October 24, 2016
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SXSW: Remember the Alamo (Drafthouse)


South By Southwest got the better of me.

Horror stories about long lines at film festival venues circulated through the masses on Sunday. Organizers were doing their best to accommodate, though. A second screening of the anticipated “The People vs. George Lucas” reportedly was added to so that all of the people who were turned away from the first showing at the Alamo Ritz could get in to see the film.

I’m not sure what the back-up plan was for “Elektra Luxx.” Sebastian Gutierrez’s sequel to last year’s “Women In Trouble” was having its World Premiere at the Paramount. Stars Carla Gugino, Malin Akerman and Emmanuelle Chriqui were among the sold out crowd. And the projector went dead halfway through the film. Gutierrez took the stage for a hasty Q-and-A, but the film could not be salvaged.

Thankfully for most, these occurrences were few and far between. SXSW has been a seamless festival … staggering given the amount of stuff that is happening at any given moment. I think I saw a tweet from Anne Thompson (of Thompson on Hollywood) about the Convention Center having to be evacuated at one point, but no one mentioned that in conversation.

Mostly, we gathered in small social circles to talk about film. But by Sunday evening, I was spent. Having interviewed John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill, Chloe Sevigny, Patrick Wilson, Judy Greer, and Mark and John DuPlass, (all of those interviews will be posted momentarily), I decided to squeeze in one more film at the famed Alamo Ritz.

The draw of the Alamo theaters, for those who have not been, is that food and drinks are served during the screening. In theory, it sounds amazing. In practice, it’s even better. The documentary I caught was called “The Parking Lot Movie,” the study of employees at a tiny pay-to-park lot in Charlottesville, Va. It’s an interesting, if one-dimensional, snapshot of a particular existence, but it’s populated by colorful characters and nicely edited by director Meghan Eckman.

Truthfully, they could have been showing a “Police Academy” marathon, and I would have been thrilled. I had a cheeseburger, fries, and two Lone Star beers in front of me. I had a movie on the big screen. It was a cinematic slice of heaven on Earth. Why don’t more theaters do this? The wait staff was delightful. The food was fantastic. Everyone seemed happier oat the end of the film. Experiencing a film at the Alamo was one of the many joys to be found at SXSW.

I planned to attend one last film – the ESPN produced “One Night In Vegas,” about the evening Tupaq was murdered following a Mike Tyson fight. But I had writing to do, and my body was giving out. You win, SXSW. I pray I see you again next year.

Until then, bookmark HollywoodNews.com. Today’s a travel day for me, but the tremendous Todd Gilchrist is still on the ground in Austin filing stories for the site. And I’ll have audio clips of my interviews with Patrick Wilson, Judy Greer, John C. Reilly and Jonah Hill up soon. Thanks, all, for reading!

About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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  • March 15, 2010 | Permalink |

    I can’t wait to read your interviews with Jonah Hill and Chloe…

  • March 15, 2010 | Permalink |

    good to hear that they’re adding screenings so more people can get a chance to see the hot films

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