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SXSW 2006 #3 - Lifelike, Metal and Red Bull

Posted by John / March 16, 2006

Looks like I’ll be trying to catch up this whole time. As it turns out, when you don’t absolutely have to lug a laptop around all day, why would you? Thus, here’s some thoughts from the now-distant past: Tuesday evening.

Tally Abecassis, a Montreal filmmaker (and still-hasn’t posted MP blogger, actually), gave me the rundown on SXSW’s film fest, which hosted the U.S. premiere of her doc, Lifelike. She was here for the weekend (and called me from Montreal, where she had since returned), and we talked for about half an hour about her film (which is about taxidermists), and the festival.

I got a single quote from our conversation into my piece for today’s issue of Dose (the first article is now here, and my first Gazette piece is here), which sums up the lameness of writing 300-word articles pretty nicely. Documentary filmmakers are probably the best people to do this to, however, since their craft consists of filming people for days and then concentrating it into a concise package. Not that my summary was concise, but you get the idea.

After we talked, Tally emailed me the phone number of Scot McFadyen, who directed Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey with Sam Dunn. Both were in town, so I called up Scot, and an hour or so later they picked me up in their limo-van (which they found pretty embarrassing – they’re being treated like royalty, more or less, by Warner, their U.S. distributor – but which proved very handy) and we headed to a party at some place called the Red Bull Lounge, which was pretty much exactly as you’d expect: a vaguely phony “hip” venue built by some advance marketing team for the purpose of cashing in on SXSW’s cachet. The town is crawling with them, and to enjoy this festival you must embrace them, while of course ignoring any of the corporate brainwashing they’re trying to pull. Red Bull is really awesome, by the way. You should buy some.

All drinks were free, so we gulped down a couple of very generously poured Gray Goose and Red Bulls (delicious, did I mention?), and then took off for the official film closing party. We arrived just in time for the last two songs of Sleater-Kinney, and that poor timing would repeat itself again the next night.

After free drinks and some lamentations about the missing of S-K, we went back to the Red Bull Lounge, where we recalled seeing a basketball hoop. There we ran into Matthew Swanson, who studied film at Concordia and who had just won the jury prize for his short film, Hiro, and some other Canucks. We drank beer and played basketball (as Canadians do, apparently), and then 4 a.m. rolled around unexpectedly. There was a mass realization of tiredness, and a mass exodus. Then I slept.

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