Sending Off SXSW 2003

Film Reviews

LIZARD TIMES TWENTY: THE AUSTIN LOUNGE LIZARDS LIVE AT ANTONE'S

D: Steve Mims.

Documentary Feature Special Screenings, World Premiere Not many bands last 20 years, and unlike most that do, the Austin Lounge Lizards can honestly say people are laughing with them, not at them. The demented bluegrass/country-comedy purveyors celebrated this fact at Antone's in spring 2000, and Steve Mims captured the occasion in this charming if slightly flawed documentary. Lizard Times Twenty's greatest strength is the Antone's audience -- visually, Mims really puts you in the club, with frequent shots of the crowd in stitches, occasionally looking confused, and always singing along. (As a writer normally on the politics beat, my personal highlight was spotting Travis County clerk Dana DeBeauvoir merrily chirping the chorus to "Old Blevins." Hearing a politician singing, "Blah, blah, blah-blah-blah" [sic] over and over is just too funny.) Unfortunately, what Mims does visually is somewhat undone by poor audio -- it sounds like Mims recorded with his own external mics instead of plugging directly into the soundboard. It had me wishing I was at an actual Lizards show instead of a movie theatre, but that should be a minor complaint when this goes to public TV or video, which would seem to be its purpose.

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