Films, music, sunshine, margaritas and taco stands; a few of the reasons we returned to Texas for the 2010 South by Southwest festival.
By Tara Kumar and Whitney Wegner
It is that time of year again when the best minds of film, music, and technology congregate to influence and to be influenced. Austin, Texas is home to South by Southwest, the festival that launches ideas and creativity into reality. So, stay tuned as we document the next ten days of the festival.
The first day of the ten day festival lacks a word-of-mouth buzz to follow, so we chose the film with the most recognizeable names. Unfortuanately for us, so did everyone else. After waiting in a line that extended for seven Texas blocks, we caught a glimpse of McLovin’ (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) on the way into his movie premiere of “Kick Ass,” also starring Nicolas Cage. The movie was a combination of “Superbad” and “Kill Bill’ with a twist of Powerpuff Girls. Buffalo Billiards hosted the after party that we left early to catch the US premiere of “American: Bill Hicks.”
The Bill Hicks documentary about the late Austin born comedian is generating excitement with locals and film goers alike. Bill’s mother and brother were in attendance to support this funny and sweet tribute. South by Southwest co-founder and director, Louis Black, introduced the film as the embodiment of South by Southwest, “creativity and integrity.” Matt Harlock and Paul Thomas, the directors of the film, used a unique animation technique interwoven to help narrate Bill’s story.
It is the end of the first day and the buzz is beginning to build for the rest of the weekend, South by Southwest is well underway.
Waking up to the beautiful Texas sunshine makes the idea of going inside to watch movies seem proposterous. However, we managed to bite the bullet and venture into the dark for the premiere of ”BARRY MUNDAY” and were more than pleasantly surprised. This hilarious film, based on the book “Life is a Strange Place” by Frank Turner Hollan, depicts the life of a man following the loss of one of his most private posessions. The talented cast, who attended the premiere, included Virginia-born Patrick Wilson, Judy Greer, and Chloë Sevigny. Also in attendance was the director, Chris D’Arienzo, author Frank Turner Hollan, and the writer for Ain’t it Cool News, Harry Knowles. On our way out we caught the cast of “Wake,” including Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Josh Stewart, and Angela Featherstone, walking the red carpet for the premiere of their film.
The next film on our agenda was the highly anticipated Michel Gondry documenaty, “The Thorn in the Heart.” In order to capture a glimpse into his family’s personal life, Michel abandoned the animated style for which he is best known. The captivating cinematography left the audience speechless. Although Michel was held up in customs for the introduction of his movie, he made up for the loss with an extended q&a after the film. He explained that like most of his films, this documentary reflects the theme of “preserving memory.”