SXSW 2010 - Day 3

Forgot to take into account the time change and was late getting to the XXpress pass line. The big movies were already swept up, but I did manage to get my midnight movie selection. First film of the day was Earthling, which was written and directed by Clay Liford. This is a story of an incident that happens on a space station that affects a woman who lives on earth that triggers these unexplained memories. The movie had typical low budget production values and includes some slimey slug things and this weird stringy ball with spikes. I kept waiting for the story line to make sense. The characters were interesting but very cryptic. It was nice seeing the familiar faces of Peter Greene and William Katt in some small roles. This movie has been selected in this year’s Dallas International Film Festival.

I had to kill some time before the Hubble 3D screening at the Imax, so I stayed for The Happy Poet which was an enjoyable local feature. A sad sack thirtysomething with a degree in poetry decides to open a hot dog stand, but sell vegan fare like eggless egg sandwiches. It was written and directed by Paul Gordon, who also stars as the lead and really does speak in the monotone as the character.

The Bob Bullock Imax Theater is too far to walk and the festival shuttle didn’t run there, so I took advantage of the search engine Bing, which was offering car rides. The Bullock Imax is a beautiful building and screen, perfect for the premiere of the Hubble 3D movie by Toni Myers. Some of the fascinating footage was shot by the astronauts as they did repairs on the space telescope. The big pictures of nebulas that you can see on the NASA website were enhanced by software that enables it to create a 3D image. The film was narrated by Leonardo Dicaprio. There was a Q&A afterwards moderated by Harry Knowles of Ain’t It Cool News. Two of the astronauts in the film were answering questions.

I finished off the evening with Higanjama, a Korean and Japanese vampire film brought to the film festival by Fantastic Fest who hold their film festival of horror movies in September. This is probably my favorite film of the festival so far. The story is about a young man who goes to a small mysterious island with his friends to help look for his brother who disappeared a couple of years earlier. This movie pulls every device out of it’s hat and then some. It’s a hoot with it’s anime type of characters, evil master vampire, mysterious experiments, and blood, blood, blood!!!

The Alamo Theater screenings are fun with the old silly vintage clips, but the houses are too small and most screenings are turning away festival goers. The constant standing in line is normal for the usual free screenings in Dallas, but these lines are outside on hard cement. Hard on the feet and patience. (Article by Reesa Cruz Hawkins of Dallas Movie Screenings)