Tuesday, March 20, 2012

SxSW Day 2

Saturday, March 10

Panels

Conversations with Josh Whedon

I started out the day watching the interview of Director, Josh Whedon. Most of you may know him for his work with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly/Serenity, and Dr. Horrible, as well as his work on the new Avengers movie. Josh talked about every aspect of his career, and was a very interesting interview subject.

He was at SxSW to promote Cabin in the Woods, which I unfortunately was not able to see. It received rave reviews from my friends (even the ones that didn't like horror movies). The film had taken two years to release because of the MGM Bankruptcy. I've penciled it in on my list of movies to see in the next few months.

A very enjoyable session, one which a may be tempted to watch a video replay of, should it be made available.

Keynote: How to Read the World

The first keynote of SxSW was given by comedian Baratunde Thurston, best known for his work on the humor newspaper, the Onion. Among other things, he was there to support his new book, How to be Black.

The talk was popular enough that I was forced to watch the video feed from a satellite room. He spoke about his career, and addressed head-on the his issues concerning being an African American in the Technology industry. It was pretty much what I expected, after hearing Baratunde numerous times on This Week in Tech (TWiT), all delivered with his usual comedic wit.

Films

Tchoupitoulas

Midday, I decided to take a break from SxSWi, and check out a film that I had selected based upon the trailer. It was supposed to document the Mardi Gras experience, in the French Quarter of New Orleans, through the eyes of some kids. Other than getting to walk over to the Ritz, I must say, this ended up being a disappointing choice.

Visually the film was fine, but it was very thin on dialog, story and plot. Three teenage boys (presumably brothers) and their dog, take the Ferry over to the French Quarter, wonder around during Mardi Gras, and then miss the last Ferry back. As a result, they have to stay there all night.

I may have been able to accept things as they were more, but the editing also left something to be desired. Inexplicably, the dog disappears during one whole section of the film. I felt somewhat vindicated with my assessment of the film, because I overheard a couple behind me complaining about it too, while we waited for the Paul Williams movie to start.



The View from Inside Rainn Wilson's Brainstem

I like Rainn as an actor, and director, but I have to say that this talk was rather bizarre and hard to follow. He managed to completely fill one of the large exhibit halls, so I guess this counts for something.


California Guitar Trio

In an unusual move for me, I left my brother and SxSW for the evening, and headed up to the Cactus Cafe at UT, in a cab, to catch the California Guitar Trio.

California Guitar Trio at the Cactus Cafe
As always, these guys delivered the goods, and the crowd was filled with the usual suspects. Additional pictures and a set list can be found in the Hideyo's Roadcam section, of the Trio's website.

After the show, I stayed quite a while talking to Bert, Paul, Hideyo, and our mutual friends. So, I was unable to make the late screening of Beware of Mr. Baker. I tracked my brother down around 1AM, and we headed home.


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