SXSW 2017 preview

SXSW is one of the top tier festivals on the circuit. Based in Austin, Texas the festival has three major (of many) components: music (which was the origin of the event), film, and interactive.

It’s also a festival I’ve never attended.

Sadly, it is one of the largest festivals I do not get to attend based on my own work deadlines. I experience it through all of the other hundreds and thousands of people that attend.

I’ve heard of how the festival has grown to excess with many of those attending the Interactive conference making it difficult for folks to see movies. Some people have said it has gotten a little more under control in the last two years, but between tech’s influence on all things media you can not be surprised that parts of the festival (and films themselves) may get overlooked through all the hype. I can imagine this festival has unique challenges that others may not face. (One key difference: this event is a for-profit company unlike many other non-profit film festivals.) I hope to experience it myself one day.

So while I don’t have any first-hand advice on where to go or where to eat during this massive event (though tacos or BBQ are always a good bet – and SXSW programmer Jarod Neece is a connoisseur of tacos), here are a few highlights from their film lineup to try to catch:

Song to Song
Song to Song (2017)
  • Song to Song – Terrence Malick’s latest film will open the film festival on Friday before releasing later this March. I’m always curious to see what Malick is up to.
  • I Am Another You – Filmmaker Nanfu Wang stormed onto the circuit last year with her powerful documentary Hooligan Sparrow. One year later, she is back with a film she began making before Hooligan. It’s thoughtful and proves that Wang is a great storyteller.
  • Dealt –  Luke Korem returns to SXSW with this portrait of one of the nation’s finest card magicians. Richard Turner is quite the character.

    dealt-F71346
    Dealt (2017)
  • Muppet Guys Talking – I’m a big fan of the Muppets and this film directed by Frank Oz is one I’m most looking forward to seeing this spring.
  • Shorts – Programmer Claudette Godfrey always puts together an eclectic lineup of shorts, with a vibe that is oh-so Austin. A few to note: Perfectly Normal, The Mess He Made, Raised by Krump and Spring.

Sending best wishes to my fellow Texan festival cohorts this week!

If you happen to be traveling to Austin, let me know what you’re excited to check out and how you’re experience goes!

Sunday Mornings

Good Sunday to you!

First, I must report that the chocolate cake decision was the best decision of 2017 yet. This cake+frosting was easy to make and richly delicious. We ate cake for days (and it just so happened that when I went to the grocery store for a few ingredients, the girl scouts were out in full force. How could I not buy a couple of boxes of thin mints and samoas?) Our house has been fully stocked on the dessert front the last two weeks.

There have been a few extreme highs and lows since my last Sunday post. I’m grateful for supportive friends and family. They are spread far and wide across this world. Thank god for Facetime. And brisket tacos. We’ve been to Home State a few too many times in the last ten days… (photo credit Homestate’s instagram, because I inhale my tacos too quickly).

Here are a few things that have been on my mind lately:

  • Tater tots. Napoleon, give me some of your tots!
  • An intriguing read on Broad Green Pictures (a distributor) and clearly there’s more going on than reported here. Lucy’s latest film was one I had been pursuing for the last two months until a few weeks ago when I got a generic “we’re not playing festivals” reply. Films rarely pull themselves out of Sundance…Something is up for sure.
  • If You Care About Food, You Need to Care About Immigration Policy.
  • Revisiting an article from a few years ago about Norma McCovery, the “Roe” of Roe v. Wade upon her death this week. Pairs well with Radiolab’s More Perfect podcast episode: The Imperfect Plaintiffs.
  • Classic rom-coms rewritten for the Trump era.
  • Gross. Come on. Things are getting out of hand.
  • Oscar carpet is expensive and a particular shade of red. (And how American of them to throw it away after one use…) I’m so ready for awards season to be over.
  • All this rain has made for some beautiful views in Yosemite. Follow along here.
  • I have fond memories of Popeyes chicken: from picking it up with my grandparents in Louisiana as a kid to taste-testing our wedding wines with a to-go box last spring. Something about those biscuits too…
  • Tuesday is Mardi Gras! If you can’t go to a parade, then wear some beads around the house and cook up something yummy. I always miss Louisiana this time of year. Because I didn’t order a king cake in time, we’ll be having purple/green/yellow sprinkled cinnamon rolls for breakfast.

Laissez les bon temps rouler!