SXSW ‘06 – Day 4 – Monday

Monday I was determined to eat at Las Manitas and it worked out perfectly since it’s right near the Alamo Drafthouse. I sat at the counter chatting with a wonderful local woman. We ogled Owen Wilson together as he left the restaurant. But soon I had consumed my fajita quesadillas and I had to scoot by Michael Eisner to get out of my seat at the bar to make it over to see Darkon (who knew this local taco joint was such a celebrity hang?!). Darkon is sort of Dungeons and Dragons meets Civil War reenactment. The film follows a couple of characters through their daily lives and their alternate lives as Darkonians. The film is beautifully shot, with great music and for the most part pretty fun. The audience seemed into it but that could have been partly due to the coupons the crew handed out to every single audience member for a free beer or soda.

I wanted to see 95 Miles to Go with Ray Romano and Tom Caltabiano. Ray and Tom have been friends for a long time before they worked together for a long time (Tom was a writer on Everybody Loves Raymond). I really like films about comedians, not really concert films, but more things going in their lives a la Seinfeld’s Comedian, Jeffrey Ross’ Patriot Act and Patton Oswalt and Brian Posehn in Comedians of Comedy. Good times. I snagged a seat near the front of theater and the fun began. The film is warm and funny too. They are both great writers and it really shows in their story of an 8 day tour through the south. After the film Ray and Tom took center stage for a bit of stand up/question and answer. I laughed throughout and then someone in the back raised their hand to ask a question and it was Brad Garrett (the tall guy with the deep voice also from Everybody Loves Raymond), he says, “You’re on TV 4 times a day, what makes you think people want to watch you travel?”. He joined the guys on stage for more witty banter. Everybody left the theater smiling. The film opens theatrically in New York and LA April 7th and will air HBO sometime later.

Ray, Tom and Brad yuck it up for the crowd.

I spent a little time walking around downtown Austin before deciding to check out the Bettie Page biopic. I can’t tell you if I liked it or not because the dang thing sold out and I didn’t make it in. Instead a friend and I grabbed a cab and headed to Shady Grove where the wait was 45 minutes for a table. However!! It’s important to note that you can still sit outside in the “waiting area” and order drinks, appetizers and dessert. So one margarita, order of hot wings and a peach cobbler later it was time to head back and see Heaven’s Fall. For anyone who’s seen 2001 documentary Oscar nominee Scottsboro: An American Tragedy, it’s the same topic, only fictionalized a bit. Not my fave film of the fest, but seems like it could play on cable very well.

I left there, bailed on any parties and crashed out. Bonk. Day 5 is my last day at the fest – going to try and fit in more docs.

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