With over 110 features, not to mention short films, panels and all the social gatherings at the annual South by Southwest Film Festival, how does one decide how to make a schedule. In the five days that I will be there, I will be attending at least two panels. One by my friend and colleague, Cinematical's Scott Weinberg, who will be moderating Directing the Dead, a look at the horror genre through the eyes of panelists Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds), Robert Rodriguez (Sin City), Neil Marshall (The Descent), Matt Reeves (Cloverfield), Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) and Ti West (The House of the Devil). Personally I will also be taking to moderation when I examine Hyperbole In Film Criticism with not only Mr. Weinberg, but also film critics Drew McWeeny, James Rocchi, Marjorie Baumgarten and Jen Yamato.
Mostly though I will be there for the movies. In-between the camaraderie of my fellow film lovers and more than a few meals at the Alamo Drafthouses, I am looking forward to the likes of major releases such as Kick-Ass (the opening night film) and the feature-length version of SNL's MacGruber and documentaries such as James Franco's Saturday Night, about what goes into the preparation of the legendary sketch show and Steven Soderbergh's tribute to Spalding Gray in And Everything Is Going Fine. That's just the tip of my schedule, though, and I want to help you with yours. Certainly I concur with the positive sentiments offered by the Cinematical staff on SXSW showings of Cyrus, The Freebie, The Runaways, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil and Winter's Bone and echo that they should be seen. But I am going to offer you ten more suggestions to help put you on the road to the best possible fest experience.