Jenny’s SXSW 2016 Diary: Day 4

2016/03/15 23:55:01 +00:00 | Jenny Nulf

My day started with me balancing emails and waiting at the InterContinental for my first interview of the day: American Fable. I spoke to the director for a podcast I am also working for during SXSW, One of Us, and it went really well. It always feels good to be the first interviewer because you know you’ll be on time and you’ll probably also have the chance to run over time and ruin everyone’s schedule for the rest of the day.

As I mentioned yesterday, American Fable is incredible, so talking with Anne Hamilton about her movie was equally special. She had so much to say about her craft, and I cannot wait for people to hear it.

My next interview was for I Am Not a Serial Killer, but luckily for me that wasn’t until 1:00pm. That meant I had about an hour and a half to kill, and since I had just finished answering all my emails, I decided it was time to brunch and I really, really wanted a Voodoo doughnut.

Waiting in line at Voodoo Doughnuts was awful. I should have taken into account that due to it being SXSW, the hope of, “Oh, Mondays are never busy,” was false one. It took me thirty minutes to get a donut because just about everyone in front of me was ordering boxes and boxes of them. But the wait was worth it – my mango stuffed donut was so beautiful and it filled me up pretty nicely. I still had a little bit of time to kill, so I flew over to Hideout Coffee (have I mentioned this place is the best one to sit down and work at during SXSW yet?) and I got a Ginger Peach iced tea. It was delicious, the wi-fi worked magnificently, and before I knew it I had 15 minutes until my I Am Not a Serial Killer interviews.

While I certainly had my minor critiques of the film, I was pretty excited about my interviews. The Q&A yesterday was very entertaining, and I figured this was a team where the conversation would flow beautifully. I was not wrong. Director Billy O’Brien, producer Nick Ryan, and actors Christopher Lloyd and Max Records really had great chemistry, and I could have talked to them for hours about filming in snowy conditions and puppeteering.

However, as these things go I had to be at the Paramount for the episodic screening of Preacher. Now, I’ll be the first to admit I am not a graphic novel person. I am currently making my way through Sandman and the idea of the graphic novel is starting to grow on me. I used to read some manga in high school (The Ring series, Mars, and the ever-sweet Fruits Basket), but I always felt like I was cheating on books. Hell, when I watch movies based on books without reading the source material beforehand, I feel like I’m cheating. I’m kind of a bookworm.

Anyway... I digress. The point is Preacher was going to be a totally new experience for me and sometimes that perspective is worthwhile. I will also be the first to admit by saying I was pretty lukewarm about the show’s Pilot episode, but that’s a little unfair because Pilot episodes are generally mediocre. Here’s my two cents about Preacher: while the first episode didn’t necessarily lure me in, I am still willing to give the show a shot. During the Q&A, you could tell everyone involved was incredibly passionate about the project, and they also kept saying the Pilot was the hardest episode to make since most of the events that take place are prior to where the graphic novel begins. The good news is, the Preacher press day went smoothly, although I wish I had read the comics before, because talking to writer Garth Ennis could have been a little more well researched. I apologize in advance for my uncoolness.

Oh and I forgot to mention: I asked the man sitting next to me at Preacher what his favorite movie of the fest was so far. He said it was Hardcore Henry, and that it wasn’t only his favorite movie of this SXSW, but probably the best he’s seen in years at the movie fest. The movie has received some mixed word of mouth, but as it turns out the people who love it really dig it. Man sitting next to me, keep on loving what you love. And sorry I forgot you name, but he was very into sports, so that could have played into his love for Hardcore Henry.

After my very Preacher-filled late afternoon, I drove on over to the Topfer Theatre at ZACH and saw Morris from America. I have been a huge fan of the films A24 has distributed for a while now, so this one was considered a must-see on my end. Also Craig Robinson was in attendance, and he’s really funny.

While not a horror movie, Morris from America is very sweet, and I was surprised to see it was set in Heidelberg, Germany – a small college town I visited when I went on my Euro tour the summer of 2012. It’s one of my favorite places in the world, and re-experiencing the city through film was really uplifting.

So, now that I’ve seen a cute movie, I can continue to focus on horror and dark thrillers the rest of the fest.

Which brought me to Jack Goes Home at midnight. I have to admit, that two-hour nap from the day before was no longer helping me out. I was exhausted and I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to stay up during the film. So in hopes that it would keep me awake, I ate a very late dinner at Llamas Peruvian food truck off of 7th and Trinity (it was delicious) before making my way into the Alamo Ritz.

Once seated I ordered some brown sugar lemonade (so worth the $4 charge at Alamo every once in a while) so I could wake my brain up with sugar. It’s easy to see how Jack Goes Home made it into SXSW, as its big name cast is hard to overlook (Lin Shaye, Rory Culkin, Britt Robertson, and Natasha Lyonne to name a few). However, this is one of those projects that even though everyone might have been passionate while working on it, the movie itself just doesn’t click. I wish the movie was good, because according to my friends the Q&A was really wonderful after the film.

Things I missed that I wished I had experienced:

  • Eating lunch.
  • The Jack Goes Home Q&A, even though I didn’t particularly enjoy the film. Luke Mullen moderated it, and he’s a good guy (he also programs for Fantastic Fest, which is the best week of the year). Plus, Lin Shaye was there and she reportedly broke down on stage.
  • This wish is not particularly something I could have done on Monday, but I cannot stress how much I wish I had read Preacher before seeing the first episode. There’s still time though, the show doesn’t air officially until late May!

Goals for SXSW Day 5:

  • See at least one movie (today it’s rough due to work).
  • Scroll through the SXSW screening library to see if there are any buzzy movies available.
  • Have dinner with Heather before she departs back to LA :)