Film & TV

The Ten Films We’re Most Looking Forward to at SXSW

Film & TV

The Ten Films We’re Most Looking Forward to at SXSW

The Cabin in the Woods
Girls
Tchoupitoulas
Gimme the Loot
Sun Don't Shine
[REC]³ (Genesis)
Small Apartments
The Sheik and I
Eden
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This Friday, SXSW kicks off in Austin—the film portion, at least—and soon the unruly throngs will descend upon the wacky Texan town, causing the local infrastructure to burst at the seams, transforming the notorious Sixth Street into a bigger shit-show than it already is, and pissing off a lot of locals. We can’t wait! But before we get queasy from bingeing on fish tacos or dull-minded from sultry, drunken afternoons in the backyards of East Austin, we present you with a list of the ten films (all world premieres) that we’re the most jazzed about. What to expect? Lots of goodies from indie-world big-shots, intriguing new docs … and yes, the long-delayed The Cabin in the Woods, even though at this point, we’re more excited to watch people maul each other for tickets than we are about the film itself.

GIRLS
Dir. Lena Dunham
Headliners

Director-writer-star Dunham unveils a new HBO series that’s once again fueled by the post-college ennui she so brilliantly captured in Tiny Furniture. Her self-deprecating wit charmed, embarrassed, and endeared us, and we’re excited to see how the influence of Executive Producer Judd Apatow has developed her voice. Bonus: Girls marks the return of the delightful Jemima Kirke, who played Dunham’s wayward best pal in Tiny Furniture. It’s not exactly a movie, but can you blame us for including it?

TCHOUPITOULAS
Dirs. Bill and Turner Ross
Emerging Visions

The executive producers of Sundance sensation Beasts of the Southern Wild, which had critics salivating for its potent magical realism and sumptuous cinematography, bring us the Ross brothers’ fly-on-the-wall doc about three youngsters venturing out into the New Orleans night. It’s refreshing to see good indie films coming out of somewhere besides New York, and we’re eager to see if NOLA becomes a new hub.

GIMME THE LOOT
Dir. Adam Leon
Narrative Feature Competition

Leon’s short film Killer, co-directed by Jack Pettibone Riccobonoimpressed us with its loose style and uncanny recreation of 1980s New York when it premiered as part of New Directors/New Films back in 2009. That film centered on a real-life team game played by high school kids; Gimme the Loot follows a pair of determined young graffiti artists through what sounds like a promisingly accurate depiction of the Bronx.

SUN DON’T SHINE
Dir. Amy Seimetz
Emerging Visions

We loved Kate Lyn Sheil’s restrained, naturalistic performance as a cultured Brooklynite consumed by psychosexual jealousy in Sophia Takal’s terrific debut feature, Green, which premiered at last year’s SXSW. Sheil’s got a slew of films slated for release in the next year; here, she plays opposite mumblecore luminary Kentucker Audley as they embark on a mysterious road trip through coastal Florida.

 

JEFF

Dir. Chris James Thompson
Documentary Feature Competition

Two decades later and we’re still fascinated by Milwaukee cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer. This doc weaves together archival footage, interviews, and reenactments—always a risky move, but we’re open to it—to give a portrait of one of the nastiest, most enigmatic minds in recent history.

[REC]3 GENESIS
Dir. Paco Plaza
Midnighters

The original incarnation of the Spanish horror film, which came out in 2007 and inspired an inferior Hollywood remake one year later, was surreal, refreshing, and truly horrific; the second one, not so much. Plaza’s original co-director Jaume Balagueró, who worked with him on the first two films, isn’t credited on this one—let’s see if that changes anything.

SMALL APARTMENTS
Dir. Jonas Åkerlund
Narrative Spotlight

Music vid veteran Åkerlund has made some pretty memorable stuff—he helmed the grin-inducing video for The Prodigy’s “Smack My Bitch Up” back in 1997, among a bunch of other high-profile works, like Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” video—and for his second feature, he’s adapted the eponymous, super-quirky Chris Millis novella about a guy who accidentally murders his landlord.

THE SHEIK AND I
Dir. Caveh Zahedi
Documentary Feature Competition

Zahedi titled his recent autobiographical comedy I Am a Sex Addict, which should give you an idea of his filmmaking approach. In this documentary, he’s commissioned by the Middle Eastern Biennial to make a film about “art as a subversive act”—anything he wants, as long as he doesn’t mock the Sheik. Yikes.

THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
Dir. Drew Goddard
Headliners

Everyone’s going bonkers for the new horror flick produced by Joss Whedon, directed by the guy who wrote Cloverfield, and starring a short-haired, pre-Thor Chris Hemsworth—and we assure you that come Friday at 7:00pm, rabid viewers hell-bent on securing a seat are going to start camping out in front of the Paramount Theater. Are people really dying to see it, or do they just want to brag about having seen it before anyone else? Yes, it’s one of those movies.

EDEN
Dir. Megan Griffiths
Narrative Feature Competition

Matt O’Leary had an impressive turn as a nutso ex-con in last year’s Best Narrative Feature winner, Natural Selection, and this year he’s got an even wilder role: A man who kidnaps a young Korean girl at a bar in New Mexico and imprisons her as a sex slave in Las Vegas. It’s all based on a true story, as well.