Originally published on BigBendNow.com March 16, 2015.
Today is Day 4 of SXSW and I’m just now writing a blog post. That’s how busy this festival has been, and it’s just going to get worse when music starts tomorrow. But there are no complaints from me as I’m having fun.
So far, I’ve seen sat through some panels about photojournalism and watched some films with West Texas connections. I even waited in line to attend the Awesomest Journalism Party Ever (yes, that’s really the name) and that was pretty worth it.
I started the film festival watching a late screening of Results that stars Guy Pearce (Momento), Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother) and Kevin Corrigan (The Departed). Normally, I'm not a fan of watching movies about gyms and getting fit (I'm just not a sporty person), but director/writer Andrew Bujalski wrote the story in such a way that's universal, no matter what you consider exercise.
Basically, the film is about rich guy Danny (played by Corrigan) who walks into a gym owned by Trevor (played by Pearce). Kat (played by Smulders) becomes Danny's trainer and gets caught in the middle between Trevor and Danny, and the movie takes off from there. Giovanni Ribisi is thrown in there as Danny’s lawyer, because why not?
As Bujalski is from Austin, Results is an Austin movie. Besides the big names in the lead cast, most of the crew in front and behind the camera are Austinites. It was also filmed in Austin, so a lot of familiar neighborhoods are shown.
However, Marfa plays a role in the pivotal moment in the film. Several scenes were shot last summer at Mando’s Restaurant, around the El Paso Street, and at the popular glampground, El Cosmico.
My perception of reality was a bit skewed as I watched my hometown of Austin and the town I currently reside in, Marfa, in one film. My laugh seemed to be the only one to fill the theater though, when Kat’s character complains to Trevor that even though she made the normally six-hour trip to Marfa in four hours, the only time she saw got pulled over was when she glided over a stop sign in Marfa.
Without giving too much away, Trevor and Kat take the road trip to the West Texas town like most Austinites do: to get away. Trevor, who is trying to expand his business into a larger space, has ulterior motives to meet his fitness idol Grigory (played by Anthony Michael Hall, known as the 80s film director John Hughes’ nerd), but that’s not really important to the movie. I just wanted to namedrop Hall.
Bujalski told me after the screening that he included Marfa in the film because everybody knows of town’s reputation as a “weird magical destination” and he need his characters to get out of town.
“As you guys know, it’s such a magical place and in Austin, everybody knows it,” said Bujalski.
And to him, Marfa is a personal place as he took a road trip with his then-girlfriend to see if they’d still like each other after four days in the car. Obviously they did as they are now married with children. Writing my destination weddings piece, I learned from the multiple sources that Marfa seems to be the place where couples fall in love. I mean, if you still want to spend time with someone after hanging out in the desert with very limited resources (we don’t have a Starbucks), I think you can handle pretty much anything.
Results premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and will have a limited release in Austin and New York on May 29.