SXSW in 60 Seconds: ‘Sleepwalk’ and ‘Chasing Ice’ Picked Up; Matthew Lillard Cheers; Indonesian Midnight Madness

SXSW in 60 Seconds: ‘Sleepwalk’ and ‘Chasing Ice’ Picked Up; Matthew Lillard Cheers; Indonesian Midnight Madness

Mar 12, 2012

Sleepwalk With Me

Weather Report: After two days of drenching downpours, the skies cleared and the sun shone forth on Austin yesterday.

Distribution Deals: SXSW does not have a film market component, but many buyers are in town to see World / U.S. / North American premieres, catch up with titles missed at other festivals, or finalize / announce deals that have been in negotiation.

For example, Sleepwalk With Me (pictured above), a comedy written by, directed by, and starring Mike Birbiglia, based on his own true story, debuted at Sundance. It has now been acquired by IFC Films. The film will have four screenings at SXSW, starting tomorrow night. [Indiewire]

Another Sundance title, Chasing Ice, a documentary about a photographer in search of global warming evidence, has been picked up by Oscilloscope. It has already screened twice, and will play again on Thursday and Friday. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Star Sightings: Because SXSW is an egalitarian film festival, celebrities are treated pretty much like every other passholder -- when they’re not walking the red carpet, that is. Thus, while sitting in the balcony at the Paramount Theatre last night, waiting for The Raid to begin, I wondered who it was that kept cheering very loudly for Fat Kid Rules the World when it cycled through in the pre-show announcements flashing on screen.

Then I looked three feet to my right, and realized it was Matthew Lillard, who directed Fat Kid, and right in front of him sat The Rocketeer himself, Billy Campbell, who co-stars in the movie. (P.S. Lillard gasped, laughed, and cheered along with the rest of the crowd during The Raid, which received a thunderous response.)

Midnight Madness: Following The Raid, which is from Indonesia, I dodged drunken revelers on Austin’s Sixth Street to see the world premiere of Joko Anwar’s Modus Anomali, which is also from Indonesia. It packed out the Alamo Ritz and confounded any expectations the audience might have had for a horror picture.

It’s a very strange experience, which I liked quite a bit, but it prompted film critic Eric D. Snider to tweet: “MODUS ANOMALI: brutal, nasty, super weird. Weirdness not always intentional. Ugly for ugliness' sake. Frrrrrrrp. <-- fart noise review(TM).” Anwar, who introduced the film and shared in a post-screening Q&A, has more than 200,000 followers on Twitter, and, of course, retweeted Eric’s comments with his own!

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