Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Films & Filmmakers I loved at Austin Film Festival 2010

The Austin Film Festival was amazing, as we all knew it would be.  Here are a few of the flicks I managed to catch and my two cents on why I loved them.  I'm no film reviewer, but figured you might want to hear my brief thoughts on each movie I managed to catch.

I'm sure you've heard the hype.  It's all true. It's awesome.  Go see it.  You'll see what I mean.  Natalie Portman shocked me at how frikkin' amazing she was in the role.    It was well worth the long lineup down the street to see Black Swan.

Made in Dagenham - so funny!  I saw this directly following Black Swan, and it was such a lighthearted treat to watch.

Sons of Perdition is a documentary about three boys that leave their polygamous compounds and head out into the world.  Fascinating stuff, very well done.

Okay I'm not a big Monopoly player, but I met the filmmaker and he's a cool guy so I had to go and see his movie.  This doc was a surprisingly sweet movie, and reminded me of the documentary about the kids who go to the National Spelling Bee Championships.  What was that one called again?  Anyway, it was very sweet.  Go and see this doc if you can find it!

This movie was AWESOME.  Seriously, funny movie in a Shaun of the Dead way .  We saw it at the Alamo Ritz, which deserves a post all to itself. 

Mark Potts is a really great guy, so I went to see his film but it was sold out.  Which was pretty sweet for a student film!  He gave me a DVD afterwards so my sister & I watched it when we returned from Austin.  I saw Mark speak on a couple of the panels at AFF and he has some good DIY stuff to say for indie-filmmakers.  I like his "just do it!" approach to filmmaking.  My favourite Mark Potts quote from the panels was his response to the "how did you get your budget?" question - which was simply "Student loans."  Spot on.  The movie is cute, well worth a watch.  Reminded me of Trailer Park Boys.

My sister & I saw A Savior Red on opening night because we really liked the filmmakers.  I especially enjoyed chatting with them daily at the Driskill Pub.  It's definitely an intense flick with a soundtrack that matches the tone really well.  I can see these guys doing really well.

I missed all of Ed Burns' talks, which frankly, was very lame of me!  But my reasoning was that I kept meeting all these cool filmmakers at the Driskill and if they asked me to see their movies, I just had to go & support them & their projects.  Next year, I'll make sure that I set myself some clear objectives so that I don't miss anything I really want to see. 

I met some amazing people at AFF and can't wait to return next year, hopefully with our movie being shown.  That would be very cool.  Watch this space for more news on how our feature film is coming along.  My head is swimming in legal-speak of pre-production, but we're about to shoot our teaser.  I'm stoked to say the least!

What about you?  Any films I should see that you recommend?  I'm particularly interested in independent films, but of course I will take all recommendations.  Thanks!

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