Sunday, March 13, 2011

Laurie' First SXSW Post

Laurie here. After a pretty eventful day yesterday (Saturday the 12th), Sunday has turned out mellow. But first back to Saturday. Having seen Source Code on Friday night, as I mentioned earlier, I attempted the panel for the movie, but the room was HOT. I knew I had roundtable interviews with the cast, so I wandered over the press suite (food, drinks, massages, free use laptops, info and more. Then my photographer, Riley, and hI made our way to the Four Seasons for our interviews (no photos allowed as it turned out, but Riley sat in) and the group at my table was super nice. First we spoke to Michelle Monaghan who stars as Christine in Source Code. What a dynamic, outspoken women she turned out to be. I appreciate her zeal and candor. Most of the questions proved pretty heady since the movie subject matter lends itself to that and once I go back over my audio, I will add more and include details in my full review.

So for now, I am just going to fill everyone in on the interview (roundtable) experience. Disappointingly, as noted, we were asked not to take pictures, and boy, I wanted pictures, especially of Jake Gyllenhaal (Capt. Steven Colton), who is a handsome in person as he is on the big or little screening, having seen him with Anne Hathaway in Love and Other Drugs, I could not help but imagine him nude (I know, I know, I am old compared to him, but he is beautiful! As in all of his roles, his eyes speak volumes and he, like Monaghan, is amazing candid, approachable and dynamic. He answered several questions regarding performing virtually alone for many scenes in the film and for having to repeat the same 8 minutes (with some variations) otherwise. He and Vera Farminga (Goodwin), who was also in attendance, both had scenes where there were basically talking to themselves rather than acting to or with other actors. He is in a pod of sorts and she is sitting at a control panel speaking into a computer camera. Again, I marvel at Gyllenhaal's ability to act so clearly with his eyes. Farminga, too, excels in her role, but in person she is far more quiet and demure than the others.

I also spoke to Duncan Jones who directed and writer Ben Ripley. I want to save details for my review, but I thing that Duncan and Ripley did an exception thing with Source Code, by successfully creating a non-linear story that NEVER loses its way and they keep the audience engaged and interested every minute of the ride.

After my interviews, Riley and I stopped my the IFC Crossroads House to see an interview with Raine Wilson who stars with Ellen Page in Super, which I saw late Saturday night and I must say that was film is one wild and crazy, sometimes unsettling and quite surprising movie. I am not sure I would see it twice, but I am glad I saw it when I did. There was a super Q and A following it with Raine, the director and Ellen Page. What fun! Still, it was difficult dragging myself out of bed this morning after getting in near 1:30 AM.

Before Super, I watched a ghost story of sorts called The Innkeepers, starring Sara Paxton and Pat Healey and I enjoyed it, so much more than Insidious starring Patrick Wilson, which I saw at a pre SXSw screening, but is screening here too, and I love Wilson. Paxton, whom I met with Healey on the prescreening red carpet, tosses out all the beauty products and long locks to play, Claire, a frumpy small town gal, who along with her buddy, Luke (Healey) man a haunted inn on its last open weekend. What made this film so much better than Insidious for is the cast (all five or six of them), because they actually can act. Where in Insidious, the cast, except for Wilson, let me flat. Poor acting abounds, even Barbara Hersey seems uninterested in putting out much effort. Add to a less than stellar cast, cheesy costuming and lame creature make up and poof I hated it! I talked to a few folks who agreed with me on the cast issues, but still liked Insidious better. Go figure.

Today, Riley and I made our way to the Alamo South Lamar to see The Sound of My Voice, which came highly recommended by my friend Stephen Davis (owner of, who saw it a Sundance, but I cannot say I hold it in as high regard, although it held my interest. It is the story of a couple who joins a cult in a effort to do a documentary revealing the fraud being perpetrated by a woman, known only as Maggie, who claims to be from the future. It is intriguing and suspenseful, but I suppose, if I am being honest, not actually my thing.

I am probably going to opt out of the SXSW biggie Paul tonight, starring Simon Pegg, choosing instead to spend the evening with my grandson and daughter-in-law because my granddaughter is due to arrive on Wed, if not earlier. So there is where I am in my SXSW experience thus far. Oh and I saw Pee Wee Herman (aka Paul Ruebens) on 7th and Congress with the PlayHouse truck and he and his crew handed out free ice cream before the screening of his documentary set to air on HBO on March 19th. I am not sure if I will see The Pee Wee Herman Show on Broadway here because of conflicts, but am curious enough to catch it on HBO.

I am off now, to see what more I can get into before I call it quits for the afternoon. Back soon.

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