SXSW, baby!

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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Postby Moderator » Wed Mar 05, 2008 6:16 pm

Yeah, Paul -- Now it's MY turn to be jealous. Have a wonderful time!!!
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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Postby paul » Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:25 am

Well, the long and the short of it is that I didn't get into the movie (got there late and it was full up), and I missed the panel the next day. We had a bit of a crisis weekend, the days Harlan was here. Fri. night my mother-in-law went into the hospital. She does dialysis and has been sickly with blood, lung and pancreas problems for a few years now, so each time she goes in, it's always a touch-and-go type of affair. She's okay now, but we were nervously eyeballing it at the time. We always say, 'She'll be all right.' when we know each time she may not be.

Sunday morn, my daughter Kirin was coming up for Spring Break when her mother's car broke down a hundred miles away and that took care of the afternoon. From then until Wed. the 12, it's been work, doing the mom and Kirin entertaining, and trying to get the house back in shape after the wedding. I've spent the last week alternately working long days (the liquor warehouse i'm currently in is the wholesalers for the bars, clubs and hotels patronized by the millions here for SXSW), and going out to eat at 10 at night and or/ catching the movies I can downtown, then getting back uptown to crash and do it all over again. This is the first true day off I've had in a month. But I wouldn't have changed a thing, except ...well, you know.

It looks like it was a blast. The people who know about Harlan just smiled at all the people who were viewing him through new eyes.

Wound up at a midnight screening of a host of short films and talked to the director of one of them, a nice man about 45-ish. Harlan's name came up and the man (please forgive, I'll never remember until I see his face again) said, "Well, yes, I always knew his name, but how I could I have not connected it to these events that are legendary in Film and Writing history? For fuck's sake, the man is an icon and I didn't know what he even looked like. I am one of those assholes he was talking about."

I don't think anyone else really made it down either. Next time, kids.

This place is really freaking insane during South-By. I mean, I know it is every year, but each time i get into it, it still just kills me. I imagine things are a bit different in Cloud Cuckoo Land where you can view the bold and the beautiful 25/7, and any night is celebrity night at Romanov's The culture is inculcated; you have a more relaxed attitude toward celebrite´, more savoir faire, more decorum, more common sense. Not always, I'm sure, but generally. Here it is but given only a limited week for every band from around the world to network with every other band from around the world you possibly can and catch cutting edge movie premieres almost all night whilst trying to get your own film noticed and jump-start that career, and it can become hysterical pandemonium. Add to that it's in the middle of Spring Break, kids coming in from all over America and beyond, St. Paddy's day is the day after the next, and ATX becomes a nexus of cultures, a phantasmagorical collage of the widest range of talents you're likely to see.
Like you, I have seen many things. I saw Reagan get shot, live. I saw the first Lollapalooza (the good one). I saw the Challenger explode. I saw the Berlin Wall come down. In Texas, I saw Ann Richards get a full two minutes standing ovation not a month before she died. But one of the things that will return again and again to my mind, even on my deathbed i should not be surprised, will be the scene of a three-man punk rock group, all men barely of age, one white, one Japanese, one Swahilian, dressed as only old women could picture in their minds when they hear the word 'punk', in heavy, absorbed, serious discussion with two seventy-year -old black bluesmen about whether or not Phillip Glass was influenced more by Darius Milhaud or his time spent in India, and whether or not he was writing music or conceptual prose.

Bit from the Page Two Editor's Letter of the Austin Chronicle a week or so ago on DWST- about midway down- ... oid:599892

Marc Savlov's 'review' of same- ... oid:602174 ... oid:601638

Stay safe and well. Happy St. Pat's. Sláinte!
The medium is the message.

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