It's been a fun week here at the South by Southwest Film Festival. Austin is a great town; it kind of has a Seattle vibe with a Texas twang. Yesterday was the last day of the fest for me, so I squeezed in a few last movies. Yesterday afternoon, I saw my favorite doc of the fest so far, Some Assembly Required. This nice little doc follows several groups of kids who have entered a toy design contest. I really enjoyed it -- it's smart and very well edited, right down to the amusing interstitials.
After that, I met up with Melanie Addington from Oxford Film Festival and Eric D. Snider, and we headed to the Alama Ritz to catch Yeast and grab some lunch. (No, I did NOT have another milkshake, stop looking at me like that! Okay, I did have a milkshake -- vanilla, and it was sooooo good -- but I didn't inhale.) Yeast stars mumblecore darling Greta Gerwig (who I've also recently enjoyed very much in Baghead and Hannah Takes the Stairs), director Mary Bronstein, and Amy Judd. Yeast is kind of a mumblecore chick-flick about Rachel, a maddeningly annoying control-freak dealing with her fractured relationships with two friends.
We hung out with the crew in Scott Weinberg's hotel room during the awards ceremony, having gently persuaded our newly-dubbed festival intern William Goss to attend the awards on our behalf. We liveblogged the awards from the hotel room, so it was almost exactly kind of like being there ourselves. We'd all been running ragged all week, and we didn't want to be tired for the Closing Night Party action.
Almost the entire gang, including Jette Kernion and Peter Martin, turned out for the screening of Second Skin, the virtual reality doc. The film follows and talks to various folks who live most of their real time in a virtual world. Second Skin was an interesting film, but I wish the filmmakers had delved a little more into the deeper issues like online infidelity and the impact the collective hours spent engaging in online gaming has on culture overall, subjects they briefly touch on but don't get deeply into.
After that flick, we headed over to the Closing Night Party, caught about 20 minutes or so of Moby DJing, and hung out for a bit before making our way back to the Alamo Ritz to close out the night with another screening of Dance of the Dead, which was a definite fave of the Cinematical team. I'm heading out this morning to drive the seven hours or so back home. More reviews still coming from all the team here at SXSW, so keep an eye out for our wrap-up of the rest of the fest.