by Darius on September 29, 2013
8 days of no work and mostly movies. As amazing as that sounds, it did get a bit exhausting by the end. We are pretty introverted and mostly enjoy the comfort of home. But just like that, our second year of the festival is already over and already can’t wait until next year.
This year introduced a new ticketing system that let us pick our next day’s choices by priority. This caused us to get split up in some of the timeslots. (D=Darius only, N=Nicole only). Favorited movies are *starred.
Machete Kills (D) - This movie is bonkers. Really fun characters and action setups but the movie as a whole is kinda forgettable.
Coherence* - One of my overall favorites. I think the less you know about it, the better. There was no script and even the actors didn’t know the full story while filming.
Proxy - One my least favorites. Roughly half of this movie I really enjoyed, and the other half seemed like a Lifetime movie but with better music and cinematography.
Almost Human - Low budget, but great effects. Homage to John Carpenter and 80′s monster movies.
Eega* - Bollywood films are often able to somehow package every fucking genre into one goddamn movie and in the best way possible! A man is reincarnated as a fly and begins a savage and unrelenting campaign to torment and ruin the man that killed him in a jealous rage. Seriously, so fun.
The Fake (N)
The Devils (D) - The hype-machine before seeing this one made me anticipate leaving the theater with brains dripping out of my ears. Although that didn’t happen I can see why at least the 1970′s version of society would feel the need to ban this movie. Seeing nuns douche themselves with boiling liquid to cure their demonic possessions is something you don’t see much. Beyond all that, I enjoyed the actual story and visual style.
Grand Piano (D) - The obvious description seems to be “remember that Phone Booth movie, its like that but with a guy playing a concert piano”.
Rigor Mortis - I actually mostly remember having a headache and being super-tired during this one (sorry Rigor Mortis filmmakers that read my blog!). Despite that, almost everything in this ghost story felt so unique and visually interesting.
Drawn & Quartered Animated Shorts – Animated shorts
LFO* - Another one of my overall favorites. A guy develops a method of using sound to hypnotize and control his neighbors. Where it goes from there is simply awesome.
O’Apostolo - Mix Henry Selick and Guillermo Del Toro. I thought the overall story was a bit lackluster but I couldn’t stop looking at every handmade object or detail in the background.
Short Fuse – Horror/Thiller shorts
Love Eternal - In the intro for this one they described it briefly as a “necrophilia love story” which we kept being heard repeated during the festival by people unable provide their own commentary. The actual necrophilia part is such a tiny aspect to the overall story of a chronically depressed man’s ability to find and lose love.
Nothing Bad Can Happen* - Perhaps my favorite of the festival. A wandering self-labeled “Jesus Freak” in desperate need of a family is slowly mentally and physically tortured by a non-believing family that takes him in. Honest and fucking brutal.
Resurrection of a Bastard* - This one kept being described as “Cohen-esque”, though I found it be less focused on plot and more on character then a typical Cohen bros. movie, whatever that really means…
Ragnarok - So many people kept mentioning this as one of their favorites of the festival and I don’t understand why exactly. The trailer beforehand didn’t provide many answers so throughout I kept waiting for it to rattle itself free of obvious genre tropes or attempt to subvert them. But that didn’t happen. It was a simple and fun adventure that seemed to borrow heavily from others like National Treasure, Jurassic Park, etc.
The Congress - I might be the most torn on this one. The setup is flawless imho and poetically drives home the many metaphors and parallels between the character of Robin Wright and the real human Robin Wright.
Mirage Men (D) - Ever wonder what it would feel like being catfished by the government regarding UFOs?
A Field in England - This feels like a movie that is not designed to be favorited or gushed about on purpose. A morality tale in a time of alchemists and dick warts.
Mood Indigo* - There is a tiny pessimist inside of me that was afraid that this movie was all charm and whimsy and little else. Luckily this whimsy is purposeful and every silly quirk or visual gag is used to magnify the real seemingly magical
Blue Ruin* - One of my favorites. Very little dialogue and realistic revenge story.
Witching & Bitching - The sound got out of sync with roughly 10 minutes left so we didn’t get to the see the ending. Pretty entertaining but we both agreed that the sexist undertones (women = bitches = witches) could have been omitted or used to actually subvert those common stereotypes. I doubt it, but the ending could have redeemed itself I guess…
Afflicted - Mixes two things that don’t typically excite me: modern super-powered vampires & found footage. However, this was pretty fun and was the best real horror movie we saw all festival.
- I can’t wait to play Samurai Gunn when it comes out!
- ”Play it cool” – Darius, “I just want to touch him” – Nicole when standing next to Elijah Wood
- As dumb as it feels, sometimes you just want to eat kid’s chicken strips for most meals!
- We traded tickets with Michael Stephenson (aka Joshua from Troll 2) and Nicole didn’t even recognize him even though he commented on the fact she was wearing her Troll 2 shirt at the time
- Sometimes you just gotta go poop at HEB away from all the people
- Ahhhh, I missed the VIP parking space again!!! – No Brakes Valet
- Having to convince Nicole to walk through the “dark space” in a tunnel we found under the road
by Nicole on September 8, 2013
August was a crazy month. The best and worst thing of the month was getting a new kitten. We’ve been wanting a second cat for months, and thought that Lentil would love a friend.
We adopted Toast from the Humane Society and instantly fell in love. She was so sweet and absolutely loved being pet. She would just pace back and forth between your hands waiting to be pet, and you could barely take a step without her basically standing on your feet. Well, after three weeks of following a strict introduction schedule, things between Lentil and Toast were not getting better at all. Lentil was constantly stressed, hissing at Toast every time she saw her, and could not seem to calm down at all. We considered hiring an animal behavior specialist to help them get along, but finally decided that it would be better for both cats if we took Toast back to the shelter. It was a really hard decision, but we knew that Toast needed to be able to be a kitten (we had to keep her in a closed room 24/7 to keep her separate from Lentil), and that Lentil was incredibly unhappy. Luckily, Lentil is now happy and normal again, and Toast was actually re-adopted yesterday! I’m really sad that a second cat didn’t work for us, but I’m so glad to have gotten to meet Toast.
Sewing is still going well!
I finished “re-fashioning” a shirt I bought from Goodwill (you can see the before here). I love how it turned out.
And I also bought new patterns!
I plan on making View B of this one. I think I’ll do black with a contrast white collar the first time, and then maybe a fun print a second time.
For the “jupe chardon”, I think I want to do like an ice blue or mint. For the “robe sureau”, I think I’ll do a chambray.
-My sister Hannah had a baby boy named Ansem! She lives in Utah now, so we sent her some cute cowboy boots so that Ansem can still be a Texan.
-We attended a screening of “Rats of NIMH”, and there was a Q&A with Don Bluth afterwards. He was really passionate and interesting.
-We got a nice new couch, finally! Ours looks like this, only smaller.
-We funded a Kickstarter for an awesome-sounding new game coming out called Terrible Things. They still need more money, so if you think it sounds fun, you should fund it too!
-College football began! Yay, Texas!
-EDITED 9/9/13: I forgot to list all the movies and TV shows we watched this month!
Movies: Looking at our Netflix queue, we barely watched any this month! We watched:
-Can’t Hardly Wait (Seth Green is pretty hilarious, even if the love story is super lame)
-Antiviral (my pick for best movie of the month)
-The Marinovich Project
-End of Watch (Nicole only–75% of it anyway, was overrated)
-Friends with Kids (Nicole only–50% of it, it was gratingly bad IMO)
-The Avengers (Darius only)
-We started watching Friday Night Lights, but quit after about six episodes. Just wasn’t that great of a show.
-Also started watching The League on Netflix and it’s pretty funny. We’re now into Season 4. I love Andre so so so so much. I love seeing all his terrible, terrible outfits.
-Discovered Hard Knocks on HBO and have been watching each week. It’s so interesting! For some reason I had this whole thing built up in my head about pro athletes basically being like machines, but this show does a great job of showing that they’re just normal guys.
-And of course we’re watching the newest season of Breaking Bad! It’s so good! We’ve already had like five different theories for how the show will end, and each new episode crushes a theory. LOVE the writing on that show.
That’s about it for August. We honestly spent so much of the month just being stressed out from cat behavior modification work! I’m glad the month is over…
by Nicole on August 2, 2013
Wow, can’t believe it’s already August! (Seriously, how cliché do I sound???) July went by so fast. We mostly hung out around the house, but it was still a fun month.
*We had the day off for the Fourth of July and decided to just be lazy. We grilled flank steak for tacos and ate them outside, then went swimming. No fireworks or anything since we had to go to work early the next day.
*We went to J. Mueller Meat Co. with Adam and Jenni for their legendary barbecue. We got in line at 10 AM and there was already a line! They opened at 10:30 and gave everyone free beers as we waited for our orders to be taken. The food was incredible, especially their brisket.
*We have become pretty apathetic about cooking lately, I guess because we’re focusing on other hobbies right now. Most of our cooking this month was quick stuff like rice & beans, eggs & toast, tacos, etc. We also went to some great restaurants, including old favorites like The Steeping Room (I’ve become addicted to their crème brûleé steamer) and new favorites like Contigo (great food and cocktails, would be super fun to hang out with a group there).
*I’ve continued sewing and reading a lot of sewing books this month. I finished my popsicle dress and debuted it my company’s Fourth of July potluck. I’m fairly pleased with how it turned out and got a lot of compliments. The fit is slightly wonky in the shoulders/neck, but I’m almost positive that’s because I picked the wrong size when I started it. I learned this month that you shouldn’t pick a pattern size based on the actual measurements if you’re larger than a B-cup. Explains why some of the commercial patterns I’ve made in the past have always been like tents on me! If you’re larger than a B-cup, you should pick a size based on your “high bust” (above your boobs, basically under your armpits) since that will give a better fit in the shoulders/neck and then you’d do an adjustment called an FBA (full bust adjustment). Still, the dress is cute, even if it’s not a perfect fit.
*I also made an easy top from a pattern I’ve had sitting around for a while. I altered the sizing a little since I was between sizes, and this was my first time ever making changes to a pattern. I think this pattern would look a lot better on someone tiny. There’s just not much shape to it except for a waist tie and darts in the back, so for someone with large hips and a large bust like me, it just kinda hangs there. Still, it was a quick make and the fabric had been sitting around for forever so I was glad to use it up.
*I also bought a few shirts from Goodwill with the intent to refashion them. One is a chambray shirt with no shape at all, so I’m going to put in a few darts and take the sides in. The other is a three-quarter sleeve striped shirt that was a size XXXXL. I hacked the sleeves off, keeping the circular yoke, and then added some darts, and took the sides in a ton. I still need to bind the armholes and then it will be ready to wear!
*One weekend, we watched NPR Tiny Desk Concerts for probably five hours straight. Our favorite discovery was Lucius. Seriously incredible. If they ever come tour in Austin, I would die for tickets! Stupid embedly won’t post the video, but you can watch the concert over on YouTube.
*We also went to the Blanton Museum for the first time. We had breakfast on campus, walked around for about an hour, then went to the museum. Their “Lifelike” exhibit was great, and was both of our favorites. Also, I learned I really don’t like abstract art very much.
*We found out that Adam & Jenni’s baby is a BOY! He’s due mid-November.
*I started waking up early each weekday to workout. I do 30 minutes of a different video from Fitnessglo.com each day. Love that website! The early morning workouts are awesome. They give me so much energy and I think they also set a healthy intention for the day. Darius has been going on long walks after we get off work, but it’s been 100+ lately, so he’s taking a break until it cools down a little.
*And we went craaaaaazy watching movies and shows this month. My favorite of the month was The Descent. Darius’s favorite of the month was either Cloud Atlas or Ballad of Narayama.
Here’s what we saw this month (my comments are in parentheses, Darius’s comments are in italics below each movie title):
1. Pacific Rim (didn’t really like it; effects were incredible, but the story is so played-out!)
People often complain about characters not being “likable” but I think it’s more of whether they “engage” you into the story or not. Often what I like about characters are the way the play off or subvert common stereotypes. These characters felt like reflections of Saturday morning cartoon heros when I was expecting something more human or vulnerable I guess.
2. Insidious (pretty good horror movie)
2Everything2Terrible: Tokyo Drift (funny, like everything from Everything is Terrible)
Duane is my personal lord and savior!
3. The Ballad of Narayama (really liked it; great shot composition and editing, and a really interesting story)
Wow, what an incredibly honest period film that showcases both the horrors and beauty of life.
4. Killzone S.P.L.
The I Luv Video caption boasted the best Chinese fight scene of the year. It delivered, pretty unrelentless.
5. Nine Dead (one of those movies that’s so terrible it’s awesome)
Winner of best convoluted bad-guy motive award!
6. Waste Land (interesting documentary)
7. Cabin in the Woods (first re-watch since we saw it in theaters; one of our favorite horror movies)
8. A Talking Cat!?! (another so-terrible-it’s great)
9. An Easter Bunny Puppy (by the same director as A Talking Cat!?! And with much of the same cast)
I have no idea who the intended audience is for these movies. Cutesy family-fun setup, magical talking animals, innuendo to suggest proposed threesomes, ungodly long montages involving dying easter eggs and then finding easter eggs. On one hand it seems to be incredibly self-aware but on the other hand it’s some of the most inept filmmaking imaginable.
10. Cloud Atlas (although I hate hate hate Tom Hanks and Halle Berry, I still really liked this movie)
11. A Man Named Pearl (watched half, interesting but the movie was kinda boring)
12. Tees Maar Khan (ridiculous and funny Bollywood movie)
If anything, watch the intro credits and dance scene!
13. Man of the House (watched half, mind-numbingly boring and dumb)
Did Rick Perry and UT produce this film?
This movie starts out so strong but the ending was just okay to me. I love how they show the same fight from two different perspectives and explain the “science” of wuxia type superpowers! The first fight is one of my favorites!
15. Mulan (one of my favorite Disney movies which Darius wasn’t all that familiar with)
Really good. I think I just kept wishing that it was live action and starred the best Chinese martial artists instead!
16. The Matrix (I had never seen this before; I liked it, but I still don’t get the obsession some people have with it)
I will at least never forget how much 13-year old Darius had his mind blown by this movie.
17. Silver Linings Playbook (ugh, no, didn’t like this; tried really hard, but just no for us)
18. Whores’ Glory (really good documentary)
19. The Descent (Really creepy, and I loved the acting and the music. On my list for favorite horror movies now! )
*We also started re-watching King of the Hill from episode one. That show is so funny! Darius started Batman Beyond. I tried to start New Girl, but man, that show was not funny at all to me. I really dislike Zooey Deschanel. I did, however, watch The Great British Sewing Bee and LOVED it. BBC shows are often so much better than their American counterparts.
And here’s a cute picture of Lentil just because!