Tuesday in Austin, where I spent most of a week attending the (SXSW) South By Southwest Film Festival on behalf of Winter’s Bone. The film was very well received at SXSW. It was not in competition, but was listed as a “Favorite.” Audiences seemed to agree, as it played to a packed house at both screenings, with more than a few turned away. One of its fans, I discovered, was Elle Magazine film critic Karen Durbin, with whom I shared breakfast on Tuesday at the annual Chicken and Egg Films gathering for women narrative filmmakers. The chosen forum was Sandra Bullock’s very upscale but also very comfy Bess Bistro, which the cab driver couldn’t find and dropped me off three blocks away in the rain. I was self-concious going in, because the invite was for Winter’s Bone Director Debra Granik, for whom I was subbing. But everyone seemed happy that Winter’s Bone was represented, and I was joined there by Roadside Attractions exec Dustin Smith, who was also at the festival promoting the film. I ran into Karen later that evening at the awards, where she presented the top narrative feature award, and we wandered down to the wrap party at Maggie Mae’s along with Variety film critic Peter Bart. The scene was too crowded, too noisy and too unrelentingly young for Karen and I, so we left Peter to his own devices and instead spent a quiet, balmy hour on a bus stop bench talking films, music and life in general. Too late to catch Metro #17 back to Irene and Bob’s, I flagged a taxi instead and called it a good night.
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