Sunday, September 24, 2006

Great movie week here in Austin

Just had a terrifically exciting movie week here at home in Austin thanks to many of our favorite people and places.

Tuesday started it out with a SXSW/Fantastic Fest/Matt Dentler sneak of Science of Sleep, directed by Michel Gondry. I know I already raved about it but it's worth repeating. Romantic, magical and moving. One of my very favorites in a long time.

Wednesday, Nick Robinson turned us on to a Myspace sneak of Borat at our beloved Alamo Draughthouse. Yes, it's hilarious. Truly.

Friday, had an advance look at a friend's new work. Don't know if I'm supposed to talk about it yet but it was great to see. Highly engaging. I love how talented the filmmaker is. He's using every experience in his life to further his work at a lightning speed. And he's a super nice guy. Later that evening, after sampling Chuck Norris' World Combat League at the Erwin Center, John, Georgia and I headed out to the midnight show of Jackass 2. Ok, I know I'm on record for hating Jackass and calling it decadent, but actually, back here in America, in 2006, knowing what to expect - it was funny and wild. It's not what I'm looking for in entertainment exactly but gotta say, they do a great job. They're really surprising and you can't help but laugh. Until the numbing sets in. A particularly potent double bill with the World Combat League although we could have just have easily been coming from Friday Night High School football. Always sobering for me to remember that I'm a minority in not loving fighting. Always interesting to ponder what makes it so exciting for everyone else. And of course, couldn't stop thinking of how brilliant Mike Judge's Idiocracy spin was with "Aw my balls!" Just a hair breadth away. Fascinated too by Johnny Knoxville's naked legs, covered with bruises and scars. They're completely fucked up. Earlier I'd been starting to consider how they fake some of the moves (like didn't buy that opening mouse and snake deal at all. The mouse owners' facial expressions didn't change enough) but those damaged legs expose the harsh truth.

Saturday was our first foray to the Fantastic Fest, the relatively new festival programmed by Harry Knowles, Tim League of the Alamo Draughthouse, filmmaker Tim McCanlies, and sxsw film producer Matt Dentler. After an excellent acquisitions panel with John, Dustin Smith, Jason Beck, moderated by Matt, we lined up for the super secret 9pm screening. It turned out to be Apocalypto with Mel Gibson and his star in attendance for the Q&A. I was totally out of it - expecting a post Passion of the Christ take on Revelations (this morning John said, you didn't read ANY of the one line descriptions during all that arrest stuff? You don't remember hearing about the shooting in Mexico and his long beard? Ah, no. What can I say? For someone who spends a lot of time turning in, sometimes I'm just very tuned out.) Not quite finished, it was viscerally exciting and a visual treat. The body art alone, fantastic and mesmerizing.

Just a really fun week. Great to see so many strong movies. Great to run into so many good friends. One of those moments that confirms just how much fun it is to live in Austin.

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