We Have an Issue: Blastoff

The story behind Richard Linklater’s new Netflix coming-of-age film, Apollo 10½

Milo Coy (Cover photo by Jana Birchum / Design by Zeke Barbaro)

A new Richard Linklater film is always going to be a big deal. But Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood – which world-premiered at last week's South by Southwest Film Festival and drops on Netflix April 1 – in particular has us buzzing. Shorthanded by some as "Boyhood in space," it's a coming-of-age picture drawing on Linklater's youth growing up in space race-era Houston, turned fantastical by the idea a kid with stars in his eyes secretly trains for his own lunar mission. It marks Linklater's first return to animation, after cult classics Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly. And – most excitingly for us here at the Chronicle – it stars Milo Coy, son of our former Food Editor Jessi Cape and an exceptionally cool kid we've been lucky to watch grow up. We've got a long tradition of sneaking staffers and family members onto our cover, but Milo? He earned the cover all on his own.

Read Jenny Nulf's interview with the budding actor and Richard Whittaker's story on the animation process.

I'm not entirely sure how Richard managed to pull off his half of the feature, having just dragged himself across the SXSW finish line. Then again, editing and writing just an inhuman amount of copy is pretty much Richard's brand. He was the ringleader of our Film Festival and Conference coverage, Kevin Curtin corralled our Music Festival coverage, and a small army of writers, photographers, editors, and graphic designers made it all come together. Some of that coverage worked its way into this issue, but most of it lives online. There's some terrific stuff there; find it all at austinchronicle.com/sxsw.

SXSW 2022 Highlights

Lizzo (Photo by Jana Birchum)

Conference Recaps: Beck recalled his first SXSW appearance ("a total disaster"), Japanese Breakfast's Michelle Zauner rhapsodized about a club sandwich, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a virtual appearance, cannabis futurists consulted their crystal balls, the cast and crew of Amazon Prime superhero series The Boys tackled toxic masculinity, and Lizzo told the time ("it's bad bitch o'clock").

Film Fest Fever: Breakout successes and the biggest premieres: Team Screens filed five-dozen reviews and scads of filmmaker interviews.

Shawn Mendes (Photo by Jana Birchum)

Photo Galleries: From red carpets to front row at the sweatiest clubs to the cheerful throngs at the Chronicle's annual Hair of the 3-Legged Dog day party, our photographers caught it all on camera.

Young Thug (Photo by John Anderson)

Best of the Music Fest: Park Jiha, Perfume Genius, Geese, Tuyo, Young Thug, Commando, Shawn Mendes, Fuck Money, and Pissed Jeans were just a handful of performers the Music team wrote home about.

In the Field: Doug Freeman hit Willie Nelson's Luck Reunion in Spicewood, Rod Machen grabbed a bite to eat with Andrew Zimmern, and Mike Clark-Madison rode the train with Mayor Pete – erm, we mean, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Buttigieg.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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