Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

General

SXSW Film 2016: My Picks…

Written by Todd Sokolove

Another SXSW Film Festival starts this Friday, and in addition to the usual unveiling of a Richard Linklater film (this time it’s Everybody Wants Some), the line-up is packed with quirky documentaries, highly anticipated genre flicks, midnight cult selects and of course some world premieres.

This year in Austin, I plan to attend a lot of sessions during the day, and probably a few events at night, but when I can scoot off to some screenings,  they’ll likely to be any of the following:

THE BANDIT



A film about 70s superstar Burt Reynolds, his best friend, roommate and stunt-double Hal Needham, and the making of their unlikely smash-hit SMOKEY & THE BANDIT. The film tells the action-packed story of the making of SMOKEY, while tracing the vivid personal journeys of Reynolds and Needham from obscurity to stardom and highlighting one of the most extraordinary relationships in Hollywood history. Featuring new interviews with Reynolds, rare archive material, including footage from Reynolds’ personal archive, as well as candid interviews with the late Hal Needham, the documentary tells an exhilarating and moving story about loyalty, friendship and creative risk.


TAKE SHELTER writer/director Jeff Nichols proves again that he is one of the most compelling storytellers of our time, as a father (Michael Shannon) goes on the run to protect his young son, Alton (Jaeden Lieberher), and uncover the truth behind the boy’s special powers. What starts as a race from religious extremists and local law enforcement quickly escalates to a nationwide manhunt involving the highest levels of the Federal Government. Ultimately, his father risks everything to protect Alton and help fulfill a destiny that could change the world forever, in this genre-defying film as supernatural as it is intimately human.

SILICON COWBOYS

Launched in 1982 by three friends in a Houston diner, Compaq Computer set out to build a portable PC to take on IBM, the world’s most powerful tech company. Many had tried cloning the industry leader’s code, only to be trounced by IBM and its high-priced lawyers. SILICON COWBOYS explores the remarkable David vs. Goliath story, and eventual demise, of Compaq, an unlikely upstart who altered the future of computing and helped shape the world as we know it today. Directed by Oscar-nominated director Jason Cohen, the film offers a fresh look at the explosive rise of the 1980’s PC industry and is a refreshing alternative to the familiar narratives of Jobs, Gates, and Zuckerberg.

I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER

From Irish Horror director Billy O’Brien (ISOLATION) comes this tale of dangerous 16-year old John Cleaver. He’s obsessed with serial killers, but really doesn’t want to become one. Terrible impulses constantly tempt him, so for his own sake, and the safety of those around, he lives by rigid rules to keep himself “good” and “normal”. However, when a real monster shows up in his town he has to let his dark side out in order to stop it – but without his rules to keep him in check, he might be more dangerous than the monster he’s trying to kill.

THE SLIPPERS


THE SLIPPERS pulls back the Wizard’s curtain on the unbelievable story and cultural impact of Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz. Through first-hand accounts and archival interviews, THE SLIPPERS will detail the life of the Ruby Slippers after their sale at the famed 1970 MGM auction. Discovered by costumer Kent Warner, it is unclear how many pairs were found and how many pairs exist. That mystery has only helped to propel the shoes to the forefront of the Hollywood memorabilia market. They have been bought, stolen, and coveted by many. They are considered the most important piece of Hollywood memorabilia and the catalyst for the creation of Hollywood memorabilia collecting.

HUSH

Author Maddie Young has lived a life of isolation since losing her hearing as a teenager, fully retreating into her now silent world. But when the masked face of a psychotic killer appears in the window of her secluded home, Maddie must push herself beyond her mental and physical limits in order to survive the night. From Mike Flanagan, director of OCULUS and ABSENTIA.

THE TRUST


A great headlines this dramatic comedy about Waters and Stone, two nobody police officers who work in the evidence room of the Las Vegas Police Department. When Stone discovers an unusually high bail receipt in connection to a drug bust, the two friends set in motion a plan to find the source of the money.  With Nicolas Cage, Elijah Wood, Sky Ferreira, and Jerry Lewis.

THE ALCHEMIST COOKBOOK

Joel Potrykus, director of the 2014 SXSW favorite BUZZARD) brings this tale of a young outcast named Sean.  He’s isolated himself in a trailer in the woods, setting out on alchemic pursuits, with his cat Kaspar as his sole companion. Filled with disdain for authority, he’s fled the daily grind and holed up in the wilderness, escaping a society that has no place for him. But when he turns from chemistry to black magic to crack nature’s secret, things go awry and he awakens something far more sinister and dangerous.

LITTLE SISTER

October, 2008. Young nun Colleen is avoiding all contact from her family, until an email from her mother announces, “Your brother is home.” On returning to her childhood home in Asheville, NC, she finds her old room exactly how she left it: painted black and covered in goth/metal posters. Her parents are happy enough to see her, but unease and awkwardness abounds. Her brother is living as a recluse in the guesthouse since returning home from the Iraq war. During Colleen’s visit, tensions rise and fall with a little help from Halloween, pot cupcakes, and GWAR. LITTLE SISTER is a sad comedy about family – a schmaltz-free, pathos-drenched, feel good movie for the little goth girl inside us all.

OPERATION AVALANCHE

1967, the height of the cold war: the global race to put a man on the moon is afoot. Suspicions are brewing within the CIA that a Russian spy has infiltrated the inner-circle of NASA in an attempt to sabotage the Apollo Program. Two young agents from the CIA’s A/V department present a plan to expose the mole, and their supervisors reluctantly agree. They go undercover as filmmakers tasked with documenting the nation’s journey from the earth to the moon. To the chagrin of the powers that be, these crack agents uncover a conspiracy far more shocking than Soviet spies. The government is hiding a dark secret about Apollo, and the White House will stop at nothing to silence those who discover it.

BEWARE THE SLENDERMAN

The story of the internet’s elusive Boogeyman and two 12-year-old girls who would kill for him. Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier lured their best friend into the woods, stabbed her 19 times, then set out on an odyssey to meet the tall and faceless man known online as Slenderman. Shot over 18 months with heartbreaking access to the families of the would-be murderers, the film plunges deep down the rabbit hole of their crime, a Boogeyman and our society’s most impressionable consumers of media. The entrance to the internet can quickly lead us to its dark basement, within just a matter of clicks. How much do we hold children responsible for what they find there? 
1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Sun Dry

    April 4, 2016 at 6:13 am

    I love this place. I had an event here back in May last year and I felt like it was a perfect day for us! The event space provides you with an event Specialist as part of your package which is extremely helpful. Plus all of us dressed up only added to the entire ambience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You May Also Like

Movies

Produced by Taihei Yamanishi, Shinichi Takahashi, Haruki Yokoyama, Haruhiko Hasegawa Written and Directed by Makoto Nagahisa Starring Keita Ninomiya, Satoshi Mizuno, Mondo Okumura, Sena...

Movies

In the year 2008, the cops are better armed than before, but nothing has prepared them for this. Swift, sharp-clawed and deadly, something moves...

Movies

From the team behind the critically acclaimed Life After Flash (the Flash Gordon feature documentary celebrating the 1980 classic), Life After Atreyu will not...

Columns/Features

When I see the Ladd Company logo fill the screen, the green flickering lines detailing a tree, some part of my subconscious is delighted....