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by Kristin Molloy
March 17th, 2014
After years of waiting, I finally made it to SXSW. Let me just tell you that it was everything I hoped for and more. I could go on for days about how amazing the festival is and how awesome of a city Austin is, but I’ll just leave you with a few highlights from my adventures.

Favorite Screenings – SXSW Competition

Obvious Child – Director Giliian Robespierre

Obvious Child is a film about a stand up comedian, Donna, who gets dumped, laid-off, and pregnant just in time for Valentine’s Day. I don’t want to give too much away, because I really want all of you to see it. Obvious Child takes the entire genre of romantic comedy and flips it on its head. A comedy about abortion, is that even possible? Yes, yes it is. Never in my life have I been so profoundly moved by a comedy. This film will be talked about for years to come. Not to mention Jenny Slate delivers an incredible performance. The film is set to be released in June.

American Interior Director Dylan Goch, Gruff Rhys

American Interior is a documentary that follows Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals fame as he journeys through America to uncover the story of his ancestor, John Evans. Gruff and John (in felt form) set out to retrace John’s steps, traveling all the way from Wales to across the Mississippi. The documentary takes you on a fun ride as Gruff explores America. Also, the original music is an added bonus. Overall, this was one of the most entertaining documentaries I’ve seen all year.

Yakona - Directors: Anlo Sepulveda, Paul Collins

Yakona was a pleasant surprise. I had read very little about the film before I saw it.  Yakona is a beautiful experimental film, a meditation of sorts about the San Marcus river in Texas. The filmmakers tell the stories of the river that span over thousands of years. Visually stunning, the film was a real treat for me.

Bonus Special Screening!

40th Anniversary Texas Chainsaw Massacre! Director Tobe Hooper 

Seeing the Texas Chainsaw Massacre in Texas was incredible. It’s been 40 years since the film was first released, and it is still one of the most terrifying movies of all time. Added bonus: Mr. Hooper himself was there in person to talk about the film afterwards. This was hands down one of the coolest things that I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing. For those of you that are huge Texas Chainsaw Massacre fans, you’ll remember the story about the human bones used in the film. You see it was rumored that the bones used the film were in fact human bones, apparently bones from India are way cheaper than plastic bones in the U.S. Well, Mr. Hooper confirmed for us all of us, that the bones used in the film were in fact human bones from India! How insane is that? 

Venue Heaven

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema – The Ritz in Austin

If you’re anything like me, you’re sick of going to movies where people sit and talk or text the entire time. A few months back, my boyfriend and I went to the movies, and the couple in front of us talked and looked at their phones the entire time, even after another man told them to shut up. Seriously people, if you’re gonna talk to the whole time, why don’t you save your money and just stay home?

For me, movie theaters are a sacred place, so it was a real delight to attend screenings at the Alamo. I’ve heard such wonderful things about the theater for years. Upon arriving, you sit down, and there’s a little table in front of you. A server comes along and explains that you can order food and drinks by writing them down on a piece of paper and placing the card upright for them to see so they can take your order during the movie. Seriously, for my last screening I ordered a brown sugar lemonade, and a gluten free pizza. WHATS UP!

Wait though, the food isn’t even the best part. Before each screening they play these amazing PSAs, that warn movie goers to be quiet and watch the film. You’ll never have trouble remembering the Alamo after your experience at these theaters.

Misc.

If you happen to find yourself coming down with an awful cold, may I suggest MedSpring in Austin right by the University. Some of the best healthcare service I’ve received in years!

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Rooftop Films is a New York based non-profit whose mission is to engage diverse communities by showing independent movies in outdoor locations, producing new films, coordinating youth media education, and renting equipment at low cost to artists.

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