'SXSW Presents' Launches Season Three on KLRU

Tuesday, Oct. 3, 9pm

If we're not actually living in the End Times just yet – plague of locusts ... hello? – perhaps all this cultural upheaval is merely another speed bump in the tweaky zeitgeist of modern life. Like the bright yellow earth movers and shakers currently massing in and around downtown Austin, maybe it's not just concussive, random deconnectivity at all, but, um, "smart growth" on a planetary scale.

That's certainly the case in Liz Lambert's film The Last Days of the San José, which documents the transformation of SoCo hot spot the Hotel San José from superwhack crack den to übercool in-spot and airs on Oct. 10 (a week after Stephen Tobolowsky's Birthday Party kicks things off) as part of the third season of the SXSW and KLRU joint venture, SXSW Presents. Call it gentrification if you must, but you've got to admit that drinking by the pool is infinitely more relaxing than holing up for the weekend in a crumbling motel and trying to find that last imaginary rock you dropped on the carpet.

If Lambert's snappy hotel do-over and its resulting documentary film confirms that not all of old Austin should be considered sacred ground, then Nancy Higgins' elegiac, heartfelt Viva Les Amis is the flipside of that particularly well-thumbed coinage. Using footage filmed at and interviews with former employees, regulars, and assorted hangers-on of the late, lamented Les Amis Cafe (now, cruel irony, a Starbucks), Higgins' film both mourns the passing of the UT area's artistic and intellectual (and drunken) nexus and celebrates the plainly odd notion that a Parisian-style sidewalk cafe-cum-lifestyle could blossom so deep in the heart of Texas in the first place. As for this third season of SXSW Presents, festival producer Matt Dentler notes, "The big difference is that we are expanding the episodes to include not just the films themselves but related conversations and panels with the filmakers and figures in the local film and arts community who will be hanging out, talking, and just kind of sharing their thoughts on the films. The idea of this whole show in the first place was to try and bottle what an experience at a film festival – particularly South by Southwest – would be like. But on your television."


Times for episode premieres are 9pm, unless otherwise noted. In January, BBQ: A Texas Love Story, Pedal, and two shorts programs will air, but dates and times are TBD.

Tuesday, Oct. 3

Stephen Tobolowsky's Birthday Party

Oct. 10

The Last Days of the San José

Oct. 17

Viva Les Amis

Oct. 24, 9:30pm

Dreams of Sparrows

Oct. 31

24 Hours on Craigslist

Nov. 7

State vs. Reed

Nov. 14

Witches in Exile

Nov. 21

A Light From the East

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'SXSW Presents'
'SXSW Presents'
Animated Shorts Program

Feb. 16, 2007

'SXSW Presents'
'SXSW Presents'
'BBQ: A Texas Love Story'

Feb. 2, 2007

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