The massive entertainment festival known as South By Southwest takes place from March 11-20 in Austin, Texas, and everyone from J.J. Abrams to Iggy Pop to even President Barack Obama will be there.
The festival runs for 10 days, and is separated into three categories: interactive, which focuses on the tech industry; film; and music. The film portion of the fest kicks off on March 11 and The Frame's John Horn spoke with Marjorie Baumgarten, a film critic at the Austin Chronicle, about the festival's history and program.
The Austin Film Society is important to the city's attention and love of cinema. Can you talk about the society and why it's important to the festival itself.
The film society is essential to the film culture in Austin. It was founded by Richard Linklater and several of his friends who helped made "Slacker" and movies like that. They were watching movies on their own — 60mm films that they'd rent — and they started opening it up to the public and it grew into this enormous thing.
(Linklater's new film, "Everybody Wants Some," will have its world premiere at this year's SxSW.)
There are so many choices of what to do at the festival. What is your advice for what people should be paying attention to, or how to enjoy this year's SxSW?
My advice is always, Go with the flow. I mean, if the line looks too long, just go to something that you haven't heard of. All of these films have been curated and pre-selected and you really can't go wrong. Just take a chance on something you know absolutely nothing about, and you may come out happily surprised.