Yeah, I've been lax. I should have had a lot more previews up before today. This week I was slammed with various things, and the closer I get to SXSW the worse I've been sleeping. Maybe it's the excitement. Staring at the SXSW schedule for days on end has given me brain freeze - so many things, events, panels, parties, and movies that I want to cover, that I have to make peace with the fact that I can't do or see everything. I know, First World Problems, right?
But SXSW will be fairly exhausting, and I'm going to do my best to shine the light on movies and events that you don't want to miss. This will be longer than the other Preview pieces - because I've missed some days it seems only fair. So here goes:
Director: Chris James Thompson
A pretty unassuming title for a documantary about one of the most infamous serial killers in modern history. Director Chris James Thompson has made a film that tries to cut through all the sensationalism of the events surrounding Jeffrey Dahmer and his killing spree by exploring the city of Milwaukee and trying to understand how this seemingly ordinary man could do such horrible things. Intercut with archival footage and interviews with neighbors and the police investigating the crimes, JEFF is a film that is trying to understand the "why" behind all the horror.
PLAY TIMES: Saturday, March 10th, 4:15 PM, Vimeo Theater; Monday, March 12th, 7:30 PM, Alamo Lamar C; Thursday, March 15th, 3:45, Alamo Lamar A
LOW & CLEAR
Director: Kahlil Hudson
This documentary about two fly-fishermen and their friendship seems at first blush to not be about much. But it's all in how your tell your story, and Kahlil Hudson (KUMARE) found something fascinating about these two men who share a common interest, and how their friendship changes on their final fishing trip to British Columbia. I grew up around these kind of people, so I'm very aware in the relationship dynamic that seems portrayed in the movie. Plus, I swear one of them is pulling a Gollum on the riverbank in the above trailer. It shows my LOTR obsession that I can even spot that in a 2 second snippet.
PLAY TIMES: Saturday, March 10th, 6:15 PM, Violet Crown; Monday, March 12th, 5:15 PM, Violet Crown; Thursday, March 15th, 9:00 PM, Alamo Ritz; Saturday, March 17th, 9:15 PM, Alamo Ritz
SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED
Director: Colin Trevorrow
This film did the rounds at Sundance, and it intrigued me enough that I'm going to make a point to catch it at SXSW: An personal ad in the local paper gets three people in Seattle to track down who wrote it for a story. The ad - “WANTED: Someone to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. "Safety Not Guaranteed". I have only done this once before." - is written by Kenneth (Mark Duplass), and when the three meet Kenneth it sends them on a journey unlike any they have experienced before. It got terrific buzz at Sundance, and Aubrey Plaza (SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD), Mark Duplass, Jake Johnson, and Karen Soni star in this comedy where sometimes you really can believe what you read in the papers.
PLAY TIMES: Saturday, March 10th, 7:00 PM, Paramount Theater; Tuesday, March 13th, 7:30 PM, Alamo Slaughter
FRANKIE GO BOOM
Director: Jordan Roberts
FRANKIE GO BOOM is a comedy about brothers Frank (Charlie Hunnam) and Bruce (Chris O'Dowd), and their advarsarial relationship. Frankie has been treated badly by Bruce his whole life, and when he wasn't ripping Frank apart on film, Bruce spiraled down in drug abuse. But now Bruce has kicked the habit, and Frank hopes that his relationship with his brother can improve now that Bruce is clean. But, again, Bruce has a penchant for bringing all sorts of trouble, and Frankie has to learn how to manage his brother the best way he can. This comedy also stars Ron Perlman, Lizzy Caplan, and Chris Noth, and director Jordan Roberts (AROUND THE BEND) brings us this family tale where even though you want to punch your loved ones in the face sometimes, the key word is still "loved." Good cast. World Premiere.
PLAY TIMES: Saturday, March 10th, 10:30 PM, Stateside Theater; Sunday, March 11th, 5:30 PM, Violet Crown; Monday, March 12th, 11:15 AM, Alamo Lamar; Thursday, March 15th, 8:45 PM, Alamo Ritz
Director: Timo Vuorensola
If you can sum up a plot to a movie in two words, in this day and age, you're gold. So, here goes: MOON NAZIS. Seems that the Nazis weren't simply defeated after World War II - they went into hiding, biding their time until they returned to rule the Earth! The trailer was a hit online, and while I've heard mixed reviews about the finished movie, this is certain to be one of the hot tickets of the Midnighters. I'm curious myself to see what all the fuss is about - although the trailer is awesome, can it carry that kind of fun throughout the running time? The Sarah Palinesque President certainly gives me pause. We'll see as IRON SKY has its North American Premiere at SXSW.
PLAY TIMES: Saturday, March 10th, 11:59 PM, Alamo Ritz; Sunday, March 11th, 11:45 PM, Alamo Ritz; Wednesday, March 14th, 11:45 PM, Alamo Lamar
Director: Joko Anwar
I like this trailer quite a bit. When a family takes a vacation in the woods, the father is suddenly thrown into a race against time from unseen assailants who have kidnapped his wife and two kids. They will kill them all if he doesn't find them in time, and as he wanders the forest, another family is in the woods, watching everything that is going on. The trailer is effective (even if the audio sounds a little off) and it's movies like that that play at midnight and kick everyone's ass a bit. This World Premiere at SXSW may be the other Indonesian film that gets talked about at the fest (the first being THE RAID: REDEMPTION), and I anticipate that tickets will sell out quickly.
PLAY TIMES: Sunday, March 11th, 11:59 PM, Alamo Ritz; Monday, March 12th, 11:45 PM, Alamo Lamar; Wednesday, March 14th, 11:30 PM, Alamo Ritz; Friday, March 16th, 11:45 PM, Alamo Lamar
And that's it for this installment. I'll be writing more the closer we get to SXSW - I leave Thursday for the festivities and will probably keel over for lack of sleep by Sunday, but oh well. The life problems of an Internet film writer, let me tell you.
And if you want to look at some of the other films I've featured in my previews: