SXSW 2011. Awards and Roundups

 

Robbie Pickering's Natural Selection has been named best Narrative Feature at this year's SXSW Film Festival by both the Grand Jury and audiences. What's more, Rachael Harris and Matt O'Leary are among the Breakthrough Performances (the one other winner is Evan Ross for 96 Minutes), Pickering wins Best Screenplay and Michelle Tesoro wins Best Editing.

To the Documentary Features. The Jury's going for Tristan Patterson's Dragonslayer, awarding Best Cinematography to Eric Koretz as well. As for the Audience Award, "In 2010, Indian-American filmmaker Vikram Gandhi went to Phoenix and invented a spiritual workshop from scratch," writes Eric Kohn at indieWIRE. "That's the premise of Kumaré, a documentary that Gandhi assembled out of his experience, in which he created a fake spiritual guru, replete with heavy accent, far-out proclamations, and a tiny legion of followers… Structural problems aside, Kumaré succeeds at creating a thoughtful depiction of performance art, if not a particularly funny one."

Jeff Myers's Becoming Santa picks up the Audience Award for a Spotlight Premiere and Andrew Haigh's Weekend has won the Emerging Visions award. Brian Brooks and Eric Kohn have the complete list of winners at indieWIRE. I'll be picking up on my own chronology soon, but for now, here's a sampling of what's being said about some of the films I'll have missed or will likely not be able to catch. The festival runs through Saturday, so there'll be updates at least through early next week.

SXSW 2011 officially opened with Duncan Jones's followup to Moon, Source Code, with Jake Gyllenhaal, Vera Farmiga and Jeffrey Wright. At the House Next Door, Kenji Fujishima finds that "Jones has a knack not for putting across breathtakingly original ideas in a breathtakingly original way, but for putting across familiar ideas with enough skill, intelligence, and heart to make the end result seem fresh enough. Moon at first played like basically a cross between 2001: A Space Odyssey and Solaris, right down to its white-dominated production design, until it gradually began to stake out its own distinctive thematic and emotional territory. Source Code similarly begins in a manner that suggests it's going to be merely a rehash of films ranging from Groundhog Day to The Manchurian Candidate, but the film eventually develops an identity of its own, thanks in part to Ben Ripley's structurally brilliant script and the committed performances of its cast."

More from Durga Chew-Bose (Interview), Kirk Honeycutt (Hollywood Reporter), Eric Kohn (indieWIRE), Peter Martin (Twitch), Drew McWeeney (HitFix), Matt Singer (IFC), Drew Taylor (Playlist), Scott Weinberg (Cinematical) and Jen Yamato (Movieline). Catherine Shoard interviews Jones for the Guardian, while the Playlist's Kevin Jagernauth interviews Jones and Ripley. Viewing: IFC's Matt Singer talks with Jones and Farmiga, Anne Thompson with Jones and Gyllenhaal. Update, 3/18: At GreenCine Daily, Aaron Hillis talks with Farmiga (audio, 10'49").

 

NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION


Stephen Saito for IFC.com: "There isn't much of a better way to describe Lisa Robinson and Annie J Howell's Small, Beautifully Moving Parts than its title, which concisely suggests its size and function and though it's unmistakably human in its warmth, it's an indie road movie that runs like clockwork in the tradition of other such films."

 

Update: Kenji Fujishima at the House Next Door: "If Andrew Haigh, the director of Weekend, the earnest, prosaic, and mostly unsurprising British drama that won an Emerging Visions Audience Award at South by Southwest last night, is considered a fresh new voice in cinema, then what about Matt D'Elia, who shows more breathtaking audacity in his debut feature, American Animal, than Haigh shows in his Richard Linklater-ish romantic talkfest? Don't get me wrong: Weekend, for all its gay-themed subject matter, is agreeable and sometimes quite moving. What it lacks is the brash confidence that American Animal exudes in abundance, the confidence of an artist willing to risk driving its audience up a wall in order to realize a defiantly unique personal vision." Interviews with D'Elia: Brandon Harris (Filmmaker) and Kevin B Lee (Fandor).

 

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION


The City Dark "is about light pollution," writes Kenji Fujishima at the House, "but this isn't an 'issue documentary' in the usual sense — or at least, if it is, then it approaches the issue at sometimes unusual angles. [Director Ian] Cheney may have activist intentions on his mind, but, at least for this particular subject, he also has evinces the soul of a poet." Ben Fries and The Fishermen Three have won Best Score/Music for a documentary feature.

Update, 3/18: IndieWIRE's Eric Kohn: "The first time that Bobby Liebling — the frantic, drug-addled frontman of the 70s heavy metal group Pentagram — appears in Last Days Here, he looks like a walking corpse. Don Argott and Demian Fenton document the depraved singer-songwriter, still living in his Virginia-based parents' 'sub-basement' after several decades, in grotesque physical terms." More from IFC's Stephen Saito: "Fenton (an editor on Argott's previous project who gets a co-directing credit here) and Argott spent six years waiting for the story to reveal itself and that patience has been rewarded with a tale that's sad, sometimes frustrating and ultimately triumphant."

 

HEADLINERS


For the New York Times, Dave Itzkoff talks with Rodman Flender about his documentary, Conan O'Brien Can't Stop, which the Playlist's Drew Taylor finds "unstoppably hilarious and surprisingly moving." Anne Thompson reports that "AT&T will take the film out on several platforms and provide P&A for indie distributor Abramorama's theatrical release as Magnolia picks up home entertainment and some VOD rights."

Scott Weinberg at Cinematical on Girl Walks Into a Bar: "One need not be all that familiar with Sebastien Gutierrez's Women in Trouble or Elektra Luxx to get the vibe pouring out of the latest collaboration between the filmmaker and his lovely muse, Carla Gugino, but it will certainly help your viewing experience if you enjoy clever dialogue, amusing twists, and strong women."

Something Ventured "is a frankly admiring look at those who went out on a limb to back upstarts like Atari, Cisco Systems, Genentech and Apple," writes Michael Cieply, who talks with the film's makers for the NYT. "How the documentary fares may help tell whether a society that has been leery of big business since the financial collapse of 2008 is ready to soar with the entrepreneurs once again."

You Instead, in which Adam (Luke Treadaway) and Morello (Natalia Tena) find themselves hand-cuffed together at a music festival, is directed by David Mackenzie and written by novelist Thomas Leveritt and, for Peter Martin at Cinematical, "It's a classic romantic comedy set-up; opposites attract, resist, give in; friends discourage; complications ensue and so forth. As always, it depends on the characters, performers and delivery; You Instead succeeds on those counts in a low-key, fully engaging manner."

 

Update: "A risky bet that pays off solidly, Jodie Foster's The Beaver survives its life/art parallels to deliver a hopeful portrait of mental illness that while quirky is serious and sensitive," writes John DeFore in the Hollywood Reporter. "[E]choes of Mel Gibson's well-publicized breakdowns are impossible to ignore in an opening sequence introducing us to his character Walter Black, who first appears floating in a pool, arms outstretched like Christ's. A few shots later, we see this 'hopelessly depressed man,' who has tried everything to remedy his condition, flagellating himself like a Catholic penitent… It's very easy to imagine a less gifted filmmaker producing a train wreck of a film using an identical script — exaggerating the highs, compartmentalizing the lows and casting a mawkish eye on everything from Walter's youngest child to his ever-present suffering. Foster finds the script's subtleties instead, and grounds the film with just enough pain to make it work. Viewers who can shake off tabloid preoccupations as they settle into the film will likely be surprised by a picture that (in a way reminiscent of Lars and the Real Girl) turns a crazy-sounding premise into something moving and sane." Stephen Galloway interviews Foster. Update, 3/17: More from William Goss (Cinematical), Jeremy Kirk (FirstShowing), Eric Kohn (indieWIRE), Peter Martin (Twitch), Drew McWeeney (HitFix), Catherine Shoard (Guardian) and Matt Singer (IFC). Update, 3/18: More from Logan Hill (New York): "The bravado of Gibson's performance is undeniable. The beaver (Gibson's hand and mouth) is hyperactive and relentlessly riffing, even when Walter's eyes and body look slack and dead. He's less a guy with a puppet than a conjoined twin. Gibson perfected mania and relentless, antsy charm in everything from Hamlet to Lethal Weapon, but it has never been deployed in such an unsettling way."

Update, 3/20: "An onslaught of affectionate praise, King of Luck offers Willie Nelson the chance to hear his friends gush about him without having to go to the trouble of dying and hovering above the funeral," writes John DeFore in the Hollywood Reporter. "Its sole point of restraint is the color-free photography. What it offers other viewers is harder to nail down. Though very enjoyable for the already-converted, Billy Bob Thornton's doc offers little biographical content and startlingly little facetime with the man himself. Meanwhile viewers not convinced of Nelson's greatness will find themselves more or less ignored."

 

SPOTLIGHT PREMIERES


Update, 3/18: "Like Heathers reimagined by Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright, then reprocessed for consumption by the Twitter generation, Joseph Kahn's Detention moves at an absurd pace and dares anyone above 25 to keep up," writes John DeFore in the Hollywood Reporter. "The densely woven, pop-culture-stuffed script is impossible to summarize tidily, but operates largely on tropes winkingly borrowed from other movies… Director Kahn, a music-video vet, doesn't only use this hubbub as an occasion for fast cutting, glossy production values and out-of-nowhere visual elements (like a sequence in which a bullying jock turns out to suffer a Jeff Goldblum-ish fly disease). He and co-screenwriter Mark Palermo also cram more smart-ass dialogue and meta-movie banter in than actors should be expected to deliver or audiences to digest."

 

EMERGING VISIONS


Brandon Harris introduces an interview for Filmmaker: "SXSW stalwarts Kentucker Audley and Eleonore Hendricks star in Bad Fever, the debut from Brooklyn-based newcomer Dustin Guy Defa about the wistful, misbegotten almost, but not quite love affair between a couple of drifters, one of whom seems to videotape everything she does with an antiquated video camera."

"On paper, Caught Inside, the debut feature from Australian director Adam Blaiklock, may sound like any number of other location-based thrillers," writes Peter Hall for Cinematical. "A group of blokes decide to charter a private boat and take a leave-your-girlfriend-at-home surfing vacation to a remote island. However, things are complicated when one of the boyfriends brings along his girlfriend and her flirty gal pal, Sam (Daisy Betts). Isolated deep in the ocean, hours from anyone of authority, one of the men on the boat grows obsessed with Sam and will do anything to have her… Blaiklock's film boasts an integral ingredient that most thrillers lack: realism."

Convento is "a quiet and curious film about a quiet and curious family living in a former monastery in Portugal, the Convento Sao Francisco de Mertola." IFC's Matt Singer: "They're the Zwanikkens: mother and former prima ballerina Geraldine, animal and nature lover Louis, and Christiaan, the 'kinetic artist' who spends most of his time designing bizarre sculptures… that fuse animal bones and remains with working robotics to create moving (practically living) works of art. In this former house of God, Christiaan gets to play God himself, giving life to these weird little robo-beasts. Little attention is given by director/producer/cinematographer/editor Jarred Alterman to the creative impulses that first gave birth to this very strange passion. Rather than looking into the minds of the Zwanikkens, it attempts to replicate how the Zwanikkens look out at their world."

 



Erin Hawkins for BOMB: "In her feature debut Green 24-year-old director Sophia Takal exposes some of the most vulnerable, hidden parts of a woman's psyche — irrational jealousy in both relationships and friendships, unrelenting insecurity with other women, and, consequently, struggling with an overcompensating need to win male attention and approval." Winner of the SXSW Chicken & Egg Emergent Narrative Woman Director Award. Update, 3/18: The L's Mark Asch interviews Takai.

"Dave Boyle's third feature is a comedy, like his previous film, the 2009 crowd-pleaser White on Rice," begins Nelson Kim at Hammer to Nail. "But where WOR was a sharp blast of laughing gas, Surrogate Valentine is a mellow buzz that steals up on you slowly. There's a gently lulling rhythm to the storytelling; scenes unfold with a looseness that feels semi-improvised. This mood fits with the energy level of the main character, who is also the movie's co-writer (with Boyle and Joel Clark), the talented San Francisco-based singer/songwriter Goh Nakamura. Playing himself or a version thereof in his feature-film debut, Nakamura isn't an obvious choice for what's essentially a romantic lead part — soft-bodied and moon-faced, he's likable enough but doesn't project much presence until he picks up a guitar and sings, which he does with grace and wit and leisurely command."

Update: "There are at least ten narrative films at SXSW this year directed by women," notes Alicia Van Couvering for Filmmaker, "twice as many as last year… By and large, they share very little in the way of common themes (My Sucky Teenage Romance being about as far away from Yelling to the Sky as any film could get in tone, intention or production value.) But two films in the Emerging Visions section by woman directors, Sophia Takal's Green and Alison Bagnall's The Dish & the Spoon, venture into territory left unexplored by most independent and mainstream films: strong women and the jealousy and rage that occasionally overtakes them… Both films twist conventions of gender, positioning the women as the dominant parties in every scene, the catalysts for all the action, and painting their male protagonists as semi-helpless waifs with little awareness of what's really going on… As more women's voices pierce the surface of contemporary indie film, Green and Dish are taking on a significant theme of modern femininity: the war between one's violent, inner expressive self (the wails and screams and fears you are most ashamed of) and the version of your behavior that you want to promote, the self that gets you the love, trust and comfort that you crave." Update, 3/17: The NYT's Mekado Murphy talks with Greta Gerwig about her role in Dish.

 

LONE STAR STATES


John Gholson introduces an interview at Cinematical: "Inspired by both the Twilight craze and her own personal experiences at Minnesota's annual geekfest CONvergence, writer-director Emily Hagins has created one of the most anticipated features of SXSW 2011, My Sucky Teen Romance. It's Emily's third feature film, a rom-com with a vampiric horror slant, and her most ambitious project yet. If your only exposure to Hagins is as the soft-spoken subject of the documentary Zombie Girl, you might be surprised to see that the little girl has grown up into a confident adult director."

 

24 BEATS PER SECOND


"With his shaggy, unkempt hair and the blue-black circles under his heavy-lidded eyes, Ron Sexsmith projects a hangdog image throughout Love Shines, director Douglas Arrowsmith's chronicle of the singer-songwriter's bumpy career arc." Jonathan Keefe at the House Next Door: "Though he is at turns candid and insightful when addressing Arrowsmith's camera directly, Sexsmith simply comes across as deeply sad here, and, rather than casting him as an underdog in the youth- and image-driven music industry, that gloom just makes Love Shines a dire ordeal."

 

Update: "There's going to come a time — and it's not that far away — when record stores won't exist." IFC's Matt Singer: "That's why [Jeanie Finlay's] documentary Sound It Out isn't just good, it's important, as a chronicle of everything we lose when the music industry decamps to the Internet. The digital world can still deliver the songs but it can never replace what record stores mean to their loyal customers: a sanctuary from a harsh world, a museum of and monument to our pop culture past, and, above all, a community."

 

SXGLOBAL


"Chances are, if you're watching El Bulli: Cooking in Progress at a film festival, you probably have an idea of what type of restaurant El Bulli is and why you should know about it," writes Jonathan Pacheco at the House, "but for the uninitiated, the film offers little help beyond noting that the restaurant annually closes for six months to perform culinary research and lab experimentation. The rest — the restaurant's unique usage of food technology, its experience-oriented philosophy, its 30-plus course menu — is kind of gathered as the documentary's events progress. That's much more interesting than a series of explanatory title cards, but it's still not enough to strongly convey the true El Bulli experience, which is a shame, since the restaurant's head chef, Ferran Adrià (a bulldog of a leader), emphasizes that good-tasting food is not his primary focus, but rather creating unique eating adventures."

"While living in the city of Rovaninemi in Finland's northern Lapland province, Reindeerspotting director Joonas Neuvonen lived off social welfare and spent most of his days doing drugs." Brandon Tenold at Twitch: "During this time, he decided to document his circle of friends, focusing on his friend Jani, a 19-year-old who also uses drugs, in particular the heroin detox medication subtext… Culled from grainy, hand-held footage Neuvonen took from a small consumer camera, Reindeerspotting is a gritty documentary that doesn't moralize or try to cram it's message down the audiences' throat."

 

FESTIVAL FAVORITES


"First time director Cindy Meehl brought the capacity audience at Austin's Paramount Theater to its feet with her crowd-pleasing documentary Buck, about Buck Brannaman, the gentleman cowboy-horse whose life and work partially inspired Robert Redford's The Horse Whisperer." Jen Yamato for Movieline: "After the film, Brannaman and the filmmakers walked onstage to a rousing standing ovation for a Q&A filled with horsemanship advice, behind-the-scenes details, and a shout out to the Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan."

Stephen Saito at IFC.com: "There's some poetic justice in the fact that it takes at least a half-hour, if at all, into Senna to realize director Asif Kapadia is only going to use archival footage to tell the story of the legendary Formula One driver since of course Ayrton Senna's own feats on the racetrack were always best appreciated when he was miles ahead. It's one of the many ways that the doc is modeled after Senna's approach to driving — Kapadia's film is relentless, occasionally idiosyncratic and bound to be wildly popular as it commemorates one of Brazil's most celebrated exports."

 

SPECIAL EVENTS


"Bridesmaids is first and foremost a showcase for [Kristen] Wiig, who surely doesn't play it safe here but still comes off as an affable everywoman with a twinkle of danger in her eye," writes Stephen Saito at IFC.com. "One imagines the hardest thing for her as a performer wasn't the lewd humor or selling the wackier elements of the script, but playing a character who wears her emotions on her sleeve. That she lets everyone else drop all pretense and do the same for two hours is sweet relief for all."

 

MIDNIGHTERS


The Guardian's Catherine Shoard is in Austin, reporting primarily on how the British entries are playing. Attack the Block is Joe Cornish's "an alien invasion flick set on a south London council estate. And it premiered to a smitten army of geeks at the South by Southwest festival on Saturday night. But for those who might not be fogged by the exoticism of a film set in the Oval, there's something a touch disappointing about Attack the Block: it fizzes and sparks, but sputters too much to really catch light." Still, she's gone ahead and scored an interview with Cornish. More on the film from Peter Hall (Cinematical), Eric Kohn (indieWIRE), Aaron Krasnov (Twitch), Drew McWeeney (HitFix), Gabe Toro (Playlist) and Jen Yamato (Movieline).

 



"Written by Karl Mueller and Eron Sheean, [Xavier Gens's] The Divide presents the bleakest, most brutal picture imaginable of a post-apocalyptic world," writes Peter Martin at Twitch. "The great Laurent Barès, who photographed Gens's previous features Frontier(s) and Hitman, as well as À l'intérieur and La Horde, is a master of shadow and light. Despite the claustrophobic setting of The Divide, the narrative feels fluid and the framing never becomes repetitive." "In the biggest deal of SXSW this year and possibly ever for the Austin fest, Anchor Bay paid low seven-figures for US rights," reports Mike Fleming.

Update: "Phase 7, written and directed by Nicolás Goldbart, borrows directly from Shaun of the Dead in an early scene as a married couple checks out of a grocery store in Argentina and drives home, completely oblivious to the stream of people stampeding into the store accompanied by the sound of wailing sirens." Peter Martin at Twitch: "Unlike the characters in Shaun, this couple takes a long time to react. They may not look like slackers in a soon-to-be post-apocalyptic world, but they are… Goldbart, an editor who's worked with Pablo Trapero (Crane World, Rolling Family) among others, has a keen sense of how to put films together, but Phase 7 never ramps up to anything like a traditional action or horror flick — it's as much a parody of post-apocalyptic films — even as bloodshed and dead bodies begin to pile up."

 

SXFANTASTIC


"Based on a hugely popular underground comic, [Wojciech Wawszczyk's] George the HedgehogJez Jerzy in the original language — is a raucous and enormously vulgar piece of animated satire," writes Twitch's Todd Brown. "Though the energy level dips and sags in places it is, on the whole, a frequently jaw dropping explosion of pure, juvenile id on screen where you can never quite be sure what's coming next. Comparisons to South Park and the raunchier titles in the Adult Swim lineup will abound and many will even be accurate, though George has an animation style and a spirit all its own."

Peter Martin at Twitch: "Like Down Terrace, [Ben] Wheatley's directorial debut, Kill List develops in an unexpected fashion. The narrative rhythms quickly jump off the beaten path, so the viewer has to negotiate the ups and downs experienced by the characters without conventional guardrails. It's akin to walking into a cavern without guide lines and a faltering headlamp." Mark Olsen talks with Wheatley for the Los Angeles Times. IFC Midnight has picked up North American rights; Gig Patta reports for Latin Review. Update: "Few movies have scarred and emotionally terrorized people (including some on the Playlist staff) more," writes Drew Taylor.

And again, Peter Martin at Twitch: "There's sick and twisted, and then there's Little Deaths, a film that transforms bodily fluids and troubled relationships into 90 minutes of cheeky dementia and dramatic soul-searching. Admittedly, not everybody will be 'entertained' by some of the extreme activities depicted, but the core element of self-destructive behavior that runs through all three episodes marks Little Deaths as more than the ordinary horror flick."

For Jacob Hall, writing at Cinematical, Jason and Brandon Trost's The FP "is fueled by black-souled, delightfully vulgar anarchy and like great punk rock, over-thinking it just sinks the experience. You've just got to go with it." Update, 3/17: Writing at Twitch, Scott Weinberg finds it "offers just enough wit, weirdness, and colorful insanity to fill a 78-minute frame. Aside from a small handful of moments that are a bit dry or redundant, The FP is a surprisingly, consistently, and profanely funny little indie experiment."

 

INTERVIEWS WITH FILMMAKERS @ SXSW

Filmmaker, IFC and indieWIRE are talking up a storm.

 

UPDATES

3/16: New York's Logan Hill, who served on the narrative feature jury with Roger Ebert and the Sundance Institute's Michelle Trasser: "We admired other films, too, but I'm happy that we unanimously decided to give so many awards to Natural Selection. I'm still reeling at how high a level of difficulty this film worked at, with its bold tonal shifts, meshing of truly dark material and spastic physical comedy; it seems like an absurdly difficult movie for a first-time filmmaker to even attempt. That Pickering pulled it off is terribly exciting. Last year, the festival premiered Tiny Furniture and launched the hot career of Lena Dunham. It's been a thrill to watch her career take off. This year, don't be surprised if you hear a whole lot more about Robbie Pickering."

3/17: Fandor's Kevin B Lee presents "notes on ten films I saw in the three and change days I spent at South By Southwest. Reading them, it shouldn't surprise that I have an issue with Natural Selection virtually sweeping all of the narrative film awards. It's a middling crowd-pleaser that mixes religion, sex and slapstick with agreeable irreverence, but I honestly saw nine other films that I thought were more interesting, unique or flat out better, including two fellow contenders for the narrative film awards."

"It would be too much to say that this year's South by Southwest festival, which embraces movies, music and all manner of things technological, has taken a Luddite turn," writes Michael Cieply for the New York Times. "But the big questions — Do all those connections make you happy? Or more productive? Or more profound? — have turned into a discernible theme of the film program and in many of the panel discussions that constitute the festival."

3/18: Pioneer director David Lowery looks back on some of the "Highs and Lows" of his SXSW, and surely one of those highs was the moment "we won the Grand Jury Prize for best narrative short! It was a wonderful surprise; I'm scared of awards ceremonies, just because I get so anxious, but I'm glad James and Toby convinced me to come to this one. SXSW is an Oscar-qualifying festival this year, so I guess our campaign officially begins now?"

"Despite being credited, and equal parts blamed, for serving as an incubator for the 'mumblecore' films of Bujalski, Swanberg, Katz and countless lesser lights, the programming at SXSW has never really made an impact on the larger culture," writes Eric Hynes for Cinema Scope. Most films "are spread into bafflingly arranged sections that seem to serve little public purpose. The festival is basically saying, 'Here's a mess of films: do whatever you want with them.' I can appreciate the wealth and freedom, but some clearer logic, as well as a discernible curatorial personality, would be nice — and no, 'low-budget indie' doesn't count as a genre or style, since those words say nothing about what winds up on screen, and 'mumblecore' is just another word for something that everyone would rather disown and outgrow. This year, the best films at SXSW were lumped together in the opaquely named Emerging Visions section, a teeming mélange of documentary and narrative, premiere and non-premiere, American and non-American features, with quality ranging from the embarrassingly undercooked (Bad Fever) to the fiendishly inspired (Todd Rohal's The Catechism Cataclysm)."

The Playlist picks five favorites from the festival.

Update, 3/19: More audience award-winners for three more sections. 24 Beats per Second: Douglas Arrowsmith's Love Shines. Lone Star States: Turk Pipkin's Building Hope. Midnight Feature (i.e., Midnighters and SXFantastic combined): Joe Cornish's Attack the Block.

Updates, 3/22: First, a little viewing:

3-13-11 SXSW from Mike Mills on Vimeo.

Eric Kohn presents "Ten Reasons Why SXSW Still Works." IndieWIRE's also indexed its coverage. So has IFC.

"The very best moments marking the film component of this year's SXSW had everything to do with emotion, the real, raw, rag-and-bone shop of the heart stuff, transfigured through the prism of cinematic art (or mayhem). And I'm not just talking about the pyrotechnic heartbreak of Bellflower." From Steve Dollar's overview at GreenCine Daily.

"Boy, oh boy, what a super-fun year this one turned out to be!" Michael Tully's wrap-up at Hammer to Nail.

Update, 3/23: Wrapping it up: The L's Mark Asch, Kenji Fujishima at the House Next Door and Mike S Ryan at Hammer to Nail.

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Responses

3 responses to this post.  Join the discussion

  • Pierre

    Good for Rachel. She’s been the supporting character in too many films. I’m glad she is getting recognition for her talents.

  • Howard Fritzson

    Rachael Harris is a very original comedienne with crack comic timing. I have admired her for a number of years. Nice to see she has gotten this recognition.

  • jmcnally

    I enjoyed Sound It Out very much as well. The director’s intimacy with both the shop and its proprietor helped enormously. It’s also an example of a very successful crowdfunding initiative (via Kickstarter) to get the film finished and the filmmaker to Austin.

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