We’ve been in the back room pouring over the recent SXSW Film Listing Announcement and we’ve come up for air with our first pass at our “must see” list. As with years past there always seems to be a underlying current to the films at SXSW (zombies, or vampires, or nazis from space). This year seems to be the year of Punk.
Some of these we picked because of the subject matter, others for the director or cast, or both. Barring those reasons we would have picked some just for the presence of a certain pin-up model.
Some notable facts this year: Joe Swanberg both Directs and acts is separate films, Olivia Wilde appears in two, Mr. NcConaughey is present again this year, and there are not one but two films about Green Day.
Director/Screenwriter: Todd Sklar, Screenwriter: Alex Rennie
Estranged brothers Jim and Dave must travel to Branson together when their father dies and leaves them the lake home. A series of hilarious mishaps and costly misadventures follow as they attempt to restore the house and rebuild their relationship. Cast: Alex Rennie, James Pumphrey, Christopher Meloni, Brett Gelman, Keeley Hazell (World Premiere)
The Short Game
Director: Josh Greenbaum
Each year, the world’s best 7-year-old golfers descend on Pinehurst, North Carolina to determine the next “world champion” and who might become golf’s next phenom. The Short Game follows 9 young golfers on their quest for greatness. (World Premiere)
Director: Stephen Finnigan
A brief history of mine: a look at the life of Stephen Hawking. (World Premiere)
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
Director: Don Scardino, Story by Chad Kultgen & Tyler Mitchell and Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley. Screenplay by Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley
As superstar Vegas magicians and former best friends Burt and Anton grow to secretly loathe each other, their long-time act implodes, allowing an ambitious rival street performer the big break he’s been waiting for. Cast: Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Olivia Wilde, with Alan Arkin, James Gandolfini and Jim Carrey (World Premiere)
Director: Bryan Poyser, Screenwriters: David Degrow Shotwell, Steven Walters, Bryan Poyser
An outrageous comedy about love and revenge in Austin, Texas. Cast: Marshall Allman, Ashley Bell, Zach Cregger, Sara Paxton, Michael Stahl-David (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Joe Swanberg
Weekend trips, office parties, late night conversations, drinking on the job, marriage pressure, biological clocks, holding eye contact a second too long… you know what makes the line between “friends” and “more than friends” really blurry? Beer.
Cast: Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, Ron Livingston (World Premiere)
I Give It A Year (UK)
Director/Screenwriter: Dan Mazer
A brand new comedy from the writer of Borat and Bruno that lifts the veil on the realities of the first year of marriage. Cast: Rose Byrne, Anna Faris, Rafe Spall, Simon Baker, Minnie Driver, Jason Flemyng, Stephen Merchant (North American Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Adam Rifkin
A darkly comedic satire that follows TV producer Mickey Wagner and his amoral attempt to re-invent the reality genre. Mickey’s big idea is to pick a family and put them under all encompassing surveillance…without their knowledge. Cast: Adam Rifkin, Scott Anderson, Kelly Menighan Hensley, Monika Tilling, Valerie Breiman (World Premiere)
Directors: Katie Graham, Andrew Matthews, Screenwriter: Andrew Matthews
An obsessive fantasy nerd gradually becomes unhinged when a charismatic hipster joins his D&D game. Cast: Sam Eidson, Garrett Graham, Brock England, Anne Gee Byrd, Cyndi Williams, Brian Losoya, Vincent Prendergast, Katie Folger, John Gholson, Dakin Matthews (World Premiere)
Director: Alex Winter
A documentary that explores the rise and fall of Napster and the birth of the digital revolution. It’s about the teens that helped start this revolution, and the artists and industries who continue to be impacted by it. (World Premiere)
Good Ol’ Freda
Director: Ryan White
The story of Freda Kelly, a shy Liverpudlian teenager asked to work for a young local band hoping to make it big: The Beatles. Their loyal secretary from beginning to end, Freda tells her tales for the first time in 50 years. (World Premiere)
Director: Josh Johnson
Home video changed the world. The impact of the VHS tape was enormous. Rewind This! aims to trace the ripples of that impact. (World Premiere)
TINY: A Story About Living Small
Directors: Christopher Smith, Merete Mueller
One couple’s attempt to build a “tiny house” smaller than the average parking space with no construction experience raises questions about sustainability and good design, the nature of home, and the changing American Dream. (World Premiere)
Director: Simon Ennis
Director Simon Ennis introduces us to an unforgettable group of characters who all share one thing in common: an obsession with the Moon. (U.S. Premiere)
Twenty Feet from Stardom
Director: Morgan Neville
The untold story of the backup singer in popular music. It is a celebration of the voices from the edge, which brought shape and style to the soundtracks of our lives.
And Who Taught You To Drive? (Germany)
Director: Andrea Thiele
An American in Tokyo, a Korean in Bavaria, and a German in Mumbai: Prepare for a real culture clash when you have to pass your driving test again in another country … A real life comedy.
(North American Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Andrew Bujalski
An artificially intelligent comedy from the director of Funny Ha Ha and Mutual Appreciation.
Cast: Wiley Wiggins, Patrick Riester, Robin Schwartz, Gerald Peary, Myles Paige