AFF 2013 Dispatch: 'Inside Llewyn Davis'


With the conference winding down, I have found myself having AFF withdrawals.  Now that I was able to breathe (and sleep in) again, I was able to actually look at a schedule and try to pick something to go to in advance.

I had no intention of seeing Inside Llewyn Davis. It's not that I wasn't interested, but I knew that it would be coming out in theatres soon (December 20, in Austin). So when my friend Alexa told me she was going to make it downtown again for the screening, along with a handful of other friends who would be there, I figured I might as well see what it's all about.

I am a huge Coen Brothers fan. Films like Raising Arizona and The Big Lebowski are up there amongst my favorites.  But lately, I felt the films they have put out haven't been their best. I tried to keep an open mind as AFF Film Department Director Ryan Darbonne introduced Oscar Isaac (who plays Llewyn Davis) and T-Bone Burnett (executive music producer on the film), who gave a quick introduction to the movie.

What hooked me was the fact that they recorded all of the music live on set -- nothing inside a studio in post-production.  What we were hearing, Burnett told us, was what we would hear "as if we were in the same room as Isaac." With all of that in mind, the film rolled.

I was relieved to have enjoyed Inside Llewyn Davis as much as I did. The Coens captured the struggle of what it means to be an artist so well, I found myself nodding at many moments throughout the piece just because they were so relatable. The audience had a great vibe as well; it was obvious that everyone in the room was captivated by Llewyn Davis.

Tuesday was unfortunately a day of catching up on laundry and writing, so I wasn't able to check out any of the films showing today. My Wednesday film picks are the short The Possibilities by Alexander Poe (whose film Ex-Girlfriends played at AFF last year), which screens with Chioke Nassor's How To Follow Strangers, then hopefully sticking around to catch 12 Years a Slave. The films are playing at Galaxy Highland.

[Photo credit: De Jong/Dinkins for Slackerwood