This week is off to an amazing start, and it’s all because SXSW is here! It’s truly the most beautiful time of the year in Austin (spring weather is finally starting), and with travelers from all over the world pouring into the city, it’s a blast to walk around downtown and people watch. I’m only taking Thursday and Friday off from work, so my film festival fun has been limited to one movie a day so far, but they’ve been very memorable selections. Let’s start with The Breakfast Club…
On Monday I attended the 30th anniversary restoration premiere of the movie, and Ally Sheedy and Molly Ringwald were there to share their thoughts on the film. You can’t imagine how surreal it was watching the movie and knowing these legendary ladies were in the audience experiencing the fun right along with us! Everyone got free donuts (very fitting for The Breakfast Club), and the whole thing was kicked off by the local Barton Hills Choir’s elementary school children singing a lively rendition of the movie’s theme song, “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds. Seriously folks, I had tears in my eyes. The event’s moderator joked that backstage the kids thought Ally and Molly were nice, but it was really their parents who were excited. Am I feeling old yet?!
Speaking of Molly and Ally, they were then invited onstage for a panel discussion, and there were MANY highlights. Molly talked about experiencing the film as a parent when she watched it with her daughter Matilda (since the film was a consistent request at Matilda’s slumber parties, she thought it was time they watched it together for Matilda’s first viewing). She and Matilda were interviewed about the experience for this episode of This American Life. Molly wishes she still had her boots from The Breakfast Club and wonders where they ended up. She acknowledged that the film’s universal appeal is due to the fact that we all feel alone at times. Not to mention, she reflected a bit on the process of growing up and John Hughes’ passing of a heart attack, noting that there’s truth in Ally Sheedy’s line from the film: “When you grow up, your heart dies.”
Am I getting too serious?! It wasn’t like that, guys. We were all laughing throughout the panel. Ally Sheedy is now teaching at the renowned LaGuardia HS for the Performing Arts. When asked how the kids react to working with the Ally Sheedy, she said that some are nervous and some are super enthusiastic, giving her lots of cred because of her films, but that after a couple of weeks, all of that wears off! High school students are high school students after all. And the Pixy Stix and Cap’n Crunch sandwich she eats in that famous Breakfast Club scene: she had to consume 3 versions of the sandwich during filming! Yes, by the third sandwich, it was far from good.
How do you follow up such a major event of a film screening? With lunch at your favorite tapas bar of course! Here I am at Austin’s Malaga enjoying a glass of Sangria. Did I mention the weather was perfect?! After a brutal winter (yes, even in Texas), ’tis the season to experience patio dining.
I spent the day with my mom, as we both get wristbands for the film festival every year. It’s a great time to slow down, connect and enjoy thought-provoking movies all week. Here she is looking chic as always:
And I had to take a snapshot of the food. Grilled asparagus, empanadas, brussels sprouts, chicken, and a caprese flatbread pizza were a few of the delicious items from our tapas lunch.
What I love most about South by Southwest is the quiet. I know it sounds funny, since this is the craziest time of the year in Austin. But it’s the one time of the year that I stop and look around me, enjoy my city, and reflect on where I’ve been and where life is headed. When you spend a lot of time waiting in line, your mind has time to wander in all the right ways.
Above we see marquee lighting outside of the Paramount Theater. Below is the ceiling of Austin’s historic Driskill Hotel, where we popped in for a snack before the screening of the Russell Brand documentary Brand: A Second Coming.
I’ll end with a shot from the Austin Convention Center, the SXSW hub. Because it’s all about enjoying the moment this week…
I’ll post more details from the festival this weekend. Thanks for letting me share!