I’m still here in Austin! Someone come get me! Just kidding, I leave tomorrow and have a Wednesday appointment for a liver transplant. This years fest was even better than the last 2 and Matt Dentler deserves props for that as do all his staff. SXSW is simply the greatest film festival going today. They do it right by kicking back and letting people have fun and see movies. It’s the anti-Sundance.

This week, as you may have seen from some of my reviews, I saw PUNK LIKE ME (boo!), THE CASSIDY KIDS (yay!!) and Gretchen (yay!). I also some some sweeeeet sneak previews including A SCANNER DARKLY, A PRARIE HOME COMPANION and AMERICAN DREAMZ. All three are GREAT so keep an eye out for reviews. I also saw another sneak peak and had a shitty experience for the first time ever at SXSW. Here’s what happened…

Last night there was a Midnight screening of SLITHER at The amazing Alamo Drafthouse. I had another screening right before it so I made arrangements with the awesome SXSW volunteer staff to make sure I could get in. I then made arrangements for some friends to hold me a seat in the back of the Drafthouse. I got in the door no problem and quickly located my friends. I sat down on a couch marked “Press” and settled in for some beers and midnight horror. I got the latter right quick.

Some stooge from UNIVERSAL comes over and tells me I can’t sit there, it’s reserved. I quickly pointed to my badge and said, “yeah, reserved for press….I’m press.” This sycophant douche bag says, “yeah. But these are reserved for some UNIVERSAL execs coming in.” It had been a long week and I didn’t feel like being trifled with…so I turned into a dick. I told the guy that it’s totally unprofessional to move a member of the press from the press area and that he should know better. I then said, “you know Film Threat is an internet outlet and James Gunn is a friend of ours and that this is total bullshit and furthermore, this isn’t going to settle well.” To that the guy blew me off and rushed over to blow…err…seat the exec who had just came in. Left in the cold by UNIVERSAL I literally found the last seat in the packed house. By the way, and this has nothing to do with UNIVERSAL being unprofessional dicks….the movie pretty much blows. Look for my review soon.

Tonight UNIVERSAL nearly outdid themselves by not allowing any camera phones into AMERICAN DREAMZ. My camera has a phone and I came clean after the anouncement and the oh-so-helpful UNIVERSAL people said that I had to put the phone in my car or room. I said “the movie starts in 20 minutes and my hotel is a 30 minute walk there and back.” The guy said, “I don’t know what to tell you.” I said, “I’m just basically screwed then?” He said something to the effect of “I wouldn’t say that, but you can’t come in with the camera phone.” Way to help out the press trying to do their job UNIVERSAL. And even more annoying….why the f**k can you not bring a camera PHONE into a theater?? What, am I going to record the film in 20 second takes and re-edit it for distribution? Am I going to take snapshots of the screen or something? Stupid people. Understand the technology before you screw people over. I ended up leaving my phone in some nice persons car.

Other than UNIVERSAL being unhelpful, irritating and unprofessional I’ve had a blast! Can’t wait for next year!!

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  1. Don Lewis says:

    They wanded me AND frisked me…for AMERICAN DREAMZ for chrissakes. I didn’t even get talked to about SCANNER DARKLY which is not out until late summer and has much more to lose by photos being posted. Lamesville…but I’m over it.

  2. Pete says:

    Why even tell them you have one? I just stick mine in my sock. They never use the wand that low, anyway.

  3. Mark Bell says:

    Make sure you tell Kelly from Sidewalk all about A Prairie Home Companion, she’s really been curious. And then tell me all about A Scanner Darkly

    As for the whole camera-phone brouhaha… dude, that’s how it is in LA for every press screening. Doesn’t matter if the phone takes shitty video in 10 second intervals, they don’t let them in. I’m a bit surprised they were able to be so militant at a fest like SXSW, but it seems to be s.o.p. nowadays.

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