Friday, September 22, 2006

Austin, Day 1 and 2

Day 1 (Thursday)

Wednesday night, while drunk, me and Jay decided it would be a great idea to go and shoot some guns the next day. Amazingly, our drunken decision stayed with us, so on Thursday morning we went to a shooting range with two cool guys from the Alamo Drafthouse, Devin and Eric. It was fantastic. I've never fired a gun before, and we got to shoot a shotgun, an M16, a Glock automatic handgun, and a Magnum revolver. The shotgun knocked me backwards, felt like I'd been kicked in the shoulder by a horse - I have a big bruise there now, and it's quite sore.

The M16 had a laser sight, and was pretty powerful. The Glock was like a plastic toy - that can kill.

The Magnum was my favourite though, really powerful, really fucking loud, and so, so satisfying to fire. We went through tons of ammo, and had a blast. If there's a zombie outbreak, I'll be okay as long as I have some guns. Driving back, we got completely lost, and drove around suburbs getting eyed up by men on porches with guns. We stopped to ask someone directions, and they merely replied "we're waiting for a bus", which didn't help. But we got there in the end.

Oh, I forgot, last night we also saw hundreds and thousands of bats on Wednesday night. They live under this bridge, and at dusk they all fly out, squeaking, and form a giant cloud to go off and do batty things. They stink of bat shit, but look pretty cool.

Later we went to the premiere of Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, which was good fun, pretty similar to the remake (young people get killed, bad people do bad things, shouting, blood, chainsaws), and quite intensely gory. At the VIP after-party, we even got to meet R.Lee Ermey, which was just amazing. I shook his hand, talked to him, he talked to me, I made a joke, he laughed, we chatted, it was so fucking cool. He was really nice, and not at all scary, but I still didn't try to start any shit, just in case. Before the movie, they played a video of him telling people to "switch your fuckin phones off, or I'll kick your ass", with a sign at the end that read "If your mobile phone goes off during the movie, R.Lee Ermey will take your ass down", so I smashed mine to pieces to make sure.

The party was cool, a man carved a sculpture out of a big log with a chainsaw, and we became best friends with some total strangers, all of whom turned out to be from We drank with them, brought them back to our cabin in the woods, and drank until 6am.

Day 2 (Friday)

Today, I have been mostly going "uhhhhhh" and staggering around in a daze. We bought some food, acted like zombies, and saw Tideland, which was really strange, and really beautiful. It's quite hard to endure because of the difficult subject matter, but extremely brave, and deserves to be seen. Few movies stay with you for that long these days, but Tideland really got under my skin, and I'm still not quite sure how to describe it. It is what it is, and you should automatically go to see any new Gilliam movie anyway, so seek it out. We were supposed to be going clubbing tonight, but me and Jay both chickened out because our brains have melted and we need to crash and burn. A quiet, pretty uneventful day, but we're so trashed we just couldn't do anything much. Have to save myself for tomorrow, when the Severance screening and Q+A is on, and I'm meeting up with a friend I haven't seen for 14 years, which I'm really looking forward to. Right now, we're sitting in the cabin, spaced out, channel surfing, watching adverts for hunting gear - adverts which are basically animal snuff movies, rabbits and things getting shot. A fat old man shot a turkey from just a few feet away with a massive shotgun, wearing camo-gear, sitting on a special hunting chair. Took the sport out of it, somewhat.

I know, I know, only day 2 and already I'm falling to pieces. There's another week to go yet. Need to pace myself...


soulmining said...

From those pics you look like you're enjoying yourself just a little TOO much!!

Sounds like you're having a blast so far... Borat and TCM already in the swankiest cinema known to mankind, wicked!!

Bit concerned to hear you're staying in a cabin though... watch out for the water. So... let me get this straight, you're living out Cabin Fever and I'm living out Hostel this weekend... hmmmmm! Eli Roth has a lot to answer for.

rawshark said...

Sounding great out there in Austin...!

Glad you got something out of Tideland. I see Harry at AICN loved it. May have to use both of your quotes for the DVD cover, cos it got panned by the critics here. (-;

Enjoy the rest of the fest and best of luck for the Q+A...