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I am back on the mainland and blogging from Seattle with South Austin in the rearview mirror. Don't worry Virgin Island fans, I will most certainly be back in the Caribbean for visits if not full-time. And I'm sure St. Thomas will creep it's way into many future posts. For now, it's all about living in the Pacific Northwest!

March 27, 2011

SWSX Film Festival Day 3

My friend has left her film pass with me. She had to report back to work and caught a plane to NY this morning. After dropping her at ABIA, I drive downtown and find a nice parking spot just off Congress. A thought crosses my mind that in a few months, I'll have to feed the meter on a Saturday and it irks me. Shrugging that off, I start walking the two blocks towards the theatre. I pass a Starbucks (shocking that I would pass one of these on a downtown corner) and get an iced latte to sip on while waiting in line to see the Conan O'Brien documentary. I'm not sure when I started drinking so much coffee. I generally try to avoid extremes in all forms but somehow this coffee thing has gotten away from me and I'm well into the extreme category of consumption. Standing in line at the Paramount, I text a friend to see if she has made it to this screening. She has and is around the corner, more towards the front of the passes line. Of course, I cut. I don't feel bad about this at all. I have never been one pass up a chance to cut or begrudge anyone else to do the same. NOT cutting would imply a level of coordination that most people don't have the capacity for. So, cut away I say! Where was I? Oh yeah. Conan is here. He's on the red carpet in front of the theatre.  Yes, there are little carpet cut outs (bigger than a swatch but not much) in front of each of the film venues that the actors and celebrities stand on while they answer questions and have their pictures taken.

The documentary follows Conan's tour after he was released (not the right word but a kind one) from his show. I like Conan. I don't watch his show but I like him. I like him even more now. Laughter is a precious thing and almost every moment of this doc was funny. Watching Conan interact with people is the kind of reality TV that I wouldn't be able to turn off. While complaining about having to interact with people, he does interact with them in a way that is above and beyond what's required to placate them. He is his own worst enemy. There's also something in his expression that makes even tender moments comical. While stopped on the road during a leg of his tour, he can't sit still and ventures out of the bus only to meet a car full of women who want to pray for his success. They wanted to pray right then, right there. He clasps her hand and lets it go down.  He seems touched and is quiet for a time but somehow even this is funny. He's the kind of guy that makes others around him funny. That is enough to make me a fan. The Q&A afterwards was brief but lively. His presence is undeniable and infectious and exactly what the documentary captured.

After the Conan experience, I want to see a Chilean movie. I want to see it only because the review has the director calling other directors cry babies for complaining about how hard it is to make a movie. Interesting, but does make the movie sound good. Well, it's not.  It is predictable. It's a love story about a guy that wants the wrong girl and seeks advice from his best friend (who happens to be a girl) then finally realizes that the one he wants was his friend all along. I have sat through and enjoyed a lot of movies with this same story line. This was not one of those. What was entertaining though was the Q&A afterwards. Apparently, like me, the director is a big fan of the bucket of beer available at Alamo. He came up after the credits and began by saying that he didn't give a f(#*&) if we asked questions in English or Spanish. It got worse from there. The lead actor on stage with him covered his face at one point and said quietly into the mic... "just stop".  SXSW takes all kinds and I'm happy to witness. Oh, the movie is called Fuck My Life in case you wondered.

Film count at the end of 3 days: 13 (gotta pick up the pace)


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