22 March, 2012

SXSW 2012

I flew directly from Stockholm to Austin, where my friend Jessica picked me up and took me to 24 for a veggie burger and roasted banana milkshake (one of my favorite Austin meals), then to Domy Books for the opening reception for Wayne White's show (in conjunction with the premiere of Beauty is Embarrassing, a film about him, at the festival), and then to the Long Center for a screening of Eating Alabama, a documentary about a couple who ate only from local farms for a year. After the film we were going to go to the Sherlock party PBS was throwing (I am totally obsessed with that show), but as you might imagine I was a tad tired, having been awake for more than 24 hours at that point, so we stopped for a late night donut at Gourdough's, and turned in.

As action-packed as that sounds, we did really try to take things easier this year than last. We planned our trip to coincide with the film but not the music portion of the festival, since last year it was clear that pretty much any band we wanted to see either played recently or would be playing soon in the Bay Area, and running all over town to hang out with throngs of drunk party-goers in the hot sun ended up being exhausting. So this time we got to see a total of nine films over the course of two and a half days, and eat lots of good street food, and hang out with our friends, all without feeling rushed or sacrificing sleep. Not bad! I think my favorite movies were Casa de Mi Padre (it was really quite amazing), The Source (a documentary about the 1970's Los Angeles-based cult of the same name), and Beauty is Embarrassing. Brookyln Castle (about children playing chess) and Daylight Savings (a love story starring two Bay Area musicians, so I'm a bit biased) were also very charming. And it was fun to see 21 Jump Street with an enormous crowd- both Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill were there, which added to the general excitement. In addition, we saw Eating Alabama, Gayby, and Somebody Up There Likes Me.

But the highlight of the festival for me was seeing the world premiere of Lena Dunham's new HBO show Girls. We got to see the first three episodes, and I can't WAIT for the whole series to air. I absolutely loved her film Tiny Furniture, and this did not dissapoint by comparison. Think Sex in the City meets Freaks & Geeks (Judd Apatow is producing, which is no coincidence), in which the ladies are all 20 years younger and considerably less glamorous. You can watch more previews and clips on the HBO site.

And how could I not mention food? Besides 24 and Gourdough's (we made two trips there of course), we also had great chicken and waffle tacos from Lucky J's, ice cream sandwiches from Coolhaus, amazing corn dogs from Fire & Soul, and a really delightful lunch at the East Side Farmacy- seriously, this place is adorable!- on our way out of town. In addition, our friends made the trek out to the Salt Lick with us for some kick-ass BBQ, and I have to admit I had more than my share of chocolate peanut butter milkshakes at the Alamo Drafthouses during movies.

Time for a cleanse?

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