Do512 has been in the throes of SXSW for months now. Adding events, refreshing Twitter constantly, trying to get you the most up-to-date news on who’s coming to this sweet little Spring Break festival. Interactive is like a nice little relief, a calm before the music storm where we can get out and see movies, or hear interesting panels and speakers! Our Do512 Family editor, Jamie Jett, had a chance to hit up the fest this past weekend. Here is her recap.
As a first-year SXSW badge-holder, I’ve gone in and out of complete fits of overwhelmed excitement. There is SO MUCH going on. The city feels so alive, you can hear its pulse and see its breath. It’s bananas, y’all. When I first stepped into the Austin Convention Center and encountered all of the business, I immediately felt grateful to be there and excited about what I was about to learn and see.
The first event I planned to attend failed, due to it being everyone else’s plan. Jason Bateman spoke on Saturday, March 8 and I naively thought that maybe, just maybe, I could get there 20 minutes before it started and totally make it. Wrong. But it worked out. Walking away from the long line, I saw no line at the Seth Meyers panel that was to take place an hour later. So I grabbed a seat and waited.
The best part of arriving so early was that SXSW had a simulcast running of keynote speaker Neil DeGrasse Tyson, host of Cosmos, which, was probably the most interesting conversation I’ve heard in years. He spoke about what science is, how you can’t deny it to fit your philosophies, and how we need to let our children explore so that they learn. Tyson had a way of explaining really difficult concepts so that everyone could understand. You can watch an interview with him here.
After the simulcast, it was time for the Seth Meyers Late Night panel, hosted by Olivia Munn. Naturally, the whole thing was hilarious. Munn started the panel with a short interview and then opened the floor up to questions from the audience. Meyers seemed like a genuine nice dude, grateful for the opportunity to host the late night show. He said that it all happened because Lorne Michaels was basically like, “You’d be good at that,” and Meyers was all, “Is this a job offer?” And there you have it. It’s only been on the air for a couple of weeks but the show is already being well-received by fans and critics. You really can’t go wrong when your bandleader is Fred Armisen, amiright?
After the panel, it was time for drinks. I got some free pizza and booze at the #UseMeLeaveMe Digital Campground and then continued being irresponsible (but AWESOME) well into the night.
The next morning I managed to get up early and get to the Paramount Theatre just in time to see the SXSW Premier of Richard Linklater’s latest film, Boyhood. Seeing the film has been the highlight of my SXSW experience thus far. It was special for so many reasons, let me count the ways…
- It’s Richard Linklater, who is such an iconic Austin director thanks to gems like Dazed and Confused and Slacker.
- It was filmed over a 12-year span and follows a boy, played by Ellar Coltrane, on his journey from Kindergarten to his college dorm move-in day.
- Coltrane’s sister in the film is portrayed by Linklater’s actual daughter, Lorelei Linklater.
- The entire film is set in Texas. You see scenery of San Marcos, Houston, Austin and beyond.
- It was being screened at the Paramount, the most iconic theatre in Austin, where there isn’t a bad seat in the house. (Fun fact: Houdini performed there and there is a hole in the ceiling because he always had to have a hole in the ceiling for one of his tricks.)
- It was at friggin’ SXSW, the biggest, most Austin event ever.
I won’t go into great explanation of what made the movie awesome, you can see it and find that out for yourself. But I will tell you that it is probably the best movie I’ve ever seen, that it touched on subjects that we can all identify with, and that it made me cry. Like, legit cry. Not a couple of tears, but a lot of them. The story line will hit home with anyone, but if you’re a Texan, it will have an extra layer of awesome for you.
The movie was followed with a Q&A with Richard Linklater, Lorelei Linklater, Ellar Coltrane and Ethan Hawke. The Linklaters and Coltrane seemed surreal to be showing this to their town, to their people, and you could feel it in the room. OK, I’ll stop gushing now….
Day 3 involved Lena Dunham, locking my keys in my car and then forgetting about everything wrong with the world at Strange Brew III — where I saw Diarrhea Planet, DZ Deathrays, Dune Rats, Possessed by Paul James, Together PANGEA and so many other ridiculously fun and talented musicians. Check out the pics and feel real bad about yourself if you didn’t go. J/K, you have plenty of opportunities to make up for it later this week.
- J Jett