After getting only four hours of sleep, I headed out for day two of SXSW to a press conference with Robert Rodriguez, Nimrod Antal, and Adrian Brody where they discussed the upcoming Predators film. The producer and director said it was their choice to select Adrian Brody for the role, although they were not specific why (We'll be posting the entire audio from the Predators Press Conference later this week).
Then, I headed to the Convention Center for the Kick-Ass panel, but the crowd was daunting. The queue for the panel after that was already down the hall so I opted for that one instead. The Directing the Dead: Genre Directors Spill Their Guts panel was moderated by Scott Weinberg (Cinematical). Quentin Tarantino and Eli Roth did not show up as promised. There was Ti West (Glass Eye Pix – The House of the Devil, Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever), Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Let Me In), Neil Marshall (The Descent), Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland), and Robert Rodriguez (Predators, From Dusk Till Dawn). They discussed everything from how to make the kind of film you want and survive the censor ratings to the necessity of naked women in horror movies. They answered questions from the audience and spoke for more than one hour.
Next stop was my first movie of the day, Mars. This was an animated feature by Geoff Marslett set in 2014 about the first mission to Mars. The style is that of a graphic novel using the face and movements of the actors. The dialogue was playful-like and made it a sort of interplanetary indie flick. It was up for ratings and I gave it a 5 out of 5. Next was Cyrus - a feature with John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill, Marisa Tomei, Catherine Keeler that was directed by Jay and Mark Duplass. It had moments of laugh-out-loud humor, but it sort of left me flat. John C. Reilly plays his usual sad sack character that falls in love with Marisa’s single mom who has a 22-year old son who still lives at home. I then tried to rush over and get in Cannibal Girls but they were sold out.
It’s amazingly crowded at all the screenings. I had to re-adjust my schedule of movies to take into account the time and distance between each venue due to the popularity of each film since that may mean a very long wait. Good thing I have plenty of experience in movie lines at the Dallas free screenings. The venues are small, and fill up quickly. The lines are also outside, which can be unbearably hot in the Texas sun or rain. Coupled with the usual chaos on the streets that usually inhabit this neighborhood of Austin, it’s exhausting. I have met some interesting people from Michigan, Denver, and Santa Cruz who all came for the film fest. This all makes me appreciative of the Dallas Film Festival. So, in the second day, I did one conference, one panel, and two movies. In the meantime, my feet hurt, I need more sleep, and I’m off to tackle the madness once more.