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Kim Voynar

By Kim Voynar

SXSW 2009 Dispatch: Opening Night

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After a hellish day of flight delays, planes with mechanical problems, luggage not being loaded on the plane in a timely manner, and assorted weather-related issues here in the southwest, I finally made it into Austin tonight five hours or so later than planned.
I got to my hotel room around 10:30 and after longing lookss at both the lovely, deep bathtub and comfortable-looking bed, both of which were giving me “come hither” glances, I sucked down some coffee and mustered up the energy to hike the few blocks over to the big Opening Night party at Buffalo Billiards.

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The Opening Party is, like most fest parties, hot and very crowded, but it’s always a great first fest stop for seeing all the other fest circuit refugees, filmmakers, and talent. Fest regulars at the party tonight included the indieWIRE crew, represented by Eugene Hernandez, Brian Brooks and Eric Kohn ; B-Side’s Chris Holland; Keaton Kail, Ryan Werner and Alison Willmore from IFC, publicists David Magdael and Winston Eammes, former SXSW head Matt Dentler, and new SXSW head honcho Janet Pierson. Also ran into the team from Make Out with Violence, one of my fave films from the Oxford Film Festival.

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I heard Paul Rudd was there tonight, though I think he left before I got there, but I did see Mark Duplass, who has a film in the narrative competition film in the fest, and then a few minutes later was accosted by a friendly, if rather inebriated actor who’s in a short film playing here. He apparently thought that petting my hair was a good way to introduce himself. Fortunately, the film’s director more or less got him under control, so I won’t hold that against him or his film.
Since I missed the opening night film, I shot some flipcam video of several folks talking about both the film and the audience response. Hope to have both that video and another of the Make Out with Violence crew up shortly, once I navigate the mysteries of uploading it to YouTube.
Tomorrow’s my first day of screenings of the films in the narrative competition — three of them, back-to-back (but thankfully all at the Alamo Ritz, so I’ll be able to eat better than my usual fest diet of protein bars and 89,000 shots of espresso (hellllllooooo, milkshakes!) More later from SXSW, stay tuned.

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One Response to “SXSW 2009 Dispatch: Opening Night”

  1. bunnybeth says:

    I can’t wait to read all about it! I hope you got a chance to sample the bathtub and the bed.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon