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SXSW Catch-up: I’m observing and reporting

SXSW Catch-up: I'm observing and reporting

SXSW 2009 has been busy fun. I was on a panel that got loads of attention and a little bit of tension. I was on another panel when, at the last minute, someone dropped out and Robert WIlonsky sent me a text that said “We need you on this panel.” I’ve been in meetings all day every day and seeing a few films in the evenings. Oh, and yes, there are the parties. And the Twittering. I’ll have pics and more to share soon, but for now, here’s a rundown of my thoughts on the films I’ve enjoyed, that are premiering at SXSW 2009:

I Love You, Man – This upcoming Paramount release is exactly what you think it is, but that’s okay. It’s funny, sweet, and entertaining. Plus, it will make for an ideal date movie, because it’s essentially a romantic comedy about male friendships.

True Adolescents – Craig Johnson’s Seattle-based coming-of-age dramedy is smart and fun, with a killer performance by Mark Duplass. There’s a little too much fat around certain moments, but some interesting moments make it worthwhile.

Alexander The Last – Joe Swanberg wins over the critics with his fifth feature, and I see why. It’s Joe’s most mature filmmaking, with clever decisions and a dreamlike flow between conflicting relationships. Plus, Jess Weixler and Amy Seimetz deliver a haunting portrayal of two turbulent sisters.

The Overbrook Brothers – Hands down, one of the funniest indie films I’ve seen all year. Highly quotable, highly memorable, and highly recommended.

Winnebago Man – A documentary so cool, so moving, so funny and so timely. This look at the way unexpected and unwanted celebrity can mold a man’s life, is both tragic and tremendous.

Observe And Report – Jody Hill’s mall security comedy starring Seth Rogen, is insane. It’s also hilarious and a brisk 85 minutes. Darker than you’d expect, I can understand why people have described it as a Paul Schrader comedy. It blew my mind.

Strongman – Not a premiere, but worthy of an extra mention. This documentary is the real-life Wrestler, except you really like this guy.

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