hungry hearted

serving up a healthy portion of pop culture commentary, random infatuations, and introspective ramblings

"Kindly Rewind" Filmmaking Frenzy

One of the best establishments in Austin is unquestionably the Alamo Drafthouse. For those of you who've never experienced the simple pleasure of legitimately enjoying a beer and/or a meal at your local movie theater, I feel for you. Now that I've grown so accustomed to what so casually presents itself as a basic human right, I can't imagine life without the Alamo.

Consistent with their out-of-the-box approach to entertainment, the fine folks at Alamo recently hosted a Filmmaking Frenzy inspired by Michel Gondry's new movie Be Kind Rewind . Gondry's new release stars Mos Def and Jack Black as film clerks who accidentally erase their entire stock of movies and create short remakes in attempt to rectify the damage. Be Kind Rewind will be out in theaters February 22, and I'm definitely looking forward to seeing this as soon as possible.

Be Kind Rewind, trailer

Appropriately, the Filmmaking Frenzy contest, dubbed "Rewind Kindly," challenged teams to create low-budget 5-minute remakes (or "swedes") of popular Hollywood films. The hilarious products of this contest can now be viewed at I've only skimmed through and watched a couple flicks so far. While most of what I've seen has fallen short of holding my attention, I found this production of Taxi Driver pretty entertaining, but be advised it's vulgar (like the movie itself), so don't watch it at work. I find that the main deterrence from watching most of the clips is that even at 5-minutes a pop, they're just too damn long. Personally, I think Angry Alien Productions really steals the market on low-budget Hollywood remakes with their 30-Second Bunnies clips.

SXSW: a first glance

Based on the current list, these are my picks:

Black and White Years [myspace]
The Black Keys [myspace]
The Blow [myspace]
The Concretes [myspace]
Dr. Dog [myspace]
The Felice Brothers [myspace]
Jens Lekman []
Jim James (of My Morning Jacket) [youtube: "steamengine"]
Kimya Dawson [myspace]
Liam Finn [myspace]
The Lemonheads [myspace]
Los Compesinos! [myspace]
Lucero [myspace]
Lykke Li [myspace]
Man Man [myspace]
My Morning Jacket [myspace]
N.E.R.D. []
North Mississippi Allstars [myspace]
Peel [myspace]
Tapes N' Tapes [myspace]
The Teeth [myspace]
Thurston Moore [myspace]
Tilly & The Wall [myspace]
Tokyo Police Club [myspace]
Two Gallants [myspace]
Vampire Weekend [myspace]
White Rabbits [myspace]
White Williams [myspace]

Writers Guild set to return to work

CNN has officially announced that a settlement has been reached in the 100-day strike and writers are returning to work. They report that,

More than 92 percent of the Writers Guild of America members who cast ballots Tuesday in Los Angeles and New York voted to end their work stoppage over residuals for writing in the digital age, including new media and the Internet. The new deal is for three years.

Of course it will take time for our beloved favorites to catch-up and resume programming, but The Oscars will go on (airing next Sunday, February 24) and the entertainment industry seems to be turning a corner towards normalcy.

While I will miss the ridiculous time-wasting antics of late night hosts Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and Conan O'Brien, I am excited for the return of their writers which will help them more thoroughly satirize current affairs.

Who Made Huckabee

Related News:

Prime Time Cranks Up

For TV viewers, strike's effects may linger

Dinner with the President

Among the perks that come along with working at the Lake Austin Spa Resort was the recent opportunity to serve Barbara and President George H.W. Bush. No bullshit. I must say that the couple are remarkably endearing, which immediately dissolved my nervousness as soon as I sat them. The former President was much taller than I would have expected, and I nearly didn't register Mrs. Bush as the former first lady without her trademark blue dress-suit and pearls.

Despite my personal distaste for their offspring who currently runs the show, I couldn't help but find myself warmly at their disposal. It was like entertaining your grandparents. To further exemplify that comparison, President Bush even stuck his head into the kitchen after dinner to thank us all AND gave us little presidential memorabilia tokens! I think we were all a little awe-struck as he handed the guys cuff-links with the presidential emblem and then dug in his pockets to find me a pin with the same emblem. I don't know which is cuter: his thoughtful outgoingness or the thought of him packing his pockets with souvenirs. Either way, I feel honored to have had this encounter.

I think this video of the 84 yr old former President and the U.S. Army Golden Knights skydiving during the George Bush Presidential Library & Museum grand re-opening ceremony last year is a great representation of his charm:

But seriously guys, what ever happened to Dan Quayle?

Lykke Li: Youth Novels

I've been in love with Lykke Li ever since I first saw her video for "Little Bit." So it really comes as no surprise that I can't stop listening to what I've tracked down off of her debut album. Youth Novels was released on the other side of the pond January 30th, and I believe it will be released stateside March 4.

My song obsession du jour is undoubtedly, "Let it Fall." It's reached an at-least-five-times-a-day listening necessity level. I think the song is a solid representation of the album with the lyrical focus sensitive but liberated, and the beat undeniably uplifting. While the electro-beats are prevalent in each song, they don't overshadow her delicate little Swedish voice. I guess they call that lo-fi, but all I know is that it's a refreshingly minimalistic balance.

Needless to say I'm beyond ecstatic that Li will be coming to Austin for SXSW next month. Based on YouTube footage I anticipate an intimate venue. I can't wait!

Dance Dance Dance (Live at Studio Virtanen 2008)

cupcakes and history

An excerpt from my mother's birthday email to me:

You probably don't remember that we called you Churchill when you were a bald baby, do you?


On Feb. 11, 1945, President Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin signed the Yalta Agreement during World War II.

a fool's fortune

Thanks, guys. Being home feels as good as this amazing VH-1 Classic.