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Nordling's Daily SXSW 2012 Preview, Day 2! BLUE LIKE JAZZ! KILLER JOE! THE ANNOUNCEMENT!

Nordling here.

More films to talk about at SXSW this year!  As I've said before, I'm trying to do a formative preview of the films playing at South By Southwest, with dates and times so those attending the festival  can be aware and possibly catch these movies with the best audience in the world - the filmgoers of Austin.  Every day (or thereabouts, depending on whether I become a slacker or not) I'll talk about three films playing the festival, both small and large, and to bring awareness about the many wonderful titles we've got this year.  Let's get started:


Director: Steve Taylor

Roadside Attractions just picked this up today, pre-SXSW, so someone's seen it and thought it was worth the money to buy it.  BLUE LIKE JAZZ is based on the novel by Donald Miller, about a young man who decides to run away from his upbringing and attend college away from all the faith and religion, but he finds that his belief system may be more ingrained than he thought.  It's directed by Steve Taylor, a Christian singer and songwriter, and together with Donald Miller and Ben Pearson, wrote the script.  Interesting story behind this one - when the producers ran out of funds a group of fans of the book opened up a Kickstarter fun page, where they ended up making more than the budget back, allowing the film to be completed.  I'm not a faith based guy in any way, shape, or form, but I like the trailer, and this doesn't seem overly preachy to me.

PLAY TIMES: Tuesday, March 13th, 6:45 PM, Paramount Theater; Wednesday, March 14th, 2:00 PM, Canon Screening Room; Thursday, March 15th, 7:00 PM, Alamo Village



Director: William Friedkin

One of America's greatest directors, William Friedkin, is back, and this sounds like a terrific thriller.  Chris (Emile Hirsch) owes money to a drug lord, so to get money fast, he enlists the help of Killer Joe Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) to murder his mother for the insurance money.  But once Joe meets Chris's younger sister, Dottie (Juino Temple), Joe has other ideas for payment.  The above teaser seems to have a noir vibe about it, and I like McConaughey in badass mode.  Texas noir is always awesome - just ask the Coens.  Glad to see William Friedkin back, and really looking forward to this one.

PLAY TIMES: Saturday, March 10th, 9:30 PM, Paramount Theater



Director: Nelson George

ESPN Films brings us the story about Earvin "Magic" Johnson's announcement that changed everything in professional sports at the time: that he was HIV positive.  I remember vividly the impact it had on America at the time; if Magic Johnson could get it, then this truly was a disease that didn't care what your color was, what your background was, or who you loved.  AIDS was everyone's problem, now, and I don't think America truly understood that until Johnson's brave announcement.  This film will be playing at SXSW, but audiences at home will be able to see the film on ESPN on March 11th.

PLAY TIMES: Saturday, March 10th, 2:00 PM, Vimeo Theater


And that's it for today!  Tomorrow I'm going to look at a couple of the Midnighters, including one that was the breakaway hit at Sundance.  Hope to see you at SXSW this year!

Nordling, out.  Follow me on Twitter!

Readers Talkback
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  • Feb. 21, 2012, 12:58 p.m. CST

    fuck it first!

    by Madmacks

  • William Friedkin's new film, and an ESPN documentary on Magic Johnson. The state of most film festivals today is a joke. Giving slot after slot to films with worldwide distribution already in place, rather than looking for new talent. Anyone who goes to SXSW to see 21 Jump Street a whole two weeks before it hits every theatre in the US is pretty much a mongoloid.

  • Feb. 21, 2012, 1:39 p.m. CST

    Hahaha 88mph, their more like graboid's.

    by Tikidonkeypunch

  • Feb. 21, 2012, 2:38 p.m. CST

    Killer Joe is terrific.

    by c_soms

    I saw it at TIFF and it's like a more misanthropic Fargo set in Texas. Very dark with some good humour and some pretty unsettling scenes.

  • Feb. 21, 2012, 3:25 p.m. CST


    by 88mph

    Wow. Big reaction there, bud. To be clear, I'll be seeing 21 Jump Street in the theater. It looks like a lot of fun. And I'm guessing Cabin in the Woods will be one of my favorite films of the year, judging from some of the advanced press. But if you honestly think it's a good thing that festivals like SXSW and Sundance are now focusing more energy on attracting celebs and screening films that are already guaranteed to secure a theatrical release, rather than putting a spotlight on independent projects without major studio backing...well...I guess I'd like to hear the logic behind your argument. Or you can just continue on with the rant about my worthless life stocking toilet paper. If it matters, I work as a director of photography on admittedly shitty reality tv shows. It hardly fills me with pride, but I make $700 a day, and don't stock paper towels. In the meantime, I make short films with my own money. I've won audience awards for those films in New York, Los Angeles, Edinburgh, Dublin, Denver and New Orleans. Someday I hope to make a feature. If that feature is any good, it will be very disappointing to me if it loses a festival slot to a major studio release that's about to hit every theater in the country in two weeks.

  • Feb. 21, 2012, 3:42 p.m. CST

    oh...and Geoffrey

    by 88mph

    Just in case that response seemed too level-headed, I want to add that you can go fuck yourself you fat, trolling turd. You are a pathetic, angry little man. You'd be lucky to have your death go unnoticed. Instead, I'm sure all those who know you will rejoice.

  • Feb. 21, 2012, 4:43 p.m. CST

    you know, vitriol can be devastating precisely because

    by soma_with_the_paintbox

    it is well-reasoned, internally consistent, and perhaps witty, but I rarely see that here. 88 has a point. A sizable portion of the festival circuit is studio hype machine/dumping ground now. Especially Sundance. In any case, these look worthwhile.

  • Feb. 21, 2012, 4:51 p.m. CST

    Geoffrey, you don't know pay rates.

    by 88mph

    $700 is standard for a DP rate on a reality gig. $600 is low, but I've gotten that for just standard operating with plenty of companies. Typical season lasts anywhere from 3-5 months, five days a week. Maybe you're aware of pay rates for public access, industrial films, or local mattress store commercials. The daughter bit was funny though. And my dead parents don't give a shit about the shorts, but the plastic trophies are fun for my nephew, sure. It's a hobby, yes, and until I make money off of anything that's all it will be. In the meantime, have fun trolling on AICN buddy. To each their own.

  • Feb. 21, 2012, 5 p.m. CST


    by 88mph

    For getting back to the point. So Geoffrey, outside of allegations about each other's lives, which will get us nowhere and mean nothing, what's your argument for why it's great that SXSW is shilling a bunch of studio shit that's already poised for a studio release? Friedkin's new film may be great, as was Bug, and maybe that's the scale of film that should be headlining the fest. A small movie by an (occasionally) insanely talented director and a promising writer. But 21 Jump Street? Cabin in the Woods? A doc produced by ESPN that's airing on ESPN in a couple of weeks?

  • Feb. 22, 2012, 3:40 a.m. CST

    Blue Like Jazz

    by Andy_Dufresne

    That was an interesting read. Miller's book is just a story about a guy who isn't sure what he believes but knows for sure that he doesn't want to be associated with cookie cutter Christianity. It's one of those books that even people who don't believe in God can appreciate because Miller isn't trying to convert anyone or preach. He just is letting us in on his very personal intellectual pursuit of an unknowable God.