SXSW in 60 Seconds

Glorious sunshine greeted festival attendees on Monday. The warmer weather pushed more people out onto the streets. Skirts rose along with the temperature, though blue jeans and t-shirts remained the predominant clothing of choice.

Deals. Oscilloscope Laboratories announced that it has acquired North American distribution rights to Gabriel Mendina's The Paranoids, which had its US Premiere at the festival yesterday. The Paranoids is described as an "offbeat comedy" about an aspiring writer in Buenos Aires, Argentina, who learns that a childhood friend has produced a very successful TV show in Spain based on the writer's life. Personal chaos ensues. Oscilloscope plans a theatrical release later this year.

Secret (and Not So Secret) Screenings. A large crowd woke up early to see a "super special screening" of Richard Linklater's period romance Me and Orson Welles, starring Zac Efron and Claire Danes. In the evening, another special treat awaited folks who squeezed into the Alamo Ritz: a 16mm print of a film that dare not speak its name (due to legal reasons). Hint: running time was listed as 43 minutes. No wagering, please.

Simultaneously, Jody Hill's Observe and Report, starring Seth Rogen, enjoyed its world premiere at the Paramount Theater. Early word via Tweeter has been very strong. Gerald Peary's doc For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism, also debuted. It is, perhaps, too prosaic for a general audience, but it's essential viewing for anyone who wants to be a film critic (and for working film critics, too, for that matter). Bonus: our own Scott Weinberg makes an appearance!

Cinematical Coverage. Eric D. Snider, who never laughs at anything, laughed himself silly at the 20 minutes of footage shown from Sacha Baron Cohen's upcoming Bruno.

After the jump: more links to our coverage, plus some notable coverage on other sites.

I thoroughly enjoyed Sam Raimi's Drag Me to Hell, shown as a work in progress. Eugene Novikov was pleasantly surprised by the documentary The Way We Get By ("a lovely, uncondescending look at three lives enriched by kindness"). And Eric D. Snider says "Bomber is a prime example of a movie that feels fresh and insightful even though its individual elements are familiar."

Jette Kernion visited the Trimpin Exhibit at the State Theatre (next to the Paramount) and was impressed by the artist's "sonic sculptures." As it happens, I saw the documentary Trimpin: The Sound of Invention, on Monday afternoon; it provides a fascinating look at the Seattle-based artist, musician, and inventor. He has an amazing, intuitive grasp on how to create musical instruments out of found objects and pieces of junk. The doc screens again on Friday night at the Paramount, and is well worth checking out.

My day concluded past midnight with Joe Dante's presentation of Trailers From Hell, a rich selection of audio commentaries by directors and writers on their favorite trailers. it was great to see the footage on the big screen, but I believe all the material shown is also available on the Trailers From Hell web site.

You can access all of our SXSW coverage by clicking this magical link.

Blog Talk. A.J. Schnack declares that Bradley Beesley's Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo is "a film that not only delivered on one's hopes but affirmed his place as one of America's most interesting, contemporary nonfiction filmmakers." Michael Tully at Hammer to Nail adds: "If the response at Saturday's world premiere was any indication, Beesley has a universal crowd-pleaser on his hands."

Another doc, Alex Karpovsky's Trust Us, This is All Made Up, prompted Alison Wilmore at IFC's Indie Eye to wonder: "How to capture improvised comedy, which is the essence of having to be there, on film?" She says the "concert-style footage" of improv specialists T. J. Jagodowski and David Pasquesi "suffers from that sense of remove while remaining a lively enough document ... But it's the context that surrounds the show that makes the film interesting."