For Austin residents this is either one of the most exciting times to be in this great city, or the worst for those trying to avoid the pandemonium.
The 24th SXSW is about to kick off its film series running from March 10th through March 18th. The only part of the festival that runs throughout with the interactive and music components. It looks like this year is no different from previous years with so many different narrative screenings, shorts, documentaries, and workshops to choose from.
Even if you have a carefully cultivated list with the help of the SXSW app., you’re still going to miss something. There is just too much to do, but you’ll definitely feel like a movie kid in a movie store. Those lucky enough to garner a film badge can ride the SXSW chartered buses back and forth, north and south of the lake, trying to get to as many showings as possible.
Some tips for the different ways to slice the festival: If you want to enjoy the headliners, spend time binging at Chipotle all week as your base for nourishment from all the walking you are going to do to the closest spot to beeline towards the glorious Stateside/Paramount theatres which are the flagship locations for the larger premiering films. Be prepared to stand in line a good amount of time though, so you really have to want it. Also, for those with wristbands (which are also a lot less expensive), it can be quite difficult to get into the premiere films unless you get there at least two hours ahead of time. If you want to be able to hop scotch along and are going for quantity like me, try the Alamo Drafthouse off South Lamar (1120 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704). You can easily stay there all day long and get your double, triple, quadruple features with only walking a few feet and you’ll enjoy delicious food and drink to boot. Lastly, go see what looks interesting and then go see something you wouldn’t normally consider. You might be pleasantly surprised. Everyone who puts energy into making SXSW happen does such a tremendous job at cherry picking the films, it’s rare to find any duds.
Some things on my radar for this year are:
Song to Song
Directed by: Terrence Mallick
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, Cate Blanchett, and Natalie Portman.
With the backdrop in our very city, Song to Song looks like slice of life love story with Hollywood’s interpretation on life as musicians/songwriters living the music scene in Austin. Could be interesting though.
Directed by: Nacho Vigalondo
Starring: Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis, Dan Stevens, Austin Stowell, Tim Blake Nelson
A story about a girl who likes to party in New York. Seems common enough, with the twist that she is somehow connected to some creature that is terrorizing Seoul, South Korea. This I have to see.
Directed by: Alice Lowe
Starring: Alice Lowe, Dan Renton Skinner, Jo Hartley, Tom Davis
Prevenge is another one that I’m scratching my head at anxiously. It’s apparently a dry British comedy about a pregnant woman who is literally being lead by her unborn fetus to kill others due to not identifying with a father.
Alien (original film)
Directed by: Ridley Scott (who will be in attendance)
Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt, Ian Holm
I’m just excited to have Ridley Scott, Michael Fassbender, and Danny McBride in attendance to see the original 1979 film!! If you haven’t already seen it, go because it’s the eeriest and beautifully suspenseful film ever.
Mommy Dead and Dearest
Directed by: Erin Lee Carr
An HBO Documentary about Dee Dee Blancharde and her daughter, Gypsy Rose and the shock of Dee Dee’s murder back in 2015 and the aftermath it left in Springfield, Missouri.