SXSW 2012: Casey’s Day 2 Recap
Day two of SXSW 2012 came and went quite fast. My day was fun-filled with four films total. At SXSW they have these things called SXXpress Pass (pronounced South by Express Pass) that you can get on the day of any particular showing. The box office opens at 9am with film fans lining up beginning anytime before that. These passes are beneficial because they allow you to be in the front of the lines to get into whichever film you are wanting to see. I was smart and got to the convention center around 8am everyday to get my SXXpress Passes for the films I planned to see that day. Day two of SXSW I saw these four films:
Trash Dance. This is a documentary filmed in Austin, Texas chronicling a choreographer that finds beauty and grace in garbage trucks. She normally works with all types of ‘objects’ such as the gondolas in Italy to create a visual performance. The choreographer also teaches contemporary dance to humans at a studio. Somehow she has convinced the right people in the city of Austin, Texas to allow her to enlist the help of the city’s sanitation workers to put together a visual performance/dance using the various trucks the sanitation department uses on a daily basis. Performed on an abandoned airport runway, thousands of people showed up in the rain to see this performance. The film was very heartfelt due to the wonderful interviews and interactions with the sanition workers enlisted to be in the performance. It was really cool how she got the trucks to look artistic in the way they move throughout the performance. A lot of work was put into choreagraphing this performance and it shows.
Nature Calls. Screenwriter and director Todd Rohal brings us his most recent film starring Patton Oswalt, Johnny Knoxville, Rob Riggle, Maura Tierney, Patrice O’Neal, and Darrell Hammond. Two brothers (Oswalt and Knoxville) don’t exactly see eye-to-eye on most things in life. Randy (Oswalt) highjacks Kirk’s (Knoxville) son’s sleepover to get the kids interested in the Boy Scouts. Randy takes the kids on an epic camping trip to remember. I enjoyed this film. However, I was not happy with Patton Oswalt’s performance. I love him as a comedian and in other comedic roles but I never found myself laughing with or at his character in this film. Knoxville doesn’t exactly score in his comedic performance either. Rob Riggle and Patrice O’Neal however are great! This was unfortunately Patrice O’Neal’s final performance before his untimely death. Riggle and O’Neal have a wonderful onscreen chemistry that will leave you with belly laughs.
Safety Not Guaranteed. I absolutely loved this film! The basic premise of this film is a group of magazine employees investigate a classified ad seeking a partner for time travel. Sounds ridiculously crazy right?! But trust me, this is a fantastic film. The screenplay was written by Derek Connolly. The film was directed by Colin Trevorrow and stars Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, Jake Johnson, and Karan Soni. Everyone is this cast delivers a spot on brilliant performance! If you ever have the chance to see this film in a theater near you, I highly reccommend you do not miss out on the chance. Immediately after seeing this film, I could tell already that this was probably going to be my favorite film of SXSW.
Killer Joe. This film is directed by William Friedkin with cinematography coming from Caleb Deschanel. The screenplay comes to us from Tracy Letts and the film stars Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple, Gina Gershon, and Thomas Haden Church. I enjoyed this film a lot! I wasn’t really expecting much going in but boy was I surprised. This is more of a dark comedy in the same area as Pulp Fiction. It is really good seeing McConaughey give a great performance in a non romantic comedy film. Killer Joe is filled with violence and outrageous scenes, one in particular that will leave you stunned (not sure I have ever seen anything as crazy wild as this scene and trust me, you will know it when you see it). Killer Joe is a great film that is worth seeing more than once. The plot of the film is basically a redneck family hires a hitman to take out another family member for the insurance money; all hell breaks loose.
Overall, a great day of film for me. I watched all of these in the same theater with some of the films having red carpet events before the film. I was lucky enough to be on the red carpet with Screen Invasion writer Cat Edison for Safety Not Guaranteed which was an awesome experience to be that close to great actors and get to have a somewhat short interview/conversation with them. For each film a lot of the cast was in attendance of the screening which means I was sitting just rows away from such actors as Rob Riggle, Matthew McConaughey and Emile Hirsch while we all watch a movie together. That was a really cool experience to be able to have.
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