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  • SXSW FILM DAY 5 | Don Simpson


    By | March 17, 2010

    Same old story…I didn’t get into the Cold Weather screening today at the Ritz; but I did get to do a bunch of really great interviews that I am very excited about posting (I’m not too excited about the transcribing part). First was an interview with Sean Byrne and Robin McLeavy for The Loved Ones; then I interviewed Matt Porterfield for Putty Hill; then Paul Gordon, Jonny Mars, Chris Doubek and Liz Fisher for The Happy Poet; then Andrew Bowser for Jimmy Tupper VS. the Goatman of Bowie.

    My first movie was not until 6pm today, and that was Harry Brown. Wow, so essentially Michael Caine plays an aged Dirty Harry who decides to fight a one man battle against the local hoodlums that hang out at his estate (this is set in Britain – so by estate, I mean housing project). This libertarian fantasy pic had a lot of fans in the crowd who clapped and cheered every time Harry killed someone. Wow. Only in Texas! It was odd to experience this just after hearing Robin McLeavy mention that she was disturbed by how many people clapped and cheered every time her character Lola/Princess in The Loved Ones was struck by one of the good guys. I guess this means that films like Harry Brown and The Loved Ones were both successful in making the audience side with the good guy, but I definitely agree with Robin that it is a bit disturbing.

    Oddly enough, the same thing happened during the Skateland premiere tonight. When the bad guys finally get what’s coming to them, everyone cheered. I guess that will just have to remain a mystery to me. Anyway, so Skateland is a fun period piece (set in East Texas in 1983). It would be difficult not to notice the countless similarities to Dazed and Confused (not necessarily in a bad way). The soundtrack and set/costume design are a lot of fun. The performances are all really great. The story and dialog seemed a bit basic for my tastes, but the biggest hurdle this film is going to have in order to get a distribution deal is its soundtrack. If it ever is released, I doubt it will have the same music. As it stands, the existing soundtrack would probably double the entire budget of the film. A film like Dazed and Confused already had a distribution deal, so that wasn’t an issue. I’m curious to see what happens with Skateland.

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