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sxsw 2008

SXSW 2008: René Pinnell & Claire Huie on “The King of Texas” (photo)

SXSW 2008: René Pinnell & Claire Huie on “The King of Texas”

It was an oddly complementary pairing at SXSW when there was a mid-festival premiere of “Lou Reed’s Berlin” followed by “The King of Texas,” a documentary about indie film pioneer Eagle Pennell. Like Reed, whose sole album fronting The Velvet Underground inspired a host of imitators, Pennell is cited as an influence for not only […]

Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro on “Body of War”

By Stephen Saito “My gold standard for the length of the movie was 85 minutes, which, by the way, is the length of ‘March of the Penguins’…and I missed it by two,” muses Phil Donahue, a day before his first film, “Body of War” starts its national theatrical run. “But we have longer credits, I […]

SXSW 2008: Jody and Dennis Lambert on “Of All The Things”

By Stephen Saito Dennis Lambert may be the most successful singer/songwriter you’ve never heard of — unless you live in the Philippines. Although best known as the songwriter and producer behind everything from The Four Tops’ “Ain’t No Woman Like The One I’ve Got,” Glen Campbell’s “Rhinestone Cowboy” and, more infamously, Starship’s “We Built This […]

SXSW 2008: “Stop-Loss.”

“Stop-Loss,” Kimberly Peirce’s first film since 1999’s “Boys Don’t Cry,” tears itself into tortured pieces trying to be an impossible combination of things — an Iraq War film for the MTV crowd; Serious Cinema that’s also a goggle-eyed aesthetic appreciation of Channing Tatum’s hot bod, Ryan Phillippe’s pretty face and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s expert broodiness; a […]

SXSW: Awards for Best & Worst

See the picture to the left? That’s an actual photograph taken from my brain on the final day of SXSW–everything was turning into one big blur. It was another fun (yet busy) year in Austin, TX, and I was amazed by the amount of day-shows that all the bands were playing. I wouldn’t be surprised […]

SXSW 2008: Caroline Suh on “Frontrunners”

By Stephen Saito Kofi Annan once told Alexander Payne that “Election” was the most purely political film he’d ever seen, which makes one wonder where the former U.N. Secretary-General would place the nonfiction “Frontrunners,” Caroline Suh’s study about the real life political process at New York City’s Stuyvesant High School. As the film immediately lets […]

SXSW 2008: “Nights and Weekends.”

There’s a meta-mumblecore movie just begging to be made that’s set amidst the group of people who’ve been making mumblecore movies, and it would start off at the tense premiere screening of “Nights and Weekends.” Co-directors, writers and stars Greta Gerwig and Joe Swanberg presented their third feature together to (and later took part in […]


Armed with a mixer, two turntables, a CD-deck, and a laptop, MSTRKRFT closed out the night with a thick blend of dance grooves, or as Al-P likes to say, “maximal beats.” Jesse Keeler is definitely the rockstar of the group, as well he should be–being a former member of the powerhouse thrash duo Death From […]

SXSW: Modey Lemon (Live)

Classic rock on anabolic steroids–that’s the best way I can describe the sound of Modey Lemon. By far, this was the loudest performance that I’ve taken in at this year’s SXSW. When a drummer has two floor toms, that’s a good indication that things are going to get noisy. Speaking of which, Paul Quattrone obliterated […]

SXSW: Jim Noir (Live)

I think a lot of people were surprised by Jim Noir’s new look. He’s done away with his three-piece suit and bowler’s hat and replaced it with a headband, a shaggy hairdo, and a pair of blue jeans. Noir sandwiched his set tonight with his two biggest hits to date–opening with “Eanie Meany” and closing […]