March 12th, 2006


SXSW: Darkon

Yesterday's first film was the 6:45 showing of "Darkon", a documentary about a live action role playing campaign in Maryland. The team behind the film was doing a demonstration of their padded sword fighting techniques outside the Convention Center when my group was coming back from lunch, so we all got mini-posters and got to see a News 8 Austin reporter right it out with a guy in armor and a guy on stilts.

The film was fairly well done and quite entertaining. While it's a documentary, it's a doc about a fictional story, this alternate reality that a bunch of Maryland LARPers have created. It's clear that many of the shots were inspired by Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films, and there's plenty of majestic battle. Also fun were the personal moments where we follow some of the main role players into their personal lives and see how they interact with their families and kids. The scene where a 7-year old kid dresses as a knight and does a full battle drill for a few minutes was very cute and the audience clapped twice during it.

They had several of the LARPers up on stage with the directors for the Q&A, and in addition to the usual questions about how the film was shot and financed, we also found out about what happened in the Darkon campaign after the tumultous events.

If you like D&D or hitting people with padded sticks, you should really try to get down here for one of the two remaining screenings. It's at Alamo Downtown Monday at 1:30pm and back at the Austin Convention Center on Friday the 17th at 9pm.

SXSW: Danny Roane, First Time Director

I already did a voice post about the very disturbing but strangely funny Q&A for this film, "Danny Roane, First Time Director", the pseudo-autobiographical comedy by comedian Andy Dick. The film itself was funny, but the pace was a bit uneven, with some of the alcoholism scenes dragging on. Of course, I can't really think about this without associating the real life behavior of Dick. He's got a very bizarre character, and it's really hard to tell what's him acting and what is really him. I'm not even sure that Andy knows anymore.

SXSW: Henry Rollins

The interview with Henry Rollins was really funny and intense. The first part dealt with his TV show on IFC and how we loves interviewing passionate people and giving them a platform to talk about more than what they are currently plugging.

Henry talked a lot about his experiences with doing USO tours, visiting our troops overseas, and how he explains that there are lots of people like him that hate the war, but that doesn't mean we hate the troops.

He described his acting career as a way to make money, and he loves having the chance to act, even when he knows he isn't a great actor.

On touring with Black Flag, he talked about how they had to tell White Power people at their punk concerts that they completely disagreed with them. Henry miming the bummed out Aryans was great and sardonic.

Henry also went off on politics, claiming the Kerry gave the election to Bush by not effectively standing for something, and that the Dems need to get it together or McCain will cream us in 2008.