SXSW – The Films

(that I liked)

Ok so once that whole kidney stone issue was cleared up, I was able to take my position as a volunteer at one of my favoritest Austin theaters.

The Alamo Drafthouse chain is everything I love about the movie experience. This location in particular was a place I went the first time I was in Austin for SXSW back in 2008. I was covering the fest for Reelz that year, and we had screenings at this very theater. My friends and I have also hit the South Lamar locale on our NYE trips. So I was very comfortable to be stationed here.

One of my favorite parts of movies at the Alamo are their pre-shows. An entire team is in charge of finding and editing together vintage commercials, tv and movie clips. It’s so fun and such a part of the experience. Take this old Coca Cola one.

Easy to see why I loved that, right?

Then there were the bumpers for SXSW. This one was my favorite. It’s funny cuz it’s true.

It still makes me laugh.

The coolest part about being a film venue volunteer was actually getting to watch the movies. My job was to handle the reserved seats (for filmmakers) and be a general usher. Basically just stand in the theater, welcome people, and help them find seats if need be.

Then when the movie started, if I wanted to see it, and there was an empty seat, I could sit down and watch it. Otherwise we had a break until the next movie started. Not a bad gig.

The first movie I saw was See Girl Run. I can’t find a trailer online, but I did find this video of them talking about it.

It also stars Adam Scott, and I’m sure I’m the target audience, but I liked it. I met a girl in a line later in the week who also liked it, so I know I’m not completely off base. It’s not perfect, but there are some amazingly well-written and realistic dialogues. And I love those. And could Adam Scott BE more endearing? I don’t think so.

Casa de mi Padre.

Is it silly? Of course. Did I laugh out loud? Yes. Did I also entertain secret fantasies of the young and adorable volunteer sitting next to me? You bet. I mean, come on! His name was Logan! And in The Babysitter’s Club series Logan TOTALLY LIKED Mary Anne.

After the film awards were announced, our theater showed the winners. The narrative feature was Eden. Again, no trailer to be found, but here’s a review. It’s based on the incredible true story of a girl who is kidnapped and forced into the world of sex trafficking. What was most jarring is that it really happened and I never heard about it and all I could think about was that it’s probably most definitely happening right now. And it didn’t happen somewhere else. It was in America. Like right outside Las Vegas.

I also got to go back to my roots and help our team leader come up with questions for the Q and A. We found out the screenwriter learned of the story from a little Korean newspaper here in California. Why wasn’t it bigger news?!

After all that heavy I made the mistake of sitting around for the award-winning documentary: Bay of All Saints. I say mistake not because it wasn’t very well done, but because it, too was heavy and depressing.

Seriously. Within the first five minutes I was mentally planning my trip to Brazil to help them. And then the movie goes on and you see that it’s just a bigger mess and such a government gaffe that I’m not sure what the solution could be at this point. So much misappropriated money. No resolution. But again, something I didn’t even know about.

(I mean I obviously knew sex trafficking happened, but it never had a name or seemed so close to me. I’ve driven through that desert. FREQUENTLY.)

So you can assume that after seeing those movies back to back I was in quite the tizzy about our world. I had to read a couple of issues of US Weekly to get my mind somewhere where I could sleep. Snookie being pregnant is a problem I can handle.

I think I walked around and went thrift store shopping during my breaks after that. I enjoyed hanging out with the other volunteers, most of whom were students. And by volunteering five shifts, I earned a music badge. Those cost several hundred dollars, so for me it was time well spent.

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