Thursday, March 13, 2014

SXSW Day ? The Bleeding Eyes edition

I'm no longer keeping track of days. SXSW is either helping me lose ten pounds or helping me gain them. I've probably walked a hundred miles day in and day out rushing from work to theater to theater to try and catch everything I've marked out for myself.

I can't make an SXSW post without mentioning the tragedy caused by reckless stupidity last night. My heart and my thoughts are with all the victims of the allegedly drunk driver. Two people were killed and many more were injured. My grandfather was killed by a drunk driver in 1998 while he was riding his bike in Long Beach so drunk driving accidents always hit me right in the gut. I hope that those who were injured are recovering peacefully and I hope that the families who have lost family members can find the peace they need. Be careful out there. People are unpredictable, drunk, and stupid and when you put those all in the same equation, you never get the same result.


On Monday we saw the 40 year anniversary of Texas Chainsaw Massacre was just as frigging great as I imagined it to be. This was my first time ever seeing it on the big screen and Nina's first time ever seeing it. It was a damn treat for the both of us. Tobe Hooper was there and he said something like, "I'm just glad people got the jokes. For 8 years after that movie came out, no one ever laughed." For as funny as that movie is, I don't see how nobody laughed. But Hooper was a visionary. He created an entire genre out of thin air and today nobody can quite touch it. The soundtrack was loud and amazing and really immersed you into the insanity of everything. No horror movie touches Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It's exactly my brand of horror and I'm glad I got to hear Tobe Hooper himself speak about it. He was kind of a grumbly fellow though.

On Tuesday we took a break. We had to do laundry lest we smell like Austin hippies and we had planned to go out and try to see Godzilla but I sat down to take a nap at around 7:30 pm and found myself waking up at 7 am. Oh, well. I was getting delirious, my eyes were shot; we needed the night off.

On Wednesday we saw the animated shorts feature which had some strong sketches but overall I felt too many went for the artsy-fartsy high falutin nonsense. There was one good short that even spoke to that fact with a line that went something like: "She thinks she's making art but really it's just stupid." That's how I felt about 1/4 of the shorts. The weakest short was the one put out by Cartoon Network which just continues to illustrate the point that indies still make the best shit.

Then we hoofed it across town to try and catch Open Windows but for the second time this festival it was completely full so we turned around and hoofed it right back to the same theater we saw the animated shorts in to see Spacestation 76. The movie wins the award for best title but won't win any other awards. The characters were cardboard cutouts of people, the story went nowhere. The only reason I stayed until the end was because I wanted to see if my twist ending theory would prove true. I thought Liv Tyler's acting was so bad that the twist would be she was some kind of robot. They did have little clues to support my theory. The biggest clue was that Liv Tyler's acting was robotic. The second biggest clue was that a robot (not kidding here) stuck a metal cylinder into her nether regions and said "They are some irregularities with your uterus." Liv Tyler cut the robot off with, "I am aware of the irregularities." Was it a hint? Was it a hint?! Liv Tyler also delivered the most stilted line in the history of stilted lines: "Would you like to go to the arboretum like you like to do so much?" Oh, god. She's gotta be a robot, right? Nope. No twist. She's just a bad actor. Lot's of folks were buzzing about this movie. I don't see why.

Today we saw Open Windows. It was a good enough flick starring Elijah Wood and Sasha Grey. You know how when movies convey hackers and hacking, the interfaces are so laughable that it strains credulity? This movie does that. I had a lot of fun recognizing locations but when BookPeople was coming into frame, the camera cut and went to a totally different part of town. It's not going to win any awards but the suspense was there and near the end it fell down a rabbit hole of Mission: Impossible like absurdity (face masks, etc) that I'm not sure wasn't on purpose. It was a fun movie and I'm looking forward to what's next from the director. The movie was far from perfect and I think a little more consistency of tone would have been great. Hometown hero, Owen Egerton, steals the show with his acting chops in the beginning. I had no idea he was classically trained and did such great impressions of world leaders.

That's it for now, folks.

Speaking of Owen Egerton, here's my review of his latest book at BookPeople. Click that whole damn sentence or click this whole damn sentence to go there. 

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