SXSW is here and I take a perverse enjoyment in the fact that on opening night I went to a screening that had absolutely no connection to the “family tree”. Altamont Now had its Austin homecoming at Beerland on Friday and I’m glad I finally got to see it for myself. A genuine underground success story, it sells itself as a “Gimme Shelter-style rocksploitation”. Unfortunately, it tended to be overly self conscious and the points it belabored were beaten to a fine paste. I don’t know, I’ve always found the exercise of satirizing political dogma to be pretty tedious, primarily because the didactic grandiosity inherent already makes the practice effectively self-satirizing as it is. That said, the film’s high points were high, indeed. There was a nice, absurd, John Waters touch to many scenes, particularly the inexplicable musical interludes, most complete with mic stand and chroma key background. Definitely an entertaining, if over-the-head-hitting, 90 minutes.
Now I’ll need to address my other quandaries with SXSW. Particularly the fact that the film and music portions of the festival overlap late next week… on the “Two Greatest Days of the Sports Year.” I mean, shit yeah, I’m excited to catch The Thermals, Hold Steady and Dinosaur Jr. at some free shows; and I do genuinely want to see Pontypool, It Came From Kuchar and Sorry, Thanks. But it’s March Madness, peoples. The Zags finally look like they’re primed and prepared for a decent tournament showing this year. Heytvelt is playing up to his potential, Matty Bouldin is starting to bear an even more striking resemblance to Dan Dickau and this final run is the reason Pargo came back to Spokane for his senior year.
This is gonna require some prioritizing.