Jette Kernion's blog
Oh, man. I'm so tired from SXSW that after Saturday, I won't want to watch a movie again for ... at least a day. Maybe three. However, if you're not feeling quite so burned out, there are lots of choices for moviegoing this week. In fact, if you're not sick of SXSW, there's still a full day of filmgoing on Saturday, and it would probably be quite easy to get a ticket for movies at the larger venues. Check out our reviews of movies screening tomorrow: The Retrieval, Rewind This! and The Bounceback. And although we don't have reviews for these films published yet, I'd recommend Continental, Debbie says All the Labor is great for Gourds fans, and Rod liked Drinking Buddies.
If you miss Rewind This! at SXSW, the "love letter to VHS" will have an encore screening on Sunday night at 10 pm at Alamo Drafthouse Ritz. Ritz is also showing Repo Man that night (and Monday), so you can really wallow in the 80s if you want.
On Monday, hopefully you will have recuperated enough to go back to the Ritz for some Sam Peckinpah, namely Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia. If not, you can see it on Tuesday at Ritz or Slaughter, and on Thursday at Slaughter. Austin Film Society continues its Essential Cinema series on films from the Middle East on Tuesday night at 7 at Alamo Village with The Long Journey. Actor Alon Pdut will be in attendance.
Here it is: The SXSW Film Fest Omnibus Survival Guide. Slackerwood has been publishing SXSW insider's guides for years, but this year I decided it was everyone else's turn. This guide is essentially a collection of all the guides and tips I could find that would help SXSW filmgoers. I also threw in our own guides from this year and when still relevant, previous years. It is truly One Guide to Rule Them All.
And if this isn't enough guidance, bring your questions to the SXSW Film Conference panel "A Beginner's Guide to SXSW Film" on Friday at 2 pm at ACC. Agnes Varnum, Yen Tan, David Modigliani, Kimberley Jones and I will attempt to answer them and if we can't, probably someone in the audience can.
Speaking of David Modigliani, let's kick things off with the "SXSW 2013: Do It Like a Local" video from Flow Nonfiction, where he's Creative Director. David's the guy on the left of local chef/restaurant owner Paul Qui. The advice is geared toward Music but there's a lot of universal tips in here (plus, it's fun).
The SXSW Film Pass, a longtime favorite for Austinites wanting to see fest movies, is no more. Instead, the second-tier theater access pass is now the SXSW Film Festival Wristband, mirroring the music fest's access. I don't have a picture of the wristband yet, so enjoy the above photo of the now-obsolete pass that Austin frequent-filmgoer David Roland Strong is holding. Great pass number, you'll notice.
If you don't have one and want one, get them now before they run out (which they do) at Waterloo Records, Alamo Drafthouse Ritz, Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter and Alamo Drafthouse Village. You are actually buying a wristband voucher, which you then have to redeem for a physical wristband at a SXSW venue when the festival starts.
I'm faced with the problem of what to call people who are wearing the wristband, since I can't say "passholder" anymore. "Bandwearer"? "Wristband holder"? I favor "wristbandito" myself. I'll try some variations as we go along, you tell me which one you like.
SXSW Film Festival and Conference kicks off two weeks from TODAY, on March 8. I can hardly believe it myself. Here are a few reminders and bits of news you might have missed ... plus one panel I'm sure you won't want to miss. If I missed something critical, don't hesitate to mention it in the comments.
- I'm happy to announce that once again, I'll be on the opening SXSW Film panel: "A Beginner's Guide to SXSW Film," moderated by Agnes Varnum. We have a lot of fun and also share valuable tips about having the best fest experience possible. Hope you'll join us on Friday, March 8 at 2 pm in Room 16AB of the Austin Convention Center. Other panelists include Kimberley Jones, the Screens editor at the Austin Chronicle; and filmmaker Yen Tan, whose feature Pit Stop is screening at SXSW.
- Of course you'll probably want to attend more panels and watch a few movies. You can now get the full SXSW Film schedule online. Apps are available for iPhone and Android. I'd love to hear your tips about how to plan and keep track of a screening schedule now that we no longer have B-side or Festival Genius (sniff).
Austin Film Society has promised me that the after-party for the Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards this year is going to be a night to remember. The party starts at 9 pm on Thursday, March 7 in Austin Studio Stage 7 -- it actually overlaps a bit with the awards themselves, so you can get in there and start warming things up before the crowd from the awards ceremony fills the room.
DJ el john Selector will provide some great music, with guest DJs Jim Eno (Spoon), Adrian Quesada (Grupo Fantasmo, Brownout) and Graham Reynolds (do I need to tell you Austin film people who he is?). There will be an open bar, and snacks from local businesses (Tiny Pies!). AFS is also promising us "lots of surprises," and when you consider that this after-party is for an event attended by many local and a few national celebrities, that could mean just about anything (in a good way).
I mean, I'm planning to go, and you know what a wuss I usually am about late-night parties, especially the night before a major local film festival for which I need to pace myself to survive.
Slackerwood is giving away two pairs of tickets to the after-party. I'll tell you how to get them after the jump. And if you don't win, you can buy tickets on the AFS website. The proceeds go to the Texas Filmmakers' Production Fund, and if you're a regular Slackerwood reader you don't need me to tell you how many great local movies have benefitted from this fund.
Whatever number of Austin films I might have guessed would be in the SXSW Film Festival feature lineup released this afternoon, I would have been short. Texas is everywhere in this year's festival, and the midnight movies and short films won't even be announced for another week.
In addition, we at Slackerwood have some news about the SXSW Film 2013 screening locations, as we prepare our annual stellar SXSW Film Venue Guide. Apart from Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar (sob), the theaters will be the same as last year, with a couple of additions. The brand-new Topfer Theatre at Zach Scott will be a film venue, about which I know nothing, so if you've been there please share your impressions in the comments. And all four screens of Violet Crown Cinema will be used for screenings -- no details yet on how, but we'll keep you posted.
You can find the full announcement on the SXSW Film website (John Sayles! Joss Whedon! Dave Grohl!), and we'll run an extended list soon with details about all the Austin connections. In the meantime, you might want to know that the Headliners category includes When Angels Sing, the latest film from Austin filmmaker Tim McCanlies, adapted from a story by Turk Pipkin, and shot around Austin. The cast includes Texans Lyle Lovett, Willie Nelson and Dana Wheeler-Nicholson.
Now that Sundance is over, you might be wondering how the Austin and Texas films fared. Here's the latest update, plus some links to local coverage (and at the end, fun videos!). I hope we'll see a few of these in Austin in March (or in Dallas in April).
- Before Midnight was picked up by Sony Pictures Classics for North America and UK distribution. This is the third movie in Austin filmmaker Richard Linklater's series with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. Elizabeth revisited the original Before Sunrise recently for Lone Star Cinema.
- Andrew Bujalski's black-and-white film about man vs. computer in the 80s, Computer Chess, won the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize at Sundance. This award is given to a film that has a science or technology-related theme, or that has main characters who are scientists or engineers. In addition, AMC/Sundance Channel bought the international broadcast rights.
- Another big winner was DFW-area filmmaker David Lowery's latest feature, Ain't Them Bodies Saints, starring Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck. The movie's producers, James M. Johnston and Toby Halbrooks, took home the Indian Paintbrush Producers Award. Director of photography Bradford Young received the Sundance Cinematography Award for his work on this movie and Mother of George. And IFC was also a winner, landing U.S. distribution of the movie.
- New-to-Austin filmmaker David Gordon Green premiered Prince Avalanche at Sundance, and landed a North American distribution deal with Magnolia. The movie stars Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch, and was shot in Central Texas. The film's composer is Austinite David Wingo, who also scored Mud.
I may not be in Park City, but I am enjoying many aspects of the Sundance Film Festival from the comforts of home (you can too!). Today's vicarious living involves the Texas Party, hosted by the Austin Film Society and Texas Monthly at the height of Sundance festgoing. The party celebrated the number of Lone Star films at this year's Park City fest.
AFS Marketing and Events Coordinator Austin Culp and other photographers to be named later [update: Ryan Long and Chris Cortez] took a number of photos at the event, and I'm amused because if I showed you the photos and didn't tell you where they were taken, you would have assumed it was a filmmaker party here in Austin. Former and current Austinites and Texans were everywhere ... well, admittedly they did seem to be everywhere at Sundance in general this year.
I'm not sure why actor/filmmaker Jonny Mars and producer Kelly Williams appear to be sparring in the above photo. I'll let them tell me sometime. They were at the party shortly before departing for the premiere of Black Metal, which Debbie has detailed in her Sunday dispatch.
I've included more of my favorites below. If that's not enough for you, check out the Texas Party photo set from the event.
I didn't go to Park City for the Sundance Film Festival this year. I know I'm missing lots of good movies, but on the other hand, it was 70 degrees in Austin yesterday, while Sundance festgoers are dealing with single-digit and even negative-number temperatures. I'm too delicate a flower for that kind of weather.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways in which we in Austin (or anywhere) can have a taste of the Sundance experience from the comfort of our homes. Before you enjoy the videos below, if you want an authentic Sundance experience you could crank up the air conditioning, put on some thermal underwear, and consume only power bars and coffee. If you want to simulate the press-and-industry experience, you might get a jerky friend to sit next to you and play with their smartphone the whole time, but I think that's going too far.
- The Screening Room -- Sundance has posted a dozen of the shorts from the 2013 festival on YouTube, at no cost to you. Debbie has already mentioned that Austin short film Black Metal is one of them, which I watched the other day and can't recommend enough. But there are also 11 other short films, and that's an enjoyable evening right there.
- Focus Forward Films -- Focus Forward is a series of three-minute shorts that are screening at a number of film festivals, including Sundance 2013. You can also watch them online from the project's website. Filmmakers include Morgan Spurlock, Albert Mayles, Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern, Steve James, and Alex Gibney. There are 30 total, which is another 90-minute slot of entertaining shorts.
The characters in Rust and Bone, the latest film from Jacques Audiard (A Prophet) truly are down to the bone -- they border on primal at times. Add powerhouse leads like Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts and you get an intense experience that's so vivid it's hard to look away, but often so painful it's hard to keep watching. I kept watching, and Rust and Bone ended up being one of my favorite films of 2012.
The movie focuses first on a father and his son: Ali (Schoenaerts) travels with five-year-old Sam to Antibes, a coastal French town, to live with Ali's sister and her husband. Ali finds work as a bouncer and ends up taking Stephanie (Cotillard) back to her home after she's been attacked in the nightclub. Slowly, the movie expands its focus to include Stephanie, who trains killer whales fearlessly in a Sea World-type setting.
But Ali and Stephanie don't really cross paths again until after Stephanie's life has been turned upside-down. Their intense and strange relationship, including the ways it affects Ali's son, is the heart of Rust and Bone.