For 10 days, Grantland staff writer Rembert Browne is at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, collecting stories while trying not to die.
Beyond all the music shows, and film premieres, and obnoxious start-ups with their obnoxious apps and obnoxious vowel-less names and obnoxious T-shirts and obnoxious dreams of a cloud-based B2B push notification water filtration-augmented reality show, Austin's South by Southwest festival is really a giant exercise in colonization. There is nothing more precious in this town for 10 days than land. Because if you have land, as both Columbus and Trump have taught us, you can do whatever you want.
In the upcoming days, as the music crowd begins to take over Austin, outlets like Fader and Spin and Filter, as well as web entities like Spotify, will acquire spaces for multiple days at a time and proceed to throw events with the entertainers they enjoy, and people will stand in line for hours to finally get the opportunity to step foot on their land. And they will be happy.
One of the entities that will also do this through music, but got a head start during the Interactive portion, was Samsung. What did they decide to do with their land grab?
Invite Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurwitz for a Sunday-brunch Q&A session, as well as actors Will Arnett and Jeffery Tambor.
One of the most famous Monty Python sketches is the one in which a hapless consumer attempts to return a recent purchase to the pet store. The bird, you see, is dead — but the shop owner argues it's just resting. But when shouting and shaking fail to rouse the feathered friend, the owner changes course: The poor bird is just stunned! And what's more, it's the customer's fault for carrying on so loudly! It goes on like this for a while. Mustaches and the commuter train to Ipswich become involved. Eventually, the police are called on account of everything getting a bit too silly.
It's funny the lengths people will go to, to deny the obvious — much, much funnier than NBC's ill-fated comedy Up All Night ever was. The show — starring Will Arnett and Christina Applegate as harried hipster parents, and Maya Rudolph as someone cut and pasted from a completely different sitcom — has been reinventing itself almost from the start.
NBC has been trying to salvage something from Up All Night almost since the word "go," knowing that simply letting a collection of talent like Will Arnett, Christina Applegate, and Maya Rudolph walk out of their clutches would be wasteful, foolish, and, honestly, downright disrespectful to the comedy gods. Now finally, against all odds, it looks like the network's managed to squeeze something worth a damn out of this thing. Not a sound, well-principled half-hour sitcom — oh, dear, no. What they're now offering up is a good, old-fashioned, behind-the-scenes TV mess. Hooray!
Blake Lively & Ryan Reynolds: "With its 300-year-old moss-draped oak trees and stately, columned mansion, the Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, is a favorite venue for couples tying the knot. But it wasn't just the charming post-and-rail fences and lush lawns that appealed to the couple saying 'I do' there September 9th."
Was it the historic slave quarters then? Boone Hall's website seriously boasts about the "eight original slave cabins" and the road in front of the plantation property is quaintly named "Slave Street." I personally find the whole idea of getting married at a Southern plantation totally tacky and repulsive on a soul level, but hey, I'm not Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds.
Well, this one hurts. People reports that Amy Poehler and Will Arnett — two hilarious, attractive, and, above all, normal-seeming people — have split up after nine years of marriage. What?! Nooooo, etc.
Tracy Flick, Captain Kirk, and Bane make up the points of a love triangle in this broad action-comedy from director McG. Fill up on heavy artillery, CGI schlock, and neck-swiveling double takes while Chelsea Handler salts the rim with her patented zingers about being slutty and drunk. I'll probably watch this eventually, but it should be said that I would watch a movie of Tom Hardy's beard growing for two hours (This Means Fur).