Category Archives: sxsw

SXSW Film Fest redux

In the evenings after the interactive conference sessions, had a chance to catch some of the film festival. Here’s some of the highlights.

I didn’t get to see it (sessions ran late), but the family raved about Elvis and Annabelle (trailer).

Later that night we were able to catch Manufacturing Dissent (trailer). It would be better named Michael & Me. The thesis made enough sense: Moore plays loose with the facts, using half truths and fabrications to make his points. He also adopts the elusive tactics he criticized Roger Smith of in his breakthrough film Roger & Me. While enumerating some of the fabrications is useful, the film seems to fall short in the end. They never call Moore on his fabrications, only ask him repeatedly for interview time that he never provides to their satisfaction.

An interesting narrative moment that I was able to catch was He Was a Quiet Man (official site). There’s some cool narrative threads there, but nothing I can get into without spoilers. The bleak outlook of office life is a bit exagerrated, but there’s some solid performances and some great play with trust. A warning for the more prudish (like myself), there’s some scenes where you’ll want to avert your eyes. There’s also language you may not love, but likely nothing you haven’t heard walking down the street.


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It’s time for this year’s South by Southwest film, music, and interactive conference, and with my brother living here now, I don’t have a lot of excuse for not coming down, despite any irrational for-entertainment-purposes-only personal aversions to the lone star state.

Met Dad okay before our flight from Atlanta. We managed to, through no coordination of our own, book ourselves on the same flight from the ATL to Austin, in nearly the same row. Mom met us in baggage claim (she came down Thursday), and we eventually met up with Eric and Johannah for dinner.

After a fine hands-on dinner at Rudy’s, which bills itself as the “worst barbecue in Texas” (think Fat Matt’s Rib Shack without the live blues), we commenced to planning the weekend… which amounted to everybody else trying to figure out what we’d all try to hit at the film festival while I reviewed the interactive panels to see if there were any must-sees that conflicted with the movies. There were naturally the obligatory “geez, bri, why didn’t you figure out all this panel stuff sooner?” (mostly from Eric), but with the standard millions of other things going on in the ATL day-to-day, panels had to wait. (Picking what panels to go to is the least of the SXSW preparations I didn’t get to before coming down.)

Despite the whining, if all goes as planned, we’ll get some interesting movies tomorrow. Why We Fight and a doc on Al Franken. Tomorrow’s must-see interactive session is How to Create Passionate Users with Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates. Looks like it will fit around the movies just right. So I’ll get a good share of family time tomorrow.

The evening finished with a fun political discussion with Eric and Jo. Being among fellow liberals, my internal devil’s advocate naturally attuned to speaking for conservative views, especially when we got into “I don’t understand how they…” sorts of comments. There weren’t too many, but it was fun to see my little dialectic engine shift to the right. Maybe C-snail’s right about how Libra I am.

Probably the most important part of that though… it looks like Jo’s realizing that despite the political differences in the family, she’s among friends. We have our differences in the fam on various issues, but hopefully she’s seeing that we can disagree on politics without being too disagreeable.

So, met up with the fam, ate, had some fun conversation… Tomorrow get my badge and wait in lines for small release and independent movies… should be a good time. And with one movie on militarism and another on a key liberal media figure, fun political discussions are sure to ensue. (As long as we can all get in.)

I wonder if I’ll manage to devil’s advocate my way into alienating the folks in the family I normally agree with on political issues… be fun to see.

Cibo Matto | Spoon

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