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SXSW Film Reviews: 'Hey Bartender'

Daily Reviews and Interviews

Reviewed by Andy Campbell, Fri., March 15, 2013

SXSW Film

Hey Bartender

Documentary Feature Competition, World Premiere
D: Douglas Tirola; with Dushan Zaric, Steve Carpentieri, Steve Schneider, Dale DeGroff

Hey Bartender ostensibly documents the rise of the craft cocktail, tracing its particular components – fresh juice, infused liquors, arcane ice treatments, and historical specificity – to a handful of bars in New York City. The flashy and dramatic hierarchy of one such bar, Employees Only, is directly contrasted with the workaday clientele of a Westport, Conn., neighborhood restaurant and bar owned by Stephen Carpentieri. At Employees Only, we watch Steve Schneider, an affable and adorable war vet, perfect his craft and ascend in the ranks; meanwhile, Carpentieri haphazardly heads into the world of specialty adult beverages. It's a tale of two bars, basically, and Hey Bartender has just enough panache and style to make you forget that the craft cocktail you just downed almost put you out twenty bucks.

Thursday, March 14, 9:30pm, Alamo Ritz
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