The best advice I could give you during a film festival is to take at least one day off. Watching movies is wonderful fun, but there comes a point around day 5 or 6 when the idea of a movie just feels exhausting and all you want to do is lay on your bed, eat, and watch television.
So for the most part of my Tuesday I chilled at home, munching on avocado toast and lounging on my comfortable queen size bed reflecting on the films I have so far seen this festival (this also helped because Letterboxd came out with an app and I could rate all of them from my phone!). I came up with a list of favorites because I am obsessed with ranking and rating things. So below I have listed the films I have seen at SXSW so far from most favorite to least:
Under the Shadow
Morris from America
Teenage Cocktail / I Am Not a Serial Killer
In a Valley of Violence
The Other Half
I Am a Hero
Preacher (Episode 1)
Jack Goes Home
Now, I still want to see Miss Stevens (directed by the writer of The Keeping Room), and I’m going to try to see a couple more midnighters (Hush is still very high up on my list, regardless of its April 8th Netflix release date). Overall, though, I was a little disappointed with myself this year. Previous years I was clocking in nearly 25 films, and this year it looks like I won’t even manage 20. This is largely due to the fact that I valued parties a little more this year so I could meet people. I don’t regret my decision, but there are a few movies I wish I could have managed to check out.
So after a full afternoon of chilling, I went to have dinner with the amazing Heather at one of my favorite Austin restaurants, 24 Diner. As I munched on my goat cheese veggie burger and fries, we discussed the festival in general, the future of horror journalism, and life in general. It was a nice chat, and I was so sad to see her hop into Lyft to go to the Lucha Underground event (which looked pretty bad ass, just saying). I opted to go to the SXSW 2016 Film Awards, an event I never really went to and I was curious to see what it was like.
I’m not going to lie, it’s not an event I’d recommend skipping a movie over, but it wasn’t a total waste of time either. Before the awards were presented, Mike Birbiglia said some very hilarious words and Louis Black (SXSW co-founder) was given a moment to talk about what film meant to him. He was really passionate and said some words that really resonated with me. Honestly by the end of the whole thing I was pretty excited to even have a career in the film industry, and I might have cried just a little bit.
Anyway, after the awards ceremony I decided to skip the movie I had originally planned to see (mainly because the awards show ended late) and I walked over to the Intermission Party, which was sponsored by SyFy’s The Magicians.
Now, I’m going to take a moment to talk about how much I really love The Magicians. Not the television series, but the book series. It’s like if Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia has a baby and that baby was raised by George RR Martin. Easily one of my favorite trilogies, I have been really interested in catching the television show and it felt like fate that a party would be sponsored by the show.
As I walked into the party hosted at The Belmont, I was greeted with a drink presumably filled with dry ice, because it was smoking like a potion. I was dying to recite a Snape monologue at that moment, but I refrained because there were people around and I couldn’t look that uncool. I was coming to a party alone, after all, and I didn’t want to sit on my phone the entire time friendless.
So I explored the party for a bit, grabbed a gin and tonic, and luckily ran into an old friend from my Cinemark days (so I guess the moral to this story is never worry about looking cool, because chances are you will run into a friend who already thinks you’re pretty okay). We chatted about the struggles of being a writer and how horror films are clearly the best genre (seriously, these are where all my conversations lead).
On my way out of the party something really cool happened to me: I met someone I had interviewed via phone before. An actor in The Magicians, Arjun Gupta, was standing in front of me on my way out, and I did a creepy double take and then shouted, “Hey, we chatted on the phone for The Diabolical!” and his reaction (to my surprise) was, “Oh yeah, I remember talking to you!”
Of course, he could be totally lying, but I will take it for what it’s worth. It was a nice uplifting end to my filmless day.
Things I missed that I wished I had experienced:
Goals for SXSW Day 6: