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Archive for the ‘Editorial’ Category

Wherefore Art Thou SXSW Film?

Friday, March 20th, 2015

This is my tenth year attending SXSW Film. I have always loved it. Some years I only had time to see a few films, other times I saw upwards of 30. I have always loved the Documentaries most, the stories being told and the beauty with which they were being told. I accept that I am not a film buff, I cannot speak to aspect ratios, cinematographic effects, and the like. I freely admit that I don’t know squat about how films are made, and I flat out do not have the attention span to sit through a bad movie as do the people who screen films for festivals.

That being said……

I stood in the line to see the ‘Super Secret Screening’ at the Alamo Ritz this year. There was a lot of energetic discussion on what the film could be: Was it ‘Entourage’? Was it a rough cut of ‘Star Wars Episode VII‘? Was it even “something zombie related?” We were all very excited, recalling other Secret Screenings, including ‘A Scanner Darkly’ and  ’Hunger Games’.

Three hours later, we were admitted. Jarod Neece of SXSW Film took the stage and announced the film was ‘Roar’, a re-release of a 1981 film that took 10 years to make and during which 70 crew members were injured working with untrained lions. I actually thought he was joking.

Then he brought up Tim League, who continued the joke.

Then the film started.

What were they thinking? I actual flagged the server, paid my bill with a healthy tip, and bailed as soon as I could. I cannot believe that SXSW would deem such poor filmmaking to be worthy of addition to the Festival, let alone the Secret Screening, Its inclusion really is a slap in the face of all the filmmakers whose work was not admitted to the festival. I’ve heard the saying “It’s so bad, it’s good”… Er, no.

Now, so as to not seem too one-sided in my venom for this decision here are a few random quotes from Twitter on the ordeal: (Twitter Handles removed to protect the innocent, feel free to take ownership of these in the comments)

@drafthouse uses elite secret showcase to promote their distro deal of 1981′s Roar. A campy film for afternoon viewing. Not #SXSW caliber.”

“Mystery Movie was “Roar”.One of the worst films ever made.#SXSW #SXSWFilm

“Thanks #sxsw for wasting 5 hours of my life #roar #roarmovie #garbagemovie #imadeatwitterforthis

“Cool of #SXSW to let people wait hours in line for a Drafthouse commercial. ROAR has freakshow appeal but little else.”

“Glad I wasted four hours to watch the most niche bullshit movie. Worst. Commercial. Ever. #SXSW #Roar @drafthouse

And in the interest of fairness here are some positive quotes about the film: (Twitter handles NOT removed)

“Roar was amazing. Thanks @timalamo and @drafthouse for putting it on! #drafthouseflims #sxsw #drafthouse” – @_brian_s

ROAR was fantastic and one of the highlights at #sxsw. What a crazy movie! Thanks @timalamo, @drafthousefilms, and @sxsw for showing it!” – @tomzimmermann

“I am thrilled that Roar is a surprise #sxsw screening. Mainly because it’s amazing but also because I’ve already seen it. #selfish” – @scottEweinberg

In my ten years attending SXSW there has always been a ‘best friends’ relationship between SXSW Film and the Alamo, indeed the Alamo locations are my favorite places to see screenings at the Festival. Now it seems as if that relationship has been abused, does SXSW feel it can’t say no to Tim League? Did they drink the Kool-Aid too? I can find no reason why this film was screened other than momentary lapse of reason on someone’s part.

There are other move venues and festivals to promote this. Not at SXSW. Not at my SXSW.

2015 Must See Films: 24 Beats Per Second

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

If you enjoyed last year’s Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon, then you will certainly enjoy Danny Says. Who is Danny Fields and how did he help build some of the biggest acts in music?  Go find out.


Wednesday, March 18
4:15PM – 5:59PM Vimeo Theater

Thursday, March 19
2:30PM – 4:14PM  Satellite Venue: Marchesa

Saturday, March 21
12:00PM – 1:44PM  Alamo Lamar B

I did not get a chance to preview Landfill Harmonic, but I am intrigued. Follow and learn the story of the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, a Paraguayan musical group that plays instruments made entirely out of garbage. Music and recycling? How can you go wrong?


Wednesday, March 18
1:45PM – 3:09PM Alamo Ritz

Friday, March 20
4:15PM – 5:39PM  Alamo Lamar B

Saturday, March 21
11:00AM – 12:24PM  Alamo Ritz

Are you tired of listening to the same old thing? Check out Y/Our Music and add a whole new genre (or several) to your playlists! Expand your mind while watching the lush country of Thailand and her people. A treat for the eyes and ears. I am particularly fond of the Khaen and old style pin.


Hint-That’s a Khaen!

Tuesday, March 17
1:30PM – 2:51PM Alamo Lamar A

Wednesday, March 18
6:30PM – 7:51PM  Rollins Theatre at The Long Center

Thursday, March 19
7:45PM – 9:06PM  Satellite Venue: Marchesa


2015 Must See Films: Visions

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Maybe you are a young girl. Maybe you know a young girl. Honeytrap is the story of a young girl becoming a woman who does not yet grasp what feminine power can be and do. Director Rebecca Johnson captures the pitfalls of growing up. Go see it!


Friday, March 13

6:45PM – 8:18PM Violet Crown Cinema

Saturday, March 14

12:00PM – 1:33PM  Alamo Lamar CWednesday, March 18

11:00AM – 12:33PM  Rollins Theatre at The Long Center

Petting Zoo is also the story of a young woman. Set in San Antonio, love, sex and teen pregnancy are the consuming thoughts of our protagonist.


Saturday, March 14
10:15PM – 11:45PM Violet Crown Cinema

Sunday, March 15
3:00PM – 4:30PM  Alamo Lamar C

Thursday, March 19
1:15PM – 2:45PM  Topfer Theatre at ZACH


Barge follows the lives of the men who work the barges of the Mississippi River, 28 days at a time. Get to know a convict, a veteran barge man and a newbie. This is their life.


Saturday, March 14
3:00PM – 4:11PM Alamo Lamar C

⋆ Sunday, March 15
6:30PM – 7:41PM  Satellite Venue: Marchesa

⋆ Tuesday, March 17
12:00PM – 1:11PM  Satellite Venue: Alamo Slaughter

⋆ Friday, March 20
1:30PM – 2:41PM  Stateside Theatre


2015 Must See Films: Midnights

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

I confess, I am ridiculously excited for He Never Died!!! I do like Henry Rollins as an actor. Check it  out!



Tuesday, March 17
11:45PM – 1:22AM Stateside Theatre

 Wednesday, March 18
11:30PM – 1:07AM Alamo Lamar A

Friday, March 20
7:00PM – 8:37PM Alamo Lamar B

Excess Flesh is a movie I want to see more than once. It is a multilayered film that challenges viewers to think-and that is lovely and rare, especially in the “horror” genre. I liked it the first time I saw it. I think I may love it the seciond time.


Friday, March 13
11:45PM – 1:28AM Alamo Ritz

Saturday, March 14
11:59PM – 1:42AM  Alamo Lamar C

Friday, March 20
4:45PM – 6:28PM  Alamo Lamar C

We Are Still Here
Director/Screenwriter Ted Geoghegan sends up a love letter to HP Lovecraft and giallo films. If you are a fan, keep your eyes and ears peeled for little inside jokes. If you are not, prepare to become one. In a small town in New England there is a house that needs a family. Go see why.

Sunday, March 15
11:45PM – 1:09AM Stateside Theatre

Monday, March 16
11:30PM – 12:54AM  Alamo Lamar A

Thursday, March 19
2:30PM – 3:54PM  Alamo Lamar B

5 Questions with…Ben Powell, director of BARGE

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

(1) What movie inspired you, as a child, to become a filmmaker?

Raising Arizona

(2) What, if any, unexpected challenges did you face during filming?  

Too many little Debbie Snacks

(3) How did you choose this particular subject?  

It seemed like a story that hadn’t been told.

(4) What message would you like your audiences to take away from the movie?

There’s life on the other side of the levee. There’s a movement and a sound that can only be experienced from the being on the river.

(5) Finally, other than your screenings, what are you looking forward to doing at SXSW?  

Seeing other films

Allright! You still have a chance to see Barge, but hurry!!!!

Tuesday, March 17
12:00PM – 1:11PM
Satellite Venue: Alamo Slaughter

Friday, March 20
1:30PM – 2:41PM
Stateside Theatre

Operation Every Band’s Pick of the Week from SXSW Music

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

Hey again from OEB HQ, sending up fresh picks for our SXSW Baby! friends. This week, we’ve been busy listening, reviewing and checking with with awesome artists who have contributed to our OEB Donator Packages, which are still available for the next week. We also are recording Podcast #4 tomorrow, recommending our Top Ten Showcases (announced) of SXSW 2015.

We hit 1,300 reviewed artists this week, so check out the latest of ‘what’s next’ for 2015. Here our five favorite new finds of the past week.


SXSW Film 2015 Round 2 Announcements

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Hey Babies! The second round of 2015 films are here. Start making your plans on what to see.

SXSW 2015 Film Line Up

SXSW 2015 Feature Films

There is a plethora of new stuff happening this year, so make sure you read up on all the info:

Convergence (what’s that?)
Episodic Screenings (say what?)

Keep checking back on SXSW Baby! for updates, insider tips, and all the SXSW you can stomach! Midnighters and Shorts programs will be announced on February 10th. Make sure you’ve got us bookmarked!