On Tuesday afternoon, SXSW announced the opening-night movie and several world premieres for its 2013 film festival, as well as some additional Film Conference sessions.
The big local connection is that "A Conversation with Matthew McConaughey" has been added to the SXSW Film Conference lineup. The Austin actor appeared in four films last year, including Killer Joe and the Central Texas-shot Bernie, both of which screened at SXSW 2012. I notice there's no moderator announced for that panel yet -- SXSW, feel free to call me. I would be happy to volunteer my services.
The full lineup will almost certainly offer some promising local films, but so far there's no Frost Bank Tower in the mix. I view this as a challenge. Let's find out what other Austin and Texas connections I can tease out of the movies and other panels announced yesterday. This is Slackerwood -- we can always find something.
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (opening-night film) -- This comedy about superstar magicians stars Steve Buscemi, Steve Carell, Jim Carrey and Olivia Wilde. Damn. All I have is that Carrey was in I Love You Phillip Morris, which is based on a book by a Houston reporter (Steve McVicker) and is partially set in Texas. I've got to do better than this.
Summit Entertainment began the marketing push last night for Austin screenwriter C. Robert Cargill's film Sinister, which will be released this October. Fangoria had the scoop on the trailer, which went live at midnight EST, and is now available at the movie's official site.
Sinister stars Ethan Hawke as a true crime novelist who decides to move to a house with a grisly past as an inspiration to help recapture his writing success. The movie previewed in Austin as a secret screening during SXSW earlier this year.
Along with the release of the trailer, Summit moderated a live Q&A via Twitter, passing on questions from fans to Cargill (@Massawyrm), co-writer and director Scott Derrickson (@scottderrickson), star Ethan Hawke (@EHawkeOfficial), and producer Jason Blum (@blumhouse). You can reread the chat using the #SeeSinister hashtag on Twitter.
Though I recommend going into the movie cold, as I was able to do at SXSW, the trailer (should you want to see it) is embedded after the jump. Prepare yourself for the most disturbing trailer for the scariest movie all year.
Slackerwood's previous coverage of Sinister:
Updated April 10, 2012.
Slackerwood was all over the 2012 SXSW Film Festival this year with plenty of news, reviews, photos and guides for you to enjoy, listed below. With seven regular Slackerwood contributors at the fest plus help from Austin Film Society staff and interns, we covered every aspect of the film fest.
The red carpets at SXSW are often a little crazy. The SXSW staff and volunteers do an excellent job of managing these events, but there are many people in a small space and afterwards you don't really want to see the related movie as much as you want to find the nearest bar. It is not a task for the weak or easily intimidated. I did cover the Trash Dance red carpet this year but that was much smaller and quieter compared to, say, The Cabin in the Woods.
Fortunately, this year a pair of courageous and intrepid photographers offered their red-carpet shooting skills to Slackerwood: Molly Dinkins and Dick De Jong. What follows is a sampling of the great photos they snapped during a number of SXSW 2012 red carpets -- and a couple of Q&As -- whether of first-feature screenwriters or well known celebrities, representing movies from Bernie to Killer Joe to Somebody Up There Likes Me. We've got Gabrielle Union, Johnny Knoxville ... and Austin documentary filmmaker/UT professor Paul Stekler.
Here at Slackerwood, we're just about ready to put our SXSW coverage away for awhile, but I couldn't resist sharing some of my favorite photos from the film festival this year. These are the photos I took myself -- I'm hoping to put together a second photo essay soon with my favorite red-carpet photos from our intrepid red-carpet photographers.
Links to all our SXSW 2012 coverage are all in one place if you want to find out more about the stories behind these photos.
Many members of the local film community converged during SXSW at the Austin Film Society (AFS) ShortCase screening on Saturday, March 10. Seen above are several of the AFS filmmakers in attendance including (clockwise from lower left): Chithra Jeyaram (Mijo), Nicholas Cormier III (Smile), James and Ryan Barlow (Huntered), Bob Ray (Sacked), Allison R. Smith and Justin Corsbie (Hot Dogs & Hand Grenades), Stephen Gamache (Mustachio), Joshua Flanagan (Mustachio), Will Shipley (Mentiroso), Brady Dial (Apogee of Fear proxy for Richard Garriott de Cayeux).
As one of the curators for the SXSW Community Screenings: AFS ShortCase program I was pleased to hear the audience reactions to all the selections. Afterwards, the filmmakers offered their advice during the Q&A session, ranging from the advantages and disadvantages of filming in a remote location to the challenges of animation.
Check out more photos from this special screening:
I had planned to see Mike Birbiglia's Sleepwalk with Me last Thursday afternoon, but it was playing the tiny theatre at Alamo Ritz and of course filled up with badges before we folks with passes or ticketbuyers could get in. I saw that Jonathan Lisecki's comedy Gayby was playing the State around the same time, and since my friend had caught an earlier screening of the film and loved it, I figured there was a good chance I would enjoy the movie. And did I!
The core relationship in Gayby is between thirtysomething single best friends Jenn and Matt. Jenn (Jenn Harris) loves her job teaching hot yoga and is supporting her married sis through her adoption process. After a conversation with her sister Kelly (Anna Margaret Hollyman), Jenn asks Matt (Matthew Wilkas) if he wants to have a baby with her. Matt, still feeling raw after a breakup months ago, has had a recent run of unsuccessful dates; we view one in the first scene, featuring Christian Coulson (aka Tom Marvolo Riddle from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets). Matt is the kind of guy who rearranges his work schedule so he won't be at his own comic-book store when his ex comes in.
Part rowdy road movie and part meditation on death, The Taiwan Oyster is an intriguing, lyrical and visually poetic film that explores the meaning of mortality.
Set in Taiwan in 2000, The Taiwan Oyster follows two American expat kindergarten teachers, Simon (Billy Harvey) and Darin (Jeff Palmiotti), who embark on a Taiwanese road trip to find the perfect burial site for a fellow expat. Although they never met their deceased countryman, Jed (Will Mounger), and knew of him only through mutual friends, Simon and Darin feel obligated to give him a proper burial when they learn no one has claimed his body.
Their mission has an inauspicious start when a morgue clerk demands a bribe to release Jed's body, and Simon and Darin make a clumsy attempt to steal the corpse. They succeed with help from disgruntled morgue employee Nikita (Leonora Lim), who abandons her job and joins them on their trip.
Super Meat Boy is your typical boy-meets-girl story. The protagonist goes to world's end, avoiding hazard after hazard, all in the name of rescuing his damsel in distress: Bandage Girl. Fez tells the story of namesake Fez, who makes his way through a Brazil-like world in search of love. Braid takes place in a time-shifting multi-dimensional universe. The lead character Tim travels through time and space solving riddles in order to save, yes you guessed it, a princess. Are these the titles of new indie movies that took SXSW 2012 by storm? No, these are descriptions of three independent video games covered in the delightful documentary Indie Game: The Movie.
We live in a culture of mass entertainment. We love our movies, our music, our sports and we especially love our video games. Alongside our love of mass entertainment we also love our underdogs. You know, the lady (or gentleman) who against all odds strives to overcome adversity and triumphs. Indie Game: The Movie is the story of video games and underdogs. In this case the underdogs are the people known as independent game developers.
One more time: It's the movies you see on a whim at SXSW, unplanned, knowing very little, that often end up being favorites. I was unable to make it downtown during the day last Monday, knew that parking after 1 pm would be impossible, and decided to have a night at Alamo Drafthouse Village. What I knew about Beauty Is Embarrassing was a friend's description: "It's about the guy who did set designs for Pee-wee's Playhouse." Which turned out to be not only inaccurate but also wildly missing the mark in terms of the movie's scope.
Beauty Is Embarrassing may have been my favorite film of SXSW this year (I keep changing my mind, which is a great dilemma to have). The documentary is about artist Wayne White, who did create and voice puppets for Pee-wee's Playhouse but has created so many more fascinating things. The movie uses clips from White's one-man show/presentation as a basis for structure -- in the show, he recounts a loose history of his artistic life (complete with banjo interludes), and the documentary provides more detail through interviews of colleagues and family, as well as time with White in his workshop/office (which I covet). And yes, there are clips of Pee-wee's Playhouse, including some fascinating behind-the-scenes video.