For all our coverage of SXSW Film 2017, click here.
What a great South By Southwest it was. There were some truly incredible premieres, some mild disappointments, and a truly excellent television pilot shown at this year’s festival. Here’s almost everything else I saw there this year (we’ll have some reviews of the SXSW films showing at the Boston Underground Film Festival coming later this week), excepting the one movie I walked out of, A Critically Endangered Species, whose first 30 minutes had experienced a combo of pretentious and boring that I didn’t exactly find palatable.
Muppet Guys Talking
The impossibly underrated Frank Oz returns with a documentary about him and a few friends getting together for some conversation and some coffee. Coincidentally, those friends happen to be other Muppeteers, some of whom were around working with Jim Henson as he created the first iterations of his characters and some who came along later in their lifespan. Muppet Guys Talking is an incredibly funny and occasionally melancholy documentary, full of reminiscing about the good ol’ days, even if those days seem to be getting further and further away from the present. There are a couple of amazing anecdotes (such as the prank war between two Muppeteers that ultimately involves an exploding desk) and beautiful recollections of Henson (remembered here for his kindness, work ethic, and absolute commitment to his craft, as the story behind the filming of the opening of The Muppet Movie would attest. Oz, as always, is careful to capture the real feel of the room, and it’s occasionally possible to imagine yourself sitting right in the room with the gang, listening to a tale and waiting for your coffee to cool down. It’s a truly excellent little film, and will be a lot of fun for Muppet fans and cinephiles alike.