Today is my last day at the festival. I started the day with my first shave since I left Portland. I was set to appear on "Keep it Local" later in the day via Skype, so I figured I should clean up a bit.
My first movie of the day The Freebie.
Synopsis THE FREEBIE, directed by and starring Katie Aselton, is a romantic drama about a contented, yet sexually frustrated couples' experiment to allow each other 'one night off'. Darren (Dax Shepard) and Annie (Aselton) have an enviable relationship built on love, trust and communication - they still enjoy each other's company and laugh at each other's jokes, but, unfortunately, they can't remember the last time they had sex. When a dinner party conversation leads to an honest discussion about the state of their love life they begin to flirt with a way to spice things up. The deal: one night of freedom, no strings attached, no questions asked. Could a "freebie" be the cure for their ailing sex life? And will they go through with it?
Director Bio Frequently working as an actor with the Duplass Brothers, Katie Aselton starred in The Puffy Chair, The Intervention, and also has a role alongside John C. Reilly in their upcoming Fox Searchlight Movie, Cyrus. She has appeared in NBC's The Office and she is currently starring in the FX television show The League. The Freebie is Aseltons directorial debut.
How has Dax been able to morph into a dramedy actor? I'm not sure, but he's done it. Yes, I am judging this on the first episode of "Parenthood" and now The Freebie. It's pretty good even though the premise is pretty flimsy. Also, I am totally convinced that there was some lying at the end. You'll have to wait for my full review in a couple of days.
Next up was another Portland-related movie. So far, I'd seen Some Days Are Better Than Others and Cold Weather. I liked Cold better, but I wasn't in love with either. Would the documentary about a team race in Oregon be my "local" winner?
Hood to Coast
Synopsis HOOD TO COAST follows four unlikely teams on their epic journey to conquer the world's largest relay race. Each year, 1000 teams (12,000 runners) cover 197 grueling miles as a relay team, putting themselves through an arduous physical journey that as an individual would be impossible. Some run to test their personal limits, some to overcome personal obstacles, and others leap in blindly looking for a way to invigorate a complacent life. As we follow our four teams, we realize that winning isn't everything in a documentary that takes a celebratory look at personal motivation and attempting the extraordinary.
Director Bio Christoph Baaden was born in Germany, and worked in Berlin as a TV Producer until 1999 when he moved to the US to study Film and Television. After winning an Emmy for his master thesis he began his career in LA in editing. He ran the HTC race for thefirst time in 2007. When he finished, he vowed to shoot his first feature documentary about the event. He is thrilled to have his film debut at SXSW.
We have a winner. Huge fan. I moved to Portland almost two years ago. I've fallen in love with the weather (compared to Chicago), the hikes, the beer, and the food. This documentary is just another reason to love Oregon. I need to be a part of this race, though I'm leaning toward "team driver." I met Rachel after the flick. She's on the Laika team and pretty much the comedic lead. I teared up a bunch during this film as well with the story of a family running for a son who had recently died (R. Bowe). I could easily see this playing for the next decade at Bagdad Theater or Hollywood Theatre. Also, the documentary makes Oregon look visually stunning, which it is, but it's good they didn't mess this up.
Next up, my final film.
The People vs. George Lucas Synopsis THE PEOPLE vs. GEORGE LUCAS is a no-holds-barred, completely uncensored, yet balanced cultural examination of the conflicted dynamic between the great George Lucas and his fans over the past three decades. Chock-full of impassioned interviews, stop-motion and 3D animation, Super 8 action figure films, puppet rants and many other surprises, this unique participatory doc is the ultimate expression of the fans' obsession for a man and a universe that defined an entire generation.
Director Bio Born and raised in Geneva, Switzerland, Alexandre holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYUs Tisch School of the Arts. He has directed several narrative and documentary shorts, including LEFT, THE SPOT and INSIDE, which screened at a combined 73 international film festivals, and won a slew of awards. THE PEOPLE vs. GEORGE LUCAS is his third feature-length documentary.
It was a good doc, though I'm not really sure how Alexandre scored all the footage. Seems like it was "borrowed." This film is filled with geeks ranting about Star Wars. That's all you really need to know. Is anything accomplished? Not really. Still a good time though.
I then raced back to my brother-in-law's place to prepare for my Flicks on 6 spot on "Keep it Local" on KOIN Local 6. You'd think there would be disaster written all over my first ever Skype video call. Nope. Things went quite well. I didn't explain Kick-Ass enough. And we showed Cyrus video instead of MacGruber. Otherwise it went great.
That was it. I was done. I spent the night eating and drinking with family. The perfect way to end SXSW 2010.
For final thoughts, complete film reviews and my Flicks on 6 TV spot, check back in the coming days at this link -