Jenny’s SXSW 2016 Diary: Day 1

2016/03/12 20:30:55 +00:00 | Jenny Nulf

SXSW is upon us, and for most people from Austin that means traffic, overexposure to branding, and possibly a celebrity sighting. For those who are film lovers though, it’s a whole other beast. There are films with your favorite talent attending, wicked cool swag for upcoming films and television series, and (for the horror fan at least) lots and lots of great, scary movies.

My first day of SXSW wasn’t too movie heavy, and the single movie I chose wasn’t even remotely horrific (The Other Half). The day began with ramen (Daruma off of 6th has a chicken-based broth, but add a chili bomb and it’s to die for), rain, and a ride on the Mr. Robot Ferris wheel.

Surprisingly, the line for the Ferris wheel was more or less nonexistent, so of course that means I went on it twice. The real line for Mr. Robot was the screen printing station, where you could wait in line to get a customized shirt. However, for those who don’t desire to wait in line – if you just snap a picture of yourself on the Ferris wheel and tweeting about it (with the hashtag #MrRobotSXSW) you might receive a Tweet for the Mr. Robot handle and if you DM them they’ll send you one.

So after the Ferris wheel I went on a mission to find the Harley Quinn Tattoo Parlor, which is located off of 6th street towards Red River. The Suicide Squad themed parlor is handing out thousands of temporary tattoos until March 14th, and at 12pm and 6pm 9 lucky people can get real tattoos for free (in the style of the temporary tats though, of course – I tried to get them to let me get a Deathly Hallows tattoo and I had no luck). Either way, the temp tattoos are wicked cool, and it was hard to choose just one (I went with Katana). Word has it that the cast will be stopping by throughout the week, and I can only assume it’s during the designated inking slots. Wouldn’t it be something to have Margot Robbie sitting by you while you get Harley inked across your arm? It’s the ultimate fanboy’s dream.

So after all this fun, I sauntered over to the Pet press day, where I talked to Dominic Monaghan (aka Merry Brandybuck), Ksenia Solo, and director Carles Torrens. The film had its premiere later that night, and I can’t say I have strong feelings for the film, but it’s an admirable passion project that’s probably worth a shot seeing. At the end of the day, it just depends on how much exposition you like with your gore.

As I mentioned, the only movie I saw on the first day was The Other Half, not because I’m a crazy drama fan, but because I am an insane Orphan Black fangirl. Tatiana Maslany was there, and she is just as lovely in person as she is in the hit BBC show. The movie though? It’s a little slow and too open ended.

That’s it for Day 1, but before I go I want to recommend two movies that you should look out for during the fest: Under the Shadow and Teenage Cocktail. Under the Shadow is an incredible horror film, set in 1980s Iran. Netflix has picked up the rights to it, but there’s no telling when it will hit streaming. Teenage Cocktail, on the other hand, is a dreamlike coming-of-age film from producer Travis Stevens, who previously has worked on great SXSW hits like Starry Eyes, Cheap Thrills, and We Are Still Here. If you a fan of his retro style, Teenage Cocktail will certainly be something worth seeking out. The two leading females are also magnetic and brilliant.

Things I missed that I wish I experienced:

  • Fede Alvarez’s Don’t Breathe (previously know as “Untitled Fede Alvarez” on the schedule, and before that A Man in the Dark) earned electric buzz last night. You can bet I will be lining up for the film sometime this week, and there’s a high chance it’ll score the audience award. The cast and crew will be around for the Q&A tonight, so I might be sneaking out of the In a Valley of Violence party to go catch that.
  • Icenhauer’s had a full open bar early in the evening and from what I know you could get all the top shelf liquor and La Barbeque you desired.
  • The film party. I haven’t heard a lot about it, but when I saw the line I chickened out and just went home. Lines aren’t fun, unless there is a movie at the end of it.

Goals for SXSW Day 2:

  • Meet Ti West.
  • Find free alcohol.
  • Actually make it to a midnight movie.
  • Or maybe I’ll just give up on everything and just check out Keanu. Because kittens.