Lara’s SXSW Film Fest Review: Origins

22 Mar

The South By Southwest film festival was for me what I imagine a wedding is for most people. You look forward to it all of your life, and soon before it takes place you over-think it and prepare and prepare, planning every single moment, and then when it finally happens it is a blur of nerves and excitement and magic that disappears all too soon. And you know your life will never be the same… Ahh… My life was better last week than it will ever be again…

Going to this film festival spoiled me in 3 ways:

  1. The audience is on fire. In the least literal way. Anything remotely humorous brings on an explosion of laughter, geeky references get hoots and hollers, and when the good guy fights back, applause and cheering are sure to ensue. Which brings me to…
  2. People applaud when the movie ends. Sometimes people stand, sometimes people cheer, but no matter what, there is always the clapping of hands. I’m afraid when I go back to a Regular Movie Experience, I’ll be the one dunce in the theater clapping during the credits of Fast Five on a Tuesday afternoon. And I will remember that Things Are Different Now…
  3. Obviously, the filmmakers are there. After watching 8 movies in 3.5 days I got used to having the director, writer, and lead actors introduce a movie and follow it with Q&A. I can’t imagine the theatrical experience without it! How did I ever watch a film without being given the chance to immediately ask the director about the cinematography?! I honestly can’t remember. And I dread the day of my theatrical wake up call.

Ok! Enough grieving! One of the best parts about going to SXSW is that now I get to share my movie experiences with all of you! Yay! In this post I’m going to do pretty straightforward reviews of a couple of the movies I saw and will continue to do so over the next few days, because I have a full-time job and therefore not enough time to write 8 full reviews before the movies are released in theaters. One or two of the movies are going to get full reviews soon, which I know you will all anticipate with bated breath.

Life In A Day

Last year Youtube asked people around the world to document their day on July 24, giving others a glimpse at what their life is like. They received 4200 hours of footage and cut it down to 90 minutes. You may imagine, as I did, an hour and a half of people talking to their webcams, bitching about stuff that no one cares about, in hopes of being famous. Not so. People actually got creative. And the film beautifully ties stories from completely different cultures together. There is brilliant editing, magnificent shots from around the world, and a pleasant feeling of human-kind camaraderie.


Speaking of human-kind, this is a movie that uses a CG alien and comedy, to comment on our bizarre race. Two English geeks take a trip to the United States in order to attend Comic-Con and visit sites in their RV of extraterrestrial significance. On their journey they come across Paul, a regular-Joe alien, who has been on earth for fifty years and is trying to get back to his home planet.

I was a little nervous going into this screening because, though I love Nick Frost, Simon Pegg, Seth Rogen, and Greg Mottola, the trailer was not very funny. And the absence of Edgar Wright only added to my apprehension. I was pleasantly surprised, therefore, when the movie was absolutely hilarious. It is vulgar and it is nerdy. My two favorite things. Of course the movie is not for everyone; there is crude humor throughout, an over-the-top, super evangelical Christian (do movies portray any other types of Christians?), and a lot of jokes that will go over the heads of those who don’t know the works of Steven Spielberg very well. Not that I really care for them. Fortunately my theater was full of the people it was, because it just added to the experience. I loved it and so did everyone else– and we fed off of each other. So—if you are geek who likes cuss-words, this is the movie for you.

(Make sure to look at part 2 and 3 videos of the introduction– follow up Q&A to be available on youtube in the very near future!)

Ok? Got that! So far we’re two for two. More to come.

Reliving the recent past,



One Response to “Lara’s SXSW Film Fest Review: Origins”

  1. carly cram March 25, 2011 at 9:31 am #

    I want more!

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