SXSW12 – Bruce Springsteen keynote/Sleepwalk With Me/Citadel
But I can guarantee you one thing; we will never agree on anything as we agreed on Elvis. So I won’t bother saying goodbye to his corpse. I will say goodbye to you.
I started the day off with mixed emotions. First, I was SUPER disappointed that I didn’t win the Bruce Springsteen lottery. No concert for me, goddammit!
BUT…I did make it to his keynote speech, which was fucking amazing! He basically went through the entire history of rock and roll (especially his formative years), telling us how each movement influenced him. He performed a couple of bits and pieces of songs, including Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood, when he told us “this is how successful theft happens,” as he launched into the first few bars of his own Badlands. He also performed the first verse of We Gotta Get Out Of This Place, saying “That’s every song I ever wrote!”
Bruce is the Minister Of Rock N Roll and he testified for an hour about the gods and goddesses of rock, soul, folk, country and pop. It was one of the most impassioned speeches about rock and roll that I’ve ever heard and it made me want to listen to all of it, from the beginning to now. Every sex-drenched, rebellion launching note.
Goddamn, I fucking love Bruce Springsteen.
SLEEPWALK WITH ME (2012)
Directed by: Mike Birbiglia/Seth Barrish
Written by: Mike Birbiglia/Joe Birbiglia/Ira Glass/Seth Barrish
Based on stand-up/book/life by: Mike Birbiglia
Matt Pandamiglio (Mike Birbiglia) is a terrible stand-up, but he has a real passion for it. All he seems to be able to do is keep his job as a bartender at a comedy club. His boss and his girlfriend (Lauren Ambrose) are very supportive, but they probably know that he’s just not funny. Strange thing is…he’s actually kind of funny in real life. Just not on stage.
His relationship is also kind of in trouble. He loves his girlfriend, but she wants to get married and he doesn’t. Eventually, the stress of the whole thing gets so bad that he starts sleepwalking…and sleep-fighting with jackals.
When his career starts picking up he’s happier, but under more stress. He finally figures out what’s funny when he says to a fellow comedian, “I promised myself I wouldn’t get married until I was sure that nothing else good could happen in my life.”
Now, THAT’S comedy!
The movie is pretty funny, but I kind of found myself not really caring about the relationship at all. Whether they ended up together or not didn’t really matter and, since he had an Annie Hall type of vehicle where he was telling us the story from the future while driving around town, I figured that they probably didn’t end up together.
The supporting cast was great with Carol Kane and James Rebhorn as his parents as the ones that you can’t take your eyes off of. Mike I wasn’t so into, though. He was kind of weak and sniveling. And, really, if I’m going to watch a movie, I don’t want to watch myself as the lead character.
This whole thing is based on Mike’s life. He really did about 90% of the stuff in this movie. The real girlfriend has seen the movie and loves it. I thought it was perfectly watchable and even enjoyable most of the time. I just can’t say that it’s a great movie. In fact, after the next film, I had completely forgotten that I had even seen this one.
And, actually, the next film I can review. It was a work in progress screening of Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me. Because it’s a work in progress, they don’t want anyone reviewing it, unfortunately. Honestly, the cut they showed was great. The filmmakers did say that they had a lot of work to do on it and, after they told us what they planned, I kind of understand. There are things about this band’s history that they had cut out and were now thinking of putting back in.
By the way, if you’ve never heard of Big Star, shame on you. Go find their three albums and listen to them in order of release. (That would be #1 Record, Radio City, Third/Sister Lovers.) All three albums are great and influenced so much more than their extremely limited success could ever tell you. Listen to those records and then listen to an early REM album. You’ll see what I mean. This band was FAR more than “the guys who wrote That 70s Show’s theme song.” We lost a great, untapped talent when Alex Chilton died a couple of years ago…and before that when Chris Bell was killed in a car accident in the late 70s.
Directed by: Ciaran Foy
Written by: Ciaran Foy
Once there were seven towers that even U2 could only see one way out of. Those seven towers are all gone now, but Citadel tells the story of three towers in the same situation.
Tommy and his pregnant wife (Aneurin Barnard and Amy Shiels) are finally moving out of one of those tenement towers. Unfortunately, she is put into a coma by a band of feral children just before they leave the building, eventually dying after giving birth. Tommy is left to raise the little girl, but becomes agoraphobic in return. He continues to see the children all around his “new” house, which is still in the shadow of the tenements. Once again, he’s trying to move out, but he find out that, yes indeed, the children are after his young daughter. A crazy old priest (James Cosmo) tells him so.
As far as parables about drug addiction go, this is a pretty damn good one. My main problem is with two small bits of story telling. First off, Tommy’s wife is killed because he leaves her standing outside of their apartment for no reason at all. He tells her, “Stay here. I’ll be right back.” and proceeds to go down the elevator to take the only bags that they have. She has no bags with her. Why the hell is she waiting there? So that they can kiss the place goodbye together? Definitely a BIG flaw.
The second one is a bit smaller, but still noticeable. He comes back to his new home one day and goes about his daily indoor life. (He’s able to leave, but it’s VERY hard for him.) He thinks he sees the hooded creatures around the house and one of them might even be in the house. He goes to the front door and locks it.
Wait…what? He didn’t lock it immediately when he got home? I don’t buy that at all. This guy would be boarding up all of the doors and windows everytime he got back home.
Little things like that can break the suspension of disbelief. Luckily, they both happen early enough that you can sort of forget them if the movie is good enough. This one nearly is. It’s a good little horror flick with some great acting. (Aneurin is actually fucking amazing. He’s also in Hunky Dory, also at the festival.) Not perfect (and not quite Ils), but still definitely worth catching.