The Streets of Philadelphia

'The New Year Parade'

Tom Quinn was cleaning up after a week's worth of Park City festivities when he got the call that his film The New Year Parade had won the Narrative Prize at Slamdance 2008. "It was a weird experience," he says. "Everyone's really excited, leaving all these messages," meanwhile Quinn was packing, the condo was flooding (he'd used the wrong dish detergent), and he was alone, exhausted, and sick. Laughing, he remembers, "It was like a Woody Allen movie." Quinn hasn't been making movies quite as long as Allen, but he did start young: "I tried making my first feature film in, like, second grade, and failed every year until I was 27 ... literally." Now 31, Quinn is trying to keep his feet on the ground. Consider: His good fortune at Slam almost never happened. "I started to panic, thought about backing out," Quinn admits, who'd never screened outside of family and friends.

Those friends and family are from Philly, a town that, according to Philadelphia Inquirer's Steven Rea, is currently enjoying "a Phillywood moment." (Other Penn state pictures screening at this year's SXSW include Explicit Ills, the directorial debut from actor Mark Webber [The Hottest State], and In a Dream, Jeremiah Zagar's compelling doc about public art.) Quinn is part of a small but national movement of indie filmmakers who are sidestepping LA/NYC migrations and staying home to produce regionally based, regionally informed, regionally inspired works.

To that end, The New Year Parade –an IFP Narrative Rough Cut Lab participant – is a portrait of divorce pains framed against Philadelphia's Mummers Parade, a colorful, annual extravaganza that celebrates Philly culture. Rather than treating divorce as a backstory into which the audience must fill in the blanks, "we were interested in looking at those blanks and making that the story," he says. Utilizing a blend of actors and nonactors, documentary and fiction, moments both mundane and intense, Quinn offers an unsentimental meditation on the emotional wounds of domestic turmoil and familial unrest and a real rumination on human nature.

The New Year Parade

Narrative Feature, Emerging Visions, Regional Premiere

Sunday, March 9, 7:30pm, Dobie

Wednesday, March 12, 4pm, Dobie

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.

Support the Chronicle  

SXSW Film Releases Full Feature Lineup
SXSW Film Releases Full Feature Lineup
Slate includes everyone from Wes Anderson to the Zellners

Monica Riese, Jan. 30, 2014

Mindy Kaling Comes to SXSW
Mindy Kaling Comes to SXSW
The comedian and showrunner will speak March 9

Monica Riese, Jan. 21, 2014

More Screens
Austin Artist Brings Gamera to Vibrant Life in a New Box Set
Austin Artist Brings Gamera to Vibrant Life in a New Box Set
Matt Frank builds the perfect monster

Richard Whittaker, Aug. 28, 2020

SXSW Film Reviews: 'Go For Sisters'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

Robert Faires, March 15, 2013

More by Raymond Blanton
On the Road, From San Fran to Taipei
The Mad Ones: The Beat Film Series
Two new film series bebop and globe-hop

March 28, 2008

DVD Watch
DVD Watch
Alex Cox managed to make an anti-American film (funded by Universal) about Nicaragua (on location) during a volatile and secretly funded U.S. opposition to Nicaragua. Sneaky.

Feb. 15, 2008


Tom Quinn, The New Year Parade

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle