SXSW 07: It’s Raining Again….

The weather here at “South by,” as the locals and regulars call it, has been pretty hit or miss, with 2 dreary days in amongst 4 pretty nice ones. During one of the particularly monsoonish nights (the night of the 15+ margaritas) we were attempting to go from the very fine IFC party at Light Bar to the after party for Joe Swanberg’s excellent Hannah Takes the Stairs and a cab was in order. It’s not easy to get a cab in the rain, of course, so festival producer Matt Dentler decided to take it upon himself to act as a sort of a beacon. As this was prior to the “lightsabre episode,” he had to make do with what was on-hand. At least it’s still blue:


“Taxi!!!” I tell ya, this here SXSW is a seriously full-service event!


A cool wall of water at the IFC party.
Prior to the IFC party it was a Magnolia Pictures/Truly Indie reception at the lovely Texas hill country home of Landmark Theaters and Magnolia CEO Bill Banowsky. Catered by legendary Austin eatery Guero’s Taco Bar, Banowsky’s yearly soiree has become the stuff of SXSW lore and all involved had a grand time washing down the shrimp & crab quesadillas with Patrón margaritas (the beginning of my “death by Maggies” night) despite the rain that kept party goers under cover. Pictured here are UT prof/indie guru John Pierson and indieWIRE honcho Eugene Hernandez discussing the relative merits of the pico de gallo and the guacamole.


After the Banowsky reception it was down to the Paramount theater to catch Hannah Takes the Stairs, my favorite film of the festival, so far. More on the film in a later post, but didja know that the Paramount sells margaritas? I didn’t! Post-screening, it was a 3 block dash in the rain to the IFC reception for some more fine food and good friends. Also enjoying the booze and munchies (tuna tartare, yummm!) were SXSW filmmaker Michael Tully (Silver Jew) and Woodstock Film Festival programmer Michael Lerman.


After the IFC party it was on to the fiesta for Hannah Takes the Stairs at East Austin bar The Peacock, where the good tunes (Snoop Dogg’s cover of Ladi Dadi!) good vibes and the maggies were flowing (for me, anyway) and the mood was high, as the film had wowed a sold-out audience a few hours earlier. Despite the downpour, the room was packed with the Austin and NY indie film posse, including, once again, Mr. Tully, who here is chatting with the ever lovely Annie Sundberg (The Devil Came on Horseback), one of the producers of a film called…Tully. How crazy is that? Annie doesn’t look like she believes it herself!


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