To Live and Write in LA

Archive for March, 2015

SXSW – Summing Up

SXSW consists of over 3000 events, including 150 movies. I didn’t quite make it to all of them.

‘Kidnapping Mr. Heineken’ – Anthony Hopkins Gets Kidnapped by Sam Worthington

How much is the life of a billionaire worth? That and other questions about life, relationships, and greed are explored inKidnapping Mr. Heineken, staring Sir Anthony Hopkins (The Lion in Winter, Silence of the Lambs) as Dutch beer entrepreneur Alfred “Freddy” Heineken, and Jim Sturgess (The Other Boleyn Girl, Cloud Atlas) and Sam Worthington (Avatar, Clash of the Titans) as the brains behind the grab.

Directed by Daniel Alfredson (The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest), this film is not the typical “heist flick” in the Oceans 11-The Italian Job genre. It goes much deeper.

SXSW: ‘The Diabolical’ and ‘Roar’ – Learning from Mistakes with Tipi Hedren and Ali Larter

As film fans and writers we can learn something from other people’s mistakes, for example, the SXSW screenings of ‘The Diabolical’ and ‘Roar.

SXSW: William F. Buckley, Asteroids and Al Qaeda

SXSW presents three documentaries: “Best of Times,” “They Will Have to Kill Us First,” and “Disaster Playground.” They are all about what makes us human and vulnerable.

SXSW: ‘Manglehorn’ – Al Pacino, Holly Hunter, and a Cat

Most movies are the merging of technology and short stories, novels or sagas. Manglehorn is technology merged with a poem. It is the story of a locksmith who has lost the love of his life because of something he has done and lives in self-imposed isolation. Manglehorn has constructed a cocoon of memories and fantasies, keeping his son, a former protégé, and the hope of new love at arm’s length.

SXSW: Christian Slater and Lucy Lawless Get Creepy in ‘Mr Robot’ and ‘Salem’

Christian Slater and Lucy Lawless were on hand at SXSW 2015 to explain just why they are so creepy. Not, personally, of course, but in their new roles. Slater in the new sci-fi series Mr. Robot (SXSW Audience Award Winner – Episodic) premiering on USA Network. Lucy Lawless (Xena, Spartacus) joins the cast of WGN America’s Salem for its second season.

SXSW: ‘The Last Man on the Moon’ and ‘Love and Mercy’

Two remarkable biographies premiered on the screens of SXSW this year. ‘The Last Man on the Moon,’ profiling Astronaut Gene Cernan, and ‘Love and Mercy,’ which brings us into the life of Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson.

SXSW: Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy Come Back to ‘The Breakfast Club’

SXSW hosted the premier of the restored classic, The Breakfast Club, written and directed by John Hughes. But the event wasn’t so much a premier as it was a celebration of a movie that has touched a generation or two. With its upcoming special theatrical showings and release to Blu-ray and video, it is sure to touch a few more. When the doors opened, we were given Breakfast Club t-shirts and treated to a breakfast of donuts, coffee and mimosas. Thank you, Universal Studios.

SXSW: Fire, Rodriguez, and Frazetta

t’s a rare moment when two artistic talents you have admired for decades intersect in your presence. Robert Rodriguez has been one of my favorite directors since I saw ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’. Frank Frazetta has been my favorite artist since his paintings began appearing on the covers of Tarzan and Conan books in the 1960s. At SXSW, I participated in a tour of the Robert Rodriguez Museum, conducted by Rodriguez. He explained how, like many others, he found the paintings of Frank Frazetta amazing and inspirational for his own art. He recalled how when he first met Frazetta, and saw his original paintings up close, he was amazed at the depth and detail that never appeared in any of the prints or book covers.

SXSW: Movie Review – ‘Ex Machina’ – A Needful Robot

Flexing the mental muscles of this year’s SXSW attendees are debates about robots and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Both Interactive sessions and films shed light on this topic.

SXSW Preview: Film, Tech, and Kittens (also, Al Pacino, Ryan Gosling, Guillermo Del Toro, Molly Ringwald, and Robots)

Attending SXSW (pronounced South by Southwest), the annual Austin, Texas, technology, film and music festival should be on everyone’s bucket list.

An exploration of film and filmmaking