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03.13.06

I must admit IFC really is all about their filmmakers.

They've treated us like gold since we've arrived here at SXSW. I'm beginning to wonder if they're spoiling me? Tonight (Sunday) we went to see "loudQUIETloud: A Film About The Pixies." There was a huge line outside of the auditorium stretching clear across the lobby of the Austin convention center. Luckily, we were with Alison Bourke and the rest of the IFC people and were quickly ushered past the line and into the empty auditorium. I laughed as I walked by the commoners who looked upon me with pathetic envy...  That's not true.

Anyway, when I first sat down I was explaining to John Hyams that if this was one of those three-hour concert films, I would have to walk out. Anyone who knows me knows that I hate live music. I know that makes no sense, but it's true. I noticed John was sort of nodding his head, gesturing toward something behind me. I ignored him and continued complaining. The lights dimmed and the film began and I realized that the man sitting next to me, with whom I had been having a small elbow war over the arm rest, was Joey, the lead guitarist of The Pixies. Had he heard me? He probably did, and he probably thinks I'm an asshole.

The film is incredibly entertaining. The music was fantastic. Each member of the band was enough of a character to warrant their own individual film. The filmmakers successfully dug beneath the surface of their subjects and captured private moments of human emotion, which in my opinion turns a documentary into a film. Joey, the lead guitarist sitting next to me, squirmed in his seat from beginning to end. It reminded me of being with Mark Kerr, the subject of our last film, and sitting next to him as he watched his life being laid out in front of him, arranged through someone else's vision, for all the world to see. It's something I can't even imagine experiencing. Joey sighed loudly as the closing credits rolled, and he finally relaxed back into his seat. I'm sure he had seen the film before, but still he was visibly moved. I was thinking he was the vehicle through which art and reality merged, and I think that's what I like about making documentary films. That sounds weird...

We then proceeded to the afterparty, where I peppered Alison with reasons why "Rank" should be released theatrically. That must get annoying, but she handles it like a champ. We were treated to an impromptu performance as a really skinny guy in a sweater-vest began dancing like a fourteen-year-old Latin girl. It was awesome. People slowly kept filing in, until I looked around and realized everyone there seemed significantly cooler than me and everyone I was with. So we left. We were off to Buffalo Billiards for a shuffleboard nightcap. This is where we learned that our new friend Amanda "Mad Dog" Rykoff must have grow up with one of these tables in her basement. She says no, but I don't believe her.

More coming soon...

-Jon G

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03.12.06

SXSW early thoughts

We've been in Austin for two full days, and played probably seven hours worth of shuffleboard at Buffalo Billiards.  Producer Jon Greenhalgh and myself have been on the losing end to co-producer Neil Fazzary and cinematographer Stephen Schlueter vicious onslaught (to the tune of 10 games to 2, I think).  At five dollars a piece per game, it’s adding up.  Thankfully, IFC has paid for dinner.

In the meantime "Rank" had its world premiere at the beautiful Paramount Theater downtown.  Despite the fact that we had an 11am Saturday screening, it was well attended (thanks to the promotional efforts from the folks at Bside Entertainment) and the audience response was enthusiastic.  They seemed right there with it the whole way, and said as much in the Q and A.  It was a nice prelude to what we hope will be a raucous showing Tuesday night at the Alamo Drafthouse.  I can only imagine that it plays real well when you can drink from a bucket of beers while viewing, considering the amount of Bud Light that’s consumed throughout the movie.  In the meantime, we’ll be watching films, drinking free beers, enjoying the Austin weather, and hopefully turning this shuffleboard situation around.

-John Hyams

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