4.5 Stars
Year Released: 2002
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 2 minutes
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Those of you out there who’ve never attended a film festival have never experienced the mixed blessing that is the Official festival trailer. These micro shorts, sometimes a series of two or more different trailers, generally serve two purposes: to set or reinforce the theme of that particular festival and, by way of a credit list generally comprising approximately half the trailer, to provide thanks to the festival’s corporate and/or local sponsors and friends.
Most of the time, they’re easy to ignore little bits of artsy tripe. But considering that hard-core festival goers might see some twenty or thirty films within just a few days, even the most innocuous of these mini-promos begin to grate on one’s nerves like fingers — with hangnails — on a chalkboard.
That’s what makes the trailers at the recently completed SXSW film festival in Austin, Texas so unique. Directed by Dan Brown (American Detective), the SXSW series of trailers takes place at Burger Hut, a drive-thru greasy spoon that bills itself as the “Beef of the Stars.” Kent (Kent Osborne) and Jimmy, a burnt-out, chain smoking muppet slacker, wile away the time debating movie arcana and challenging each other or their blind-sided customers to movie trivia.
Cleverly written and exceptionally edited, these little gems strike an ironic tone that matches perfectly with SXSW’s thankfully-not-quite-Hollywood attitude. These trailers fit this rising festival perfectly and, more importantly, still elicit a chuckle or two even after multiple viewings. Heck, they’re even good enough to earn this review; the answer to a trivia question that one can imagine Jimmy asking Kent on-screen at SXSW 2003.

Posted on April 22, 2002 in Reviews by

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