Rosario Dawson in new series “DMZ” at SXSW in Austin, Texas.

I’m here at SXSW 2022 and preparing to travel down to the Convention Center on Thursday to collect my badge, get my Nikon tagged, and prove I’ve been vaccinated—3 times.

This is not my first rodeo, but it is one of the most screwed-up, pandemic or no pandemic, mostly because of my own computer  shortcomings.  My computer was hacked, which ended up costing me close to $200 to fix AND an important announcement regarding things in general got lost in my SPAM folder, I had surgery on 1/27 and missed some important deadlines because we were driving to get here. Probably just as well that I won’t be standing in as many lines for as long as usual, since I’m not yet 6 weeks post-surgery until tomorrow.

Also, one year ago in Austin we had the infamous freeze and had to melt down Frosty the Snowman in order to flush our toilets. (Yikes!) Remember that? We went without water for about 5 days, but did not lose our power–although our son and wife, 3.3 miles away, lost both for about a week. Ah, the golden memories.

Armie Hammer. at SXSW in 2018 (my photo at the Stateside Theater.)

I’m just so pleased that SXSW seems to be emerging from the pandemic stronger than ever because, as you may remember, they were one of the first Big Events to cancel that year and go all online, (whereas Mardi Gras just went ahead and exposed a bunch of party-goers in the Big Easy.) Not all of the celebrities of past years will be there this year, as evidenced by THAT guy!

I’m going to be taking in a lot of the films on my home television set, because, due to recent surgery and being on the road when the deadlines occurred, I seem to have missed the deadline for signing up for Red Carpet photo ops. I’m still invited to chat with the stars of a variety of new streaming shows one-on-one, including the new “DMZ” (a fictional new Civil War with Rosario Dawson and Benjamin Bratt, where Rosario is searching for her missing son).

Another big new sci-fi offering that Steven Spielberg has a hand in will be “Halo,” which is being touted and the entire working group behind Ben Stiller’s “Severance” (minus Stiller, himself, or Adam Scott) will be meeting with registered press who wish to ask questions about that intriguing series (I’ve seen 3 episodes, so far).

All together, there are 99 features, 76 World Premieres, 4 International Premieres, 4 North American premieres, 2 U.S. premieres, 13 Texas premieres and 111 short films.

I’m torn between attending the up-close-and-personal meeting with the stars of the new “The Man Who Fell to Earth,” since I remember the original with David Bowie, or participating in a Lizzo promotional event that sounds really fun. I almost certainly will be the oldest person at any of these get-togethers, and I will often opt for the really interesting documentary over the so-so feature. (How many reviewers have been at this non-stop since 1970?)

Pick up a copy of my book on 70s movies, “It Came from the 79s: From The Godfather to Apocalypse Now” on Amazon to celebrate SXSW and prove that I’ve been at this a looong time.

Who can choose between “Linoleum,” a Jim Gaffigan-starring light comedy (also sci-fi-ish) and Ethan Hawke’s examination of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward entitled “The Last Movie Stars?”

Stay tuned to this page as I share with you, my faithful readers, the upcoming SXSW offerings that I’ll be seeing from March 11 to March 20th.