Friday, May 22, 2009

Sin Nombre

Two nights ago, my roommates and I went to see the movie Sin Nombre. It's an indie film in limited release right now and entirely in Spanish. This is first feature film I've seen in months that was actually in it's first-run, wide(ish) release. I've been to see special screenings at the Alamo Drafthouse, but those were small films with one-time showings.

But back to Sin Nombre. It's an intense film that focuses on the intersecting stories of two teenagers trying to immigrate from Central America to the U.S. Willy is on the run from his Mexican gang, while Sayra is leaving Honduras with her father and uncle. While the plot is pretty fast-paced, the film has a strong sense of realism. I left feeling that it was an accurate representation of gang violence and immigration.

I still haven't quite recovered--it's violent and, at times, disturbing. But it presents the characters with empathy and dignity, and the stark realism is, oddly, refreshing. It's worth seeing, although I'm not sure I'll be watching it again for at least several months.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Give a Girl on a Bike a Break

Thanks to the lovely weather yesterday (lovely: not 90+ degrees), I went on a bike ride with my roommate and a friend around the East Side. As we were making our way back home, some asshole threw an unopened can of beer at my roommate, hitting her ankle and bike frame and spraying open. He managed to throw that sucker over a fence, but I still can't figure out what his motive was. He yelled something at her, but I didn't catch it because I was desperately peddling to pass a bus before it moved into the bike lane for a stop.

So was he just being an obnoxious drunk or is this another example of drivers' embittered resentment against cyclists?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Near Chaos At the Airport!

I just got back from a 5-day trip to Georgia, and my general knowledge of regional airports leads me to expect 1) Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International to be a zoo (though a well-coordinated one) and 2) Austin Bergstrom International to be a a breeze.

Not so yesterday.

I have yet to find any news coverage, but from my standpoint as a traveler, here's what happened: First of all, there was a film crew doing something there. They had taken over a gate and looked like they were filming a scene involving someone either getting on or off a plane. This is not that unusual because of Friday Night Lights and Austin's independent film scene. Still, it was a little exciting to poke around after getting off my flight and see the crew at work.

But then! People were trying to go down one set of escalators to baggage claim, and security officers were directing us to the other escalators to the left. I thought this had something to do with filming. So I used the other escalator, and at the bottom, an airport employee (not a security officer) was yelling at everyone to stay back because baggage carousels 3-5 were closed. Once again, I figured this had something to do with filming.

She directed people to where their luggage would be for every airline except for Delta, which was, of course, my airline. People from my flight swarmed around her, and she kept saying she didn't have any information about Delta. She was yelling a lot, telling people to stay back. Finally, some security officers in uniform sectioned off the restricted area, and we finally found out that they were investigating a "suspicious bag."

My luggage had been sent to carousel 5 (which is where luggage from Delta flights usually go at ABIA) so they had to send them back to carousel 1, but I only figured this out because I saw other people from my flight getting their bags. Around this time, the film crew was packing up their stuff. I have no idea what happened to the "suspicious bag" or what they were filming. I'll keep looking at local news sites. Honestly, as annoying as the ordeal was, it was a little bit exciting...