SXSW Eve, All Is Not Quiet

As cinephiles and movie industry pros flock to the Austin metro area for the indie film festival SXSW, the city is already feeling the excitement. Hotels and motels are filled to capacity, and there’s a definite increase in pedestrian traffic police. I know this from personal experience, as this afternoon I debunked the jay-walking urban legend. That’s right, SXSW goers beware! You can, in fact, get ticketed $200 for walking across a street against the light.

Ok, so I didn’t actually get a ticket. But I was “pulled” over after running across a semi-busy street against the light, along with two other unhappy peds. The police pointed to the flashing Don’t Walk sign and asked us if we knew what that meant. Then he told us the jay-walking ticket was $200. Then he let us go with a warning that he’d be watching. And then I started laughing because honestly, I thought jay-walking being illegal was, like, an urban legend. So you’ve been warned.

SXSW gears up for opening day tomorrow with early badge pick-up and registration at the Austin Convention Center (hub for much of the SXSW festival events). An early special screening of Red Riding Hood starts things off tonight at the Alamo Drafthouse S. Lamar, with director Catherine Hardwicke in attendance for a Q&A to follow. Red Riding Hood stars Amanda Seyfried and Gary Oldman.

A SXSW attendee could fill his/her day with panels and parties alone, let alone adding back-to-back screening possibilities into the mix. And what a film line-up there is this year! Here’s a taste (and what I’ll be seeing): Red Riding Hood, Source Code in its world premiere screening, James Gunn’s Super, Win Win starring Paul Giamatti, Brit comic duo Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s Paul, Jodie Foster’s The Beaver, Takashi Miike’s 13 Assassins, Beginners starring Ewan McGregor, horror/comedy Detention, Ti West’s The Innkeepers, Evan Glodell’s Bellflower, Hesher starring Natalie Portman, Ceremony starring Uma Thurman, James Wan’s Insidious, foreign indie horrors The Divide and Attack the Block, and Hobo with a Shotgun starring Rutger Hauer, and mad-scientist documentary Convento. And there may be more. I think I’ve chosen some of the best, in a perfect world I would be able to see everything…alas.

Keep checking here readers, as reviews will be coming as well as some juicy interviews.

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