NOTE: Andy and Jason from A Place For Film – The IU Cinema Podcast are in Austin this week seeing films at South By Southwest (SXSW). Look for blog posts each day discussing what we saw, and what we’re planning on seeing.
Today was largely a travel day. We started at 7:30 am to get to our flight, and after a layover in Chicago, we got to Austin in the late afternoon. Once we were settled in the hotel, we grabbed a shuttle downtown (at peak rush hour, a 90 minute trip from showing up to the shuttle stop to setting foot at the convention center). We had our sights set on Sound City, the new documentary directed by Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) about a particular recording studio and all of the famous musicians who had recorded there.
We thought we had plenty of time to get there, but with the extended shuttle ride and having to make a stop to pick up our badges, it was close. Rather than trying to figure out the shuttle system between the theaters, we decided to walk.
The music portion of the festival started today, and there were plenty of live music stages as we walked the six blocks to the theater. The walk was short and we got to the theater in plenty of time.
We got situated for the film, and we were both surprised to discover that Dave Grohl was introducing the film in person. He’s a great personality, and very passionate about his film.
The film itself spends a lot of time on the history of Sound City Studios, and a particular sound board that gained an almost mythic quality among the musicians that recorded there. It also discussed in depth what it means to be a musician, and how these talented artists think about their art. It also takes a look at the digital revolution in music, how digital tools took over tape-based media (which is what Sound City was famous for), and what we lost and gained in the process.
It’s an incredibly engaging and inspiring film, and it’s well-worth seeing wherever you can.
We had plans to see one additional film, but we decided to stay for Dave Grohl’s entire engaging Q&A and then head back to the hotel.
There’s a ton to see still, but tomorrow Andy will be trying to see A Teacher, William and The Windmill (Best documentary winner), Go For Sisters (John Sayles newest film), Grow Up, Tony Philips, and Milo (a film with a description too delightful to skip).
Jason is planning on looking at Medora, a film about an Indiana high school basketball team, The Network, and Prince Avalanche(a film with music from Explosions in the Sky) and possibly others.
Keep an eye on the WFIU blog for our thoughts. We hope to post daily, but it’s hard to tell if we’ll be able to keep that schedule.