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SXSW ’08! Muldoon Attends Panels On Latino Cinema, Making A Trailer, And Sees FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL!

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here. Come hell or highwater, I’m going to SXSW next year. I know the Austin guys have it more than covered, but I don’t give a shit. It sounds like genuine fun, something that not enough festivals can claim these days. Things have gotten very corporate at certain fests, and it’s no longer about actually enjoying the movies you’re watching, or even watching them for that matter. It’s about the buying and the selling. SXSW is something different, and I can say that even with very limited exposure to it. For one thing, it’s still growing, and it’s still defining itself a little more clearly each year. One thing that is obvious is that they give good panel. There’s been quite a bit of news from the panels on the interactive side of the festival so far, as the founder of Facebook found himself at the cyber-equivalent of Shea Stadium in 1964, only to face down an interviewer who managed to piss off an entire crowd simply by existing. There are, of course, panels on a multitude of topics, and I love that Muldoon, the spy below, is sending us his reactions to a few of them. I wish more people included panel coverage with the film reviews. Check it out:

Hey Guys, Today started out with panel on "New Trends in Latino Cinema" with one of UT's favorite professors, Charles Ramirez-Berg moderating a discussion with Elizabeth Avellan (Producer), Jonas Cuaron(Director), and Ricardo de Montreuil(Director). It was a genuinely interesting discussion about a number of topics regarding representation, difficulties, and the over all differences between "Latino" Cinema and "American" Cinema. I thought going into the panel that I would be a minority, since I'm a young white guy, but no. I can't put my finger on any specific groups of people who stood out in the audience and I thought/think that that was pretty cool. When asked whether or not they prefer being known at Latino Filmmakers, Cuaron simply replied that he wants to be known as a filmmaker who just happens to be Latino or in other words, no. All three discussed how proud of their Latino influenced heritage they are, yet don't want to be pigeon holed as "just a Latino Filmmaker." The panel was great and I found it fascinating. Next up was the panel on making a trailer. It was entertaining and informative, yet didn't quite captivate my attention as much as the panel directly before it, though that could be completely due to the fact that I just more interested in the first panel's topic. I was never really sure if the men on the panel considered themselves more as filmmakers or as advertisers and wish I would have asked that during the Q and A (though in retrospect that might come off dickish). After the panel I went and stood in the FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL line and waited for a bit. It was totally worth the wait and fulfilled every expectation I had for the film. Before I jump on the film, yeah we all waited out in the cold (Weird TX weather...) and it wasn't the greatest, but a small group of insanely hot hula chicks came out and put leis on everyone waiting. I'm all about getting leid before a great movie and yes this movie is beyond hilarious. I'm sure tons of people are going to be chiming in about this flick since it truly is that great, so I don't want to spoil too much with my take on it. I remember Quint's interview with the cast and the filmmakers and thinking "There is no way this movie can be half as funny as how these guys are just by being themselves..." I was wrong. Shauna Robertson and Judd Apatow know their stuff and again they pump another gem out into theaters with this puppy. The guys are all goofy average looking guys and the females are insanely hot. In a way I'd like to write the director, Nicholas Stoller a thank you letter for casting such hot ladies and having them dressed all sexy like, but then I remember this very specific imagery of a Mr. Segel... Warning - this movie has full frontal male nudity - not for the faint of heart. That said, it's hilarious! I haven't laughed that consistently since SUPERBAD came out, so imagine something as hilarious as SUPERBAD but with fucking MILA KUNIS. She completely owns this movie. There are some amazing one liners that I'm sure my friends will be quoting or misquoting for months to come. Every single person cast in this movie seems like they were born for the role and that's something I rarely go out and say. I typically don't dig mediocre films with boob jokes and stuff like that, but this is not a mediocre film with just boob jokes and sex jokes. The film has an unbelievable amount of heart that I think every single person will be able to relate to. We have all been dumped at some point in our lives and this is the movie that makes up for that. Despite taking place in Hawaii with an ex who is starring in some cop drama on TV, it was almost like watching a funny documentary about how your break up should have happened. To wrap it up in case it's not obvious - this movie has heart - this movie is hilarious and - this movie is the perfect date movie. Finally, I saw NOT YOUR TYPICAL BIGFOOT MOVIE. This doc was a midnight movie and blew my face off. I waited in line for a while and turned around to see Jonas Cuaron, director of ANO UNO, from the panel from earlier in the day. We talked about a bunch of cool things and apparently he was only in town for a little bit to screen his film and do the panel. I just think that's funny how one of the movies he made sure to go check out was this movie about two Bigfoot researchers... The lights dimmed and the movie started. I didn't read anything about the movie going into it, but knew that it had something to do with Bigfoot and it was good enough to be screened at SXSW, so I figured it'd be a fun film to end the night on. It was. The movie documents the lives of two self proclaimed Bigfoot researchers living in a small town in Ohio. The film chronicles their friendship, which roller coasters quite a bit, and how although they don't have all that much money, they still go out and work hard their asses off in search of the almighty Sasquatch. I think the film was funny and a joy to watch. You have to understand though, these guys are characters. It's hard not to laugh at some of the stories these men tell or how they talk about a given topic, but it's really interesting and beautiful that at the end of the film, I didn't really walk out thinking these men were goofy hicks or jokes at all. The film's director, Jason Delany, does a wonderful job ending the film on a high note where you really sort of "get" the two Ohio Bigfoot researchers. As the film progressed, I was almost pissed off whenever I heard everyone laughing at these men on screen, because this is what they love and do and truly believe in and I was worried that the film was just a giant joke exploiting these men. That's not the case and I really respect that Delany did not leave it at that. I've said it before and I'll say it again, documentary films have to blow me away in order for me to like them. Call me ignorant, classless, or whatever, but I'm just not really that into documentaries and so if I'm presented with a doc, I have to love it to like it and I definitely love this film. Today was a perfect movie day with both films kicking my ass. I know this movie screens here at SXSW again on Friday and if you get a chance, it's definitely worth checking out. -Muldoon
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