SXSW 2010 – Day One A depressing start and Kick-Ass starring Nicolas Cage, Mark Strong and Chloe Moretz. That’s what you want to hear, right? I’m lucky enough to be able to hang out in Austin, visit good family and attend the SXSW Film Festival.
Yet, I’m breaking out the word ‘depressing.’ Sigh.
I’ve already been hangning out with my siser-in-law, brother-in-law and their spouses. Good times. Good food. Good drink. Nothing to complain about. I even saw an advanced screening of Hot Tub Time Machine. It’s a good poor-man’s The Hangover. I should win a prize. I’m probably the one millionth person to already compare it to Hangover.
I did an early check-in on Thursday. Registration opened at 3:00. I got in line at 2:30. Probably about 30 people in front of me. At 3:00 there were probably 500 behind me. This was my first reminder of how much I dislike groups of people. I love persons though. They’re my favorite.
I decdied to sleep in (first mistake). So I wasn’t first in line Friday for SXXpress Passes. Think of it as the Fast Pass at Dinseyland. Wait in line now, so you don’t have to later. You get to pick two films a day, and that guarantees you first in line as long as you get somewhere 30 minutes beforehand.
SXXpress opened at 10 a.m. I arrived at 10:47. Kick-Ass, Leaves of Grass, and a Predators first-look, were already sold out. I was told to get to Kick-Ass two hours before the screening to make sure I had a spot. Keep in mind I have a Film Badge which gets me past all other groups.
My first choice to make. Kick-Ass OR Ed Norton’s Shades of Grass. I was hoping for both, but with travel and lines that would prove impossible.
I decided lines would be everywhere. So at 11:30 I raced over the screening room where you can watch some of the films on a personal TV, instead of waiting in line. The big movies don’t get screeners. So I looked around for options. I had plenty of time. You see, the screening room didn’t open until noon. I was the only one waiting. But now at least I am ahead of the waiting game.
The screening room has six TVs with headphones. They offer water and mints. Why mints? No clue.
Some Days Are Better Than Others - a film by Matt McCormick. The film is in the narrative competition. Why did I start there? McCormick lives in Portland. I’ve got to support my own.
Now it’s on to my first panel.
How to Rawk SXSW
Panels or parties? Sleep or Sessions? Veteran SXSW speakers and attendees give their light-hearted insights and tips on making the most of your next few days in geek wunderland.
Ninja Kim is leading the panel. She’s Asian. Another threw out stuffed animal cats to people who answered questions correctly.
Second movie (back in the screening room). Myth of the American Sleepover. It’s a tamer, less-funny version of Dazed and Confused. It’s the last night of summer before they head back to school. Teenage sexuality, tee-peeing houses, smoking a cigarette. It pushes all the right nostalgic buttons.
I walked around SCREENBURN, which is the open arcade, which is supposed to showcase cutting edge video games. Rock Band was the lead dog on center stage. So, not great. Though it did lead to this moment with the Lego display. Let this be a lesson to all you parents out there who give their kids too much time with Legos.
Time to hurry and wait. Eric D. Snider, my friend from Portland and also a film critic was there with his group. I joined.
I got into line for Kick-Ass at 5:15. The line moved at 6:35. We sat in the front row of the balcony. Not ideal. Not bad.
I’ll say this for the movie. I think everyone younger than me that’s a comic book/superhero fan will love it. The older crowd won’t get it. Nic Cage doing an Adam West Batman is amazing. I feel dirty for loving an 11-year-old being such an extremely violent character. Dirty and awesome.
Snider convinced me that we could make it to Leaves of Grass. We couldn't. My movie day was done. Back to hanging out with family for some drinks. Saturday morning, we're heading out for BBQ. The moral of the story: It's not that depressing.