My March Madness Officially Begins Tomorrow!

By tully | "Boredom at Its Boredest" by Michael Tully March 8, 2006 at 4:57AM

My March Madness Officially Begins Tomorrow!
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Tomorrow morning, I climb into my mom's sterling Honda Accord (automatic, no less!) at 9am and the SXSW adventure begins. I'm heading to Nashville, where my sister Carol and I might catch the Belle and Sebastian/New Pornographers show, although funds (rather, lack thereof) might render that a non-option. Then I lay low on Thursday and wait for her and her friend Shannon to get off work, at which point we embark on the 13-hour drive to Austin through the cold, dark night. I'll probably do most of the driving, especially if southern convenience stores have MDX (the new Mountain Dew energy soda) in the house. I had one yesterday and I was flying higher than if I'd nosedived into an 8-ball. Seriously, that shit is bonkers!

I'm in a surprisingly calm place with regards to just about everything in my life at the moment, so hopefully that will continue. The thought of not being nervous before Saturday's first screening is an enticing thought indeed. Either way, I just hope 1) people see it, and 2) I don't get spat on afterwards. As long as that 1) does, and 2) doesn't happen, I'll be thankful and thrilled.

I just saw DARWIN'S NIGHTMARE. The fact that this didn't win Best Documentary might be a bigger crock than the Best Picture fiasco. Though I quite enjoyed the penguin movie, don't get me wrong. Seriously, DARWIN'S NIGHTMARE is a glimpse into pure hell on Earth. Tragic and devastating.

One last comment about CRASH and then I will let it fade to the bargain bin where it belongs (and I mean that in the most complimentary way, I really do). Why hasn't anyone compared this thing to FALLING DOWN? Both films are about as subtle as walking into an undergraduate playwriting class after having just stepped in a bear trap.

But enough about low-rent independent films. Let's talk about big budget masterpieces! The mighty COCAINE ANGEL has just been accepted into two new festivals, which thrills us to no end! They are, as follows:

Sarasota Film Festival (Southeast Premiere), March 31-April 9
www.sarasotafilmfestival.com

Independent Film Festival of Boston (Northeast Premiere), April 19-24
www.iffboston.org

I'll post the definite dates/times/etc. when I get them--hopefully within the next week or so--but needless to say, I will be at both festivals and I can't wait to get there. Especially to Sarasota, where I'll get to see a brand-new 35mm print of THE GUATEMALAN HANDSHAKE with David Wingo's sure to be amazing score! Boston promises to be a blast as well.

But for now, there's a little ol' festival called South by Southwest that must take center stage. I've never been to Austin, which makes the whole trip even more exciting. Getting to meet up with friends and see them play shows (Of Montreal, Great Lakes, Essex Green, Thursday) as well as seeing artists that I don't know but greatly admire (Richard Swift, Richard Swift, Richard Swift), it's gonna be a fun-fun time. The best part is that I get to cover at least five movies for Muze, so I'll be making a tiny bit of money while I'm there, as opposed to simply spending, spending, spending. And, no, one of them isn't COCAINE ANGEL (though it is being covered!). One of them is LIVE FREE OR DIE, however, starring the one and only Paul Schneider, with whom I will be sharing a room for the festival's first few days. The last time I was in a hotel with Paul was after the ELIZABETHTOWN premiere and he was laying on the bed talking on the phone but then he was inside the television at the same time and I thought, "Hey, neat, Paul's a movie star!"

Lastly, I'm not making any predictions about the tournament, but I will say that right now I think North Carolina is the best team in the nation. Who'da thunk it. Major congratulations to Nate Meyer and Christof Gebert. Looks like life is gonna be good for you guys for the next several years. Must be nice. Four years after winning the national championship and Maryland's program is in absolute disarray. Here is my list, in order, of my favorite teams to watch--not the best, necessarily, but those that are the most fun/exciting/electrifying/etc...

1) Gonzaga
2) Villanova
3) West Virginia
4) Memphis
5) George Washington
6) North Carolina

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