Its about that time again to have the snow bunnies thaw out their Sundance shivers and head to the ATX for the next film festival.
I know people that jump around from festival to festival just catching whatever they can. I don't have the time, money or interest in doing that. But with South by Southwest, or as its so creatively abbreviated, "SXSW", I figured I would make an exception and try to jump into as many pics as I can for the weekend. This is all provided I dont get sidelined by some BBQ.
Here are a few films I'm considering checking out and I would love your comments:
(links takes you to each films respective websites)
The Lookout (World Premiere)
This intelligent crime drama is centered around Chris, a once promising high school athlete whose life is turned upside down following a tragic accident. As he tries to maintain a normal life, he takes a job as a janitor at a bank where he ultimately finds himself caught up in a planned heist. Directed by Scott Frank, who is the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of such films as Out of Sight, Get Shorty, Minority Report, The Interpreter, and Little Man Tate. This is his directorial debut.
Kamp Katrina (World Premiere)
Kamp Katrina is a verite documentary set in post-Katrina New Orleans (yet, it is not a Hurricane Katrina film). The film follows Ms. Pearl, a 56 year old Upper 9th Ward resident and Native American, over the course of 6 months. Ms. Pearl enthusiastically offers her backyard and ten people immediately move into "Kamp Katrina," their self-made tent community. She ends up playing the role of bouncer, psychologist, nurse, mother, domestic abuse counselor, housing advocate, and even tourist in her beloved city.
Ms. Pearl is becoming quite the spokesperson for New Orleans. This is the second major film I've seen here in. She was also interviewed quite extensively for her comments about beads and commercialism in the documentary "Mardi Gras: Made in China." This doc looks interesting.
Fish Kill Flea
Once thriving, a dead mall in upstate New York is now home to a ragtag flea market, living proof that the American Dream is in perpetual decay. Blending verite with a stylized wit, this heartbreaking portrait raises questions about our disposable culture through the unfiltered lives of its eccentric community.
Big Rig (World Premiere)
“BIG RIG” is a broad portrait of modern America as seen through the eyes of long-haul truck drivers. Spanning 21,000 miles, 45 states, and dozens of truck stops, director Doug Pray and producer Brad Blondheim (the team who created “SCRATCH”) went far beyond just the chrome and coffee culture and made a film that delves deeply into the lives and personal struggles of these working-class heroes, who are, literally, carrying the nation upon their backs.
Crazy Sexy Cancer
An irreverent and uplifting documentary about a young woman looking for a cure and finding her life. Weeks after she was diagnosed, filmmaker Kris Carr began documenting her story. Taking a seemingly tragic situation and turning it into a creative expression, Kris shares her wild journey with exuberance, humor and sass.
Hell on Wheels
Hell on Wheels takes a from-the-trenches look at the dizzying clash of athleticism, exhibitionism, egos, politics and business that is modern-era roller derby. A group of hard-hitting Texas women overcome myriad obstacles in resurrecting and revamping the sport, only to find internal strife ripping the fledgling organization apart. Two leagues emerge from the clash, and what follows ignites an international roller derby revival.
Two recent college graduates travel to their ancestral home in rural Iowa, plant a single acre of America's most powerful crop, corn, and attempt to follow its fate as food. In their yearlong adventure they see the realities of modern farming first-hand, explore a fast-food nation built on corn syrup sodas and corn-fed meat, and come to question government subsidies, intensive agriculture and the cheap food we eat.
Great World of Sound
Great World of Sound looks at Song Sharking- a scam that happens in the music industry. Martin (Pat Healy) answers an ad to train as a record producer, where he's excited by the prospect of signing undiscovered artists. He and his new partner, Clarence (Kene Holliday) hit the road- traveling to towns where the company has placed newspaper ads to find new talent- only to discover their new job isn't all it's cracked up to be.