SXSW Day 4 (Getting Back to Abnormal, Hey Bartender, Milo)
Ryan Revolver

Meet Barbara Lacen, she's not afraid to tear down signs.

Movie: Getting Back to Abnormal


Synopsis: New Orleans' long history of political dysfunction and complicated racial dynamics gets a new lease on life when Stacy Head, a polarizing white woman, wins a seat on the city council after Katrina. Four years later, she needs to get black votes to be re-elected. But will her record of blunt racial talk doom her chances? "Getting Back to Abnormal" follows the unlikely odd couple of Head and her irrepressible black political advisor Barbara Lacen as they try to navigate New Orleans' treacherous political scene. With its cast of only-in-New-Orleans characters, "Getting Back to Abnormal" is a provocative and amusing look at race in America, set against the backdrop of New Orleans' rich culture.


What I thought: If someone wanted to finance a fact-finding mission to New Orleans (preferably when Mardi Gras is not taking place) I could prove that Austin is eerily similar to Nawlins. Maybe even sister cities (forget you Portland). The Big Easy has just as many festivals as the ATX. Stacy Head’s chief of staff, Barbara Lacen, is so awesome-easily the best part of the documentary. She says it how she sees it, and is not afraid to stand up for her councilwomen. People against Head keep saying she’s racist, but I need proof of this dammit! Head is a pistol, as you see her utilize her sharp tongue against others. Also part of the documentary is the effects of Katrina still plaguing the port city (with irony added). Wanna hear what the locals think of Brad Pitt’s Make It Right foundation? Then get local with Getting Back to Abnormal. I love documentaries because then I can tell people I learned something.



Movie: Hey Bartender


Synopsis: The bar is three customers deep and the bartenders are in the weeds at the greatest cocktail party since before Prohibition. Two bartenders try to achieve their dreams through bartending. An injured Marine turns his goals to becoming a principal bartender at the best cocktail bar in the world. A young man leaves his white collar job to buy the corner bar in his hometown, and years later he struggles to keep it afloat. Featuring the world’s most renowned bartenders and access to the most exclusive bars in New York, this is the story of the comeback of the cocktail and the rebirth of the bartender. Featuring commentary from Graydon Carter, Danny Meyer and Amy Sacco.


What I thought: Really cool slow motion sequences with mixologists preparing drinks. Very sexy process in slow-mo. I have become something of an expert on bars recently. Despite my expert status, the cocktail is something foreign to me. Maybe even to Austinites. Don’t hipsters drink Pabst Blue Ribbon? They don’t have time for a fu-fu drink. A lot of drive is put into drinks by these bartenders. The need to incorporate cocktails into your bar is crucial. Mix or die mofo's. This documentary showcases several people that are famous in that world sharing their passion, their drive, and winning awards. Yes cocktails severing bars can get awards. The coolest bar in the world is still the County Line…during prohibition.


Movie: Milo


Synopsis: A man discovers that his chronic stomach problems are due to the fact that he has a demon baby living in his colon.

What I thought: Terribly humorous. The synopsis doesn’t even scratch the surface, maybe just scratches the lining of your intestinal tract. Imagine if Matt Stone & Trey Parker directed a retelling of Gremlins, and you get Milo. It was entertaining watching Ken Marino deal with the weirdest case of IBS. Seeing Peter Stormare plays the lovable quacky psychiatrist was fun, especially since he usually plays a bad guy. Marino’s absentee father (Stephen Root) and overbearing mother (Mary Kay Place) just added to his stress. I thought Milo was going to be a so-so film, oh how wrong I was. It was much more than so-so. Another cool aspect of this movie is director Jacob Vaughan's use of animatronics instead of CGI. You go Jacob.

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