SXSW Day 8: Friday

SXSW Day 8: Friday

So, I skipped The Lather Effect earlier, but I knew that I had another chance to check it out. So, first things first, over to The Paramount. The description for this movie was kinda vague, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It ended up being very reminiscent of those wonderful 80s John Hughes films. Well, maybe not like them, but it felt like characters from those movies that were now all grown up and really pissed off about that. They want to revel in those old 80s memories, so they have a huge throwout party in full 80s regalia. Some of the great memories are brought forth as well as some touchier subjects like old loves. But in the end, like those old movies from yore, everything is neatly tied up by the end. William Mapother (creepy Ethan from Lost) and the director were at the screening and answered some questions. When listening to those Q&A sessions, I always wonder “Why the hell are they asking that?” So, I tried to come up with some non-awful questions, but I couldn’t think of anything, so I continued my streak of silence.

The next couple of movies were time killers, since the next one I knew I wanted to see was The Unforeseen. So, the next was a documentary called Hard Road Home. It was about an organization that tries to help convicts once they are let out. They try to ease them into society and help get them jobs, and offer all kinds of different counseling. From what I could tell, everyone that worked at the organization were also ex-convicts. I liked it. Wasn’t crazy awesome, but it was definitely good. 6 out of 10

I got curious about this film slightly cuz I had read that it won one of the SXSW awards. I believe Skills Like This won the audience award for narrative film. So, I trust audience’s opinions a bit. It’s about a dude who writes really bad plays. He finally comes to this realization and in a bit of odd events, realizes he’s a great bank/store robber. This was a great film. HILARIOUS. The dialogue was witty without seeming far fetched, the characters were likeable, and the energy overall was contagious. I look forward to more from these guys. I hope they get the chance. 9 out of 10

The Unforeseen is a documentary about development and it’s inevitable collision with nature. Specifically, Austin land development in regards to the safety and future of Barton Springs. Since I live in Austin, I was a bit biased on this subject. I think we should do everything possible to allow Barton Springs to continue to thrive and be a community haven. I was amazed at how little our representatives seem to care about nature in general. Do they never think towards the future? Instead of just worrying about the quick dollar now. I do have to remember that I may live in a liberal hippy commune of a city, but the state it resides in is as close-minded republican as they come. And that state opinion always beats out the 1 or 2 counties in the state that disagree. It’s a shame, Austin is very unique in Texas, and I would think people would want to hold onto that as long as they can. The subject was interesting, the audience was a bit annoying with all the boos and whatnot during the screening, but overall the film felt lacking. They seem to focus a lot of the film on one of the main developers here in Austin, and I just found myself not caring about him. But, that could just be my own bias. 6.5 out of 10

I was kind of excited for seeing Parker Posey in Hal Hartley‘s Fay Grim. I was waiting in line and wasn’t sure I was going to get in. They would let a couple people in at a time towards the end as they were trying to see how many could fit in the theater. I actually ended up being the very last one they let in. I felt so special. This feeling quickly went away. The first thing I notice is the entire films appears to be shot in Dutch angle – the camera is always a bit tilted in one direction or another. This is generally used in horror films or psychological thrillers to give a sense of foreboding or what have you. However, I just found it really annoying for the entire freakin’ movie to be filmed this way. I’ll be honest, I’m not a fancy film snob who can see every inspiration for a movie behind every line of the film. But, I just did not get this movie. It was a sequel to a previous movie – Henry Fool – which I had not seen, so I’d like to think maybe it was that. But it did not even make me want to see the first movie. I felt like a film moron after seeing this. I won’t even rate it, I feel I am unworthy of it.

I stayed at Alamo South Lamar for the midnight horror film Grimm Love (according to SXSW) or Butterly: A Grimm Lovestory (according to the film titles). It’s the story of a German cannibal who advertises over the internet for someone to slaughter and eat. Someone responds and willingly gives over his body for oh-so-appetizing enjoyment. What’s crazier about this, is that’s it’s all true. Yeecccchhh. This film was dead-on creepy. Like bone chillingly creepy. Not a bunch of blood & gore type of horror movie, this was just *shudder*. I liked that about it. The fact that it could make my skin crawl for the entire length of the film says something. My only real criticism was Keri Russell as a grad student doing her thesis on the subject. She just rang a little false to me. Her makeup was distracting to me also. I kept wanting one of the other characters to take a rag and clean it up or something. It was just frightful. Otherwise… good creepy film. 7 out of 10

Grimm Love

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