SXSW 2012: did someone mention lunch?
OTR guest writer Leagues O’Toole listens to his belly Awakening – thankfully – the next morning, to the cavernous rumble of my own stomach it dawned on me why I’d really made this pilgrimage to this great city of Austin. …
OTR guest writer Leagues O’Toole listens to his belly
Awakening – thankfully – the next morning, to the cavernous rumble of my own stomach it dawned on me why I’d really made this pilgrimage to this great city of Austin. It wasn’t in pursuit of the next big band to break, the hot new indie movie about to blow up or the latest insider information on which direction the internet is going take next. It wasn’t to listen and soak up the collective wisdom of the world’s brightest sparks, tastemakers and corporate powerhouses. I’m here for the food.
The addictive how-do-they-do-it tomato-tangy house guacamole in Manuels regional Mexican restaurant on Congress, the breakfast of kings (and Mexican bikers) in the Tex-Mex greasy spoon experience of Juan in a Million, the Texas-shaped waffles in the Driskill Hotel breakfast bar and, my own personal weakness, the late-night Slammin’ Sliders (miniature burgers dosed in BBQ with sweet potato chips on the side) outside Esther’s Follies comedy club are just a few of the city’s alluring temptations.
With that confession out of the way it’s time to get to business, the business of laughs, because although South By South West is divided into three categories: music, film and interactive, all of which converge and crossover throughout the programme, there’s also room to showcase new comedy talent.
One of the crews here in full effect is Funny Or Die, the brainchild of comedy actors Will Ferrell and Adam MacKay, essentially a comedy video site that manages to strong-arm famous names (Mila Kunis, Jerry Seinfeld, James Franco) into contributing to short comedy sketches. Having made the art of viral phenomenon look easy by using YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook to great effect, they soon moved into the TV world, partnered with HBO who no doubt will take them to the next level. On their panel Funny Or Die: The Future of Comedy & Everything Else the FOD key players Andrew Steele, Dick Glover, Mike Farah, Patrick Starzan explain how the internet, if used properly, can transform a fertile DIY entity into a thriving media force.
Their presence also coincides with screenings of one of Ferrell’s new vehicles Casa de mi Padre, a Spanish language comedy starring an actor who doesn’t apparently speak Spanish. I won’t make. I’ve got to get down to the Ironworks BBQ spot for lunch. I’m, emm, reviewing it.