd files into the convention center theater, cinecultist plays with her mobile blog functions. SXSW baby!

Austin Bound!

Picture%203.pngIn a few short hours, Cinecultist will be winging our way from Newark, New Jersey to Austin, Texas, the site of the South by Southwest Film Festival. We could only take a couple of days off for the trip, and as we filled up our interactive film festival calendar yesterday with interesting screenings and panels, we realized it's shaping up to be a jam packed long weekend. Especially since we've heard such good things about Austin's bbq, tacos and margaritas from past festival attendees. Perhaps pulled pork will become our new go-to movie snack after this weekend.

Looking over the festival line up, Matt Dentler and his team have put together a great mix of mainstream new releases like the opening night feature 21 and Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo, with documentaries and small indies. On our list so far are two docs we'd heard good thing about at Sundance, Gonzo and American Teen. But Cinecultist also hopes to make some introductions to new filmmakers, so we definitely want to check out some of the short subjects, Emerging Visions and Lone Star States collections. Plus, we're hoping to do some film party schmoozing and film panel attending, so as we said, busy, busy, busy!

CC has packed the digital camera and the laptop, so we'll be filing dispatches all weekend long. If you'll also be in town for the fest or have some bbq/taco consuming suggestions, drop us a line.