It's time for another visit to Austin for the South by Southwest Film Festival -- definitely NOT a lame festival, despite what some bloggers might think. We've got 13 of our writers down in Texas covering the event (though not all exclusively for us), so we're sure to have a lot of great reviews, interviews and whatever else we find worthy of reporting on over the next nine days. Today has primarily been devoted to travel and getting situated and standing in a massive line for the "packed-ass" opening night screening of Kick-Ass, but stop back again every evening as we round up the the best of our coverage and everyone else's.
Deals: Strand Releasing has picked up North American rights to The Taqwacores, Eyad Zahra's narrative feature about the Muslim punk scene. The film premiered at Sundance earlier this year, but also screens at SXSW. Theatrical release has been set for the fall.
Our Coverage: Cinematical got things started a little early last night, as Erik Childress shared his list of must-see films playing in Austin this week. He also interviewed The People vs. George Lucas director Alexandre O. Philippe. His interviews today include Elektra Luxx director Sebastian Gutierrez and Greenlit director Miranda Bailey. As for reviews, Todd Gilchrist has the first, a look at the movie everyone's dying to see, Kick-Ass. Unfortunately, he writes, "as a full-length film, Kick-Ass is a great comic book come to life, but not much else ... [it] never quite finds enough cohesion or dramatic clarity to become a fully satisfying film."
indieWIRE Love: Anne Thompson has comprehensive coverage of the Texas Film Hall of Fame ceremony from last night, including a video of Quentin Tarantino's acceptance speech. The site also reprints its insiders guide to the city of Austin (eating, drinking, shopping stuff) for those of us who can't subsist on movies alone.
Tweets, Blogs and Treats: Other great previews and must-see lists include those from Karina Longworth at LA Weekly, Neil Miller at Film School Rejects, Brian Pisco at Pajiba and Michael Tully at /Hammer to Nail.
Debbie Cerda at Slackerwood has a guide to the free film events through the week.
Janko Roettgers at NewTeeVee has a guide to "Where to Watch SXSW Online," including panels and live programming around the web.
Some Tweets from our crew and friends following the Kick-Ass screening:
@erikdavis: "Kick Ass defintely kicked a whole lotta ass"
@williambgoss: "Kick-Ass: bloody, brash and bound to be a hit, but not quite the promised genre revolution. Moretz is indeed the MVP."
@akstanwyck (Anne Thompson): "SXSW perfect venue for Kick-Ass, nasty hard-R super-hero spoof designed to outrage and delight. Which will destroy at the b.o."
@erickohn: "KICK ASS is sleek but less a subversion of superhero movies than a decent example of one. Read the comic first. Wilder, yet realistic."