Friday, February 5, 2010

SXSW Headliners

The South by Southwest Feature Film headliners have been announced and I am already excited to see six of the seven. Here's the breakdown in the order SXSW listed them.


I already consider myself a fan of the mumblecore movement. For two years in college, I set and met the goal of watching a movie I had not already seen every day. As a result of the system, I was introduced to a lot of movies I might not have found otherwise. One that piqued my interest was called Funny Ha Ha directed by Andrew Bujalski. It's a low-budget, no name movie with actors that look like everyday people. It isn't artificially plot-driven or over-stylized. It's just a simple drama, with good writing and good actors.

What does this have to do with Cyrus? Technically nothing. But in researching Funny Ha Ha, I came across the term mumblecore and sought out films of the genre. This lead me to the Duplass brother's The Puffy Chair. Again, a simple story, with relatable characters who feel very well-rounded even at their extremes. Since then, I haven't been disappointed by a Duplass brothers' film and I recommend checking out The Puffy Chair, Baghead, and Lynn Shelton's Hump Day starring Mark Duplass. This collection of Duplass films leads us to an interesting evolution in the series called Cyrus. From what I can tell from the trailer, Cyrus follows the same formula as the rest of the mumblecore collection, but this time around the names are more familiar. John C. Reilly, Marisa Tomei, and Jonah Hill lead the way as our lonely protagonist, a new love in his life, and her grown son respectively. I promise it will be worth seeing, but seriously check the others out too.

Get Low

I know next to nothing about Get Low other than the plot summary provided on imdb.

A film spun out of equal parts folk tale, fable and real-life legend about a mysterious, 1930s Tennessee hermit who plans his own rollicking funeral party... while still alive.

That said, I already know I will enjoy it because it has Bill Murray in it and as the record shows, no Bill Murray movie has ever failed to capture my interest unless that movie also has Garfield in the title. Anyone who comes back with Charlie's Angels or The Razor's Edge should maybe give those movies another look. Or maybe even a first look.


Watch the trailer for this movie. Then tell me you don't want to see it and I will explain that you accidentally watched the trailer for Valentine's Day or something because this one looks amazing. I've heard it described as "High School Tarantino" and I almost had the chance to describe it that way myself, but I couldn't get from Culver City to Northridge fast enough after work for the screening I had tickets to a year ago. Either way, I can't afford SXSW so I am forced to miss another screening.


This is the one I am most excited about. I plan to see this several times in theaters... in IMAX if possible. If you didn't follow The Lonely Island with Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone, and Andy Samberg, I suggest you look into it. Then I recommend checking out every episode of the 'Bu. All of this is necessary to fully appreciate the magic of this team. After you are done with the 'Bu, find the Pilot for the sadly abandoned Awesometown. Then, right when you think you must be completely prepared, watch every SNL Digital Short from the last five years. The people behind MacGruber are the people who have almost single-handedly kept SNL afloat in the wake of Tina Fey's departure. Then watch Hot Rod. Now you are ready for MacGruber. But if you need more I recommend some of Will Forte's other lead roles like Clone High and The Brothers Solomon. That should do the trick. Oh, and the entire McGyver series, which is available streaming now from CBS's website. MacGruber hasn't even come out yet and it's already almost my favorite SNL movie. If you think a 30 second sketch can't fill an entire film, I invite you to rewatch A Night at the Roxbury with fresh eyes. The trailer already looks promising and it's about time someone gave Kristen Wiig a significant part in something hilarious. I've been a fan of hers since the first season of The Joe Schmo Show and she delivers some of the trailers most quotable lines. I'm also curious to see if they maintain a detail that came up in one of the more recent MacGruber sketches, that his full name is MacGruber McGyver and Richard Dean Anderson played his father. Fingers crossed.

Micmacs à tire-larigot

Another filmmaker who has yet to let me down is Jean-Pierre Jeunet. If you aren't familiar, he has directed some of the most beautiful films to come out of France in the last decade, and that's saying a lot. I recommend netflicking Delicatessen, City of Lost Children, Amelie, and A Very Long Engagement. Even Alien: Resurrection is worth a watch. His latest is called Micmacs and deals with a romance against the backdrop of arms dealers. How can that go wrong?

Mr. Nice

This is the one of the seven with which I am not familiar. Sounds neat though. Here's the official SXSW summary...

The true story of Howard Marks. He was Britain's most wanted man. He spent seven years in America's toughest penitentiary. You'll like him.

The Runaways

Even though I haven't particularly enjoyed Dakota Fanning's recent work, or for that matter, any of Kristen Stewart's work. I am still interested in seeing them take on the roles of Cherie Currie and Joan Jett.

1 comment:

VJ said...

The guy who wrote Get Low is on our writing staff. He is great.