Luv Doc Recommends: The Fearless Freaks World Premiere

Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, Sunday, March 13, 2005

Ah yes. Another SXSW. The yearly reality check for all the starry-eyed dreamers looking to make it big in show business. As a flesh and blood representation of the daunting statistical odds against becoming the next Tarantino or Modest Mouse, SXSW is off the charts. It’s hard to conceptualize that the world is literally teeming with freakishly talented and breathtakingly attractive people until they’re actually blocking your way to the pisser at Club de Ville. You desperately want to bleed the lizard and they desperately want to butter up the kid who runs the copier in the mailroom at Miramax. It’s that same heady atmosphere of hope and desperation that to outsiders makes SXSW seem more glamorous and exciting than it really is: lots of cocktail swilling schmoozefests where everyone is making contacts but no one is making eye contact. For a good percentage of the artists and filmmakers involved, SXSW is their first sickening, soul crushing, head-on collision with the freight train of capitalism. Yes, at the end of the day (presumably a long, hard day of prostituting art and self) SXSW is about business. This week it’s about the film business and the interactive business – mere shades of the evil and insanity of the music business – but don’t be mistaken; those sullen, nerdy film types are looking to suckle fame’s tit just like everyone else, and they’re willing to walk over the naked baby Jesus in golf cleats to do it. The difference is that film people hide it better than musicians, who tend to wear their hearts on their sleeves – at least on the occasions when they actually wear them. Otherwise, musicians and filmmakers have a lot in common – not just because of the black clothes, sulkiness and lack of melanin, but because music has become an increasingly visual medium. Whether for art or marketing, film, video, and music have become inextricably linked in the minds of music lovers. Visual imagery is as important as aural in creating a band’s aesthetic, and no band in the last decade has fused sound and image with the same alacrity and creativity as three guys from the Oklahoma suburbs: The Flaming Lips. This Sunday at the new Alamo South Lamar, recent Austinite/Okie expat Bradley Beesley – the crazy genius responsible for “Okie Noodling” – is celebrating the world premiere of The Fearless Freaks, his latest documentary, chronicling the Flaming Lips’ improbable career. The Fearless Freaks features plenty of concert footage as well as interviews with the band and famous folks like Beck, Juliette Lewis, Liz Phair, and Jack White. The show starts at 7pm, and you should be able to get in with a film pass ($58 at Waterloo), but you’ll probably want to get there early – before the kid from the mailroom at Miramax shows up with his entourage.

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