Too many movies, not enough sleep

It’s SXSW here in Austin – the 10 day period in which I overdose on movies.

I am a movie crazy-person. Every week, when I’m in town, life I turn my computer off at noon on Fridays and go to the local arthouse to see 2 movies, and most of the time see a commercial movie on Sunday. Three movies a week and then around 50 movies this week. Heaven. And hell.

Movies are a very creative experience for me. The editing – the single factor which makes a movie a success or failure, and allows the script and dialogue to be heard or snoozed through – is key: I am unconsciously alert to the timing and meaning of the story as a result of the editing, just as I am of the wording of an article or book I”m writing. I can also see how the direction, the lighting, the camerawork effect the movie, and if the actors are matched in terms of power and charisma.

To me, movies are a kaleidoscope of colors, sounds, action, meaning, feeling. They open my heart and my mind. Each one offers me a roadmap for a new way to be creative. They are brain candy, or like water for plants. They are my easy access to new worlds and ideas.


So each year,  SXSW arrives, offering me hundreds of brilliant (and occassionally not-s0-brilliant) narratives or documentary features blocks from my loft. I am in pig heaven. It’s a joyous time, and I take the time off as a working holiday. Indeed, in just the first 3 days, I’ve developed pages of ideas around possible new technology (even a new game called Who’s the Decider), ideas for articles, possible new websites.

The downside is I’m absolutely, absolutely exhausted – and it’s only Monday! I’ve seen 13 movies since the opening on Friday night (6 yesterday – including the absolutely hilarious movie BridesMaids written by Kristen Wig, with her and Mia Rudolph, which won’t be coming out til later this year). I’ve seen a doc on Sesame Street and puppets, and one on the night sky. Conan O’Brien was here with the new doc about his tour (Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop). Ellen Page was here, allowing us the priviledge to see her absolutely amazing balls-out performance in Super.

I could go on and on. But this is Cranky Tuesday, and I’m going to complain: there are not enough hours in the day. I want to see ALL of the brilliant movies. I want to do this every day for my whole life. I want to never have to work. I want all of the creativity and ideas, the lighting angles and the editing decisions, to be available to me, in my head and hands, always.

And I need more than 5 hours a night sleep. I’m like the walking dead – but like a happy zombie. And yes, I can’t be too cranky. Cuz I’m really, really happy. And I have to stop writing so I can get to the next movie.



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