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Home » Featured, Film

SXSW warm up

Submitted by Commandrea on March 5, 2024 – 12:01 amNo Comment

The line-up for the 2024 SXSW Film Festival and Conference (March 11 through 19) promises another year of great music docs, cool star studded premieres and lower profile indie films that are so numerous that it’s impossible to see and feel everything. Opening night kicks off with Duncan Jones’ Source Code (going wide April 1). If you have time for the interactive version of SXSW say hello to Al Franken, if you have time for the music version of SXSW say hello to Yoko Ono and Civil Wars.

While the controversy doesn’t revolve around the film itself so much as its hand puppet wielding actor, The Beaver with Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster (she also directed) premieres March 16. There are a couple of foreign films that were nommed for last month’s Oscar awards unwinding including Incendies (Canada) and In A Better World (Denmark). There’s great exploitation fare at midnight like the haunted house thriller Insidious and the self-explanatory Hobo With a Shotgun.  Announced music documentaries include 100 Bands in 100 Days (short subject) and the feature length retrospective of SXSW itself aptly titled Outside Industry: The Story of SXSW.

Speakers at special seminars include director Todd Phillips (Due Date, The Hangover) and Paul Reubens (Pee Wee Hermann). Here are some of the confirmed attendees promoting their various films: Conan O’Brien, dude’s got a film; Carla Gugino, Rosario Dawson (Girl Walks Into A Bar); Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, Duncan Jones, Ben Ripley (Source Code);  Michelle Rodriguez, Jeff Fahey (blacktino); and that’s just the first day. The second-day luminaries (Ellen Page) are as shiny as the fifth-day stars (director, actor Jodie Foster with her film The Beaver starring Mel Gibson).

The closing film, unwinding on closing night March 19, is a Billy Bob Thornton directed documentary on Willie Nelson. I got a contact buzz just reading that last sentence.

Suffice it to say that the doc on marijuana smuggling in 1970s Florida titled Square Groupers, and Takashi Miike’s newest, 13 Assassins, are at the top of this bleary eyed critic’s list.

- Michael Bergeron

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