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Stellar Festival Trailer for Herzog-Produced Doc 'The Arc of Oblivion'
"We're are all asking, in some form: what, in this world, is worth saving?" It's almost time for SXSW, and trailers are arriving for all kinds of films. Here is one for a documentary called The Arc of Oblivion, the latest from doc filmmaker Ian Cheney. It's premiering at the 2023 SXSW Film Festival this month playing in the Documentary Spotlight category. The Arc of Oblivion illuminates the strange world of archives, record-keeping, and memory through a filmmaker's quixotic quest to build an ark in a field in Maine. In a universe that erases its tracks, we humans are hellbent on leaving a trace. Set against the backdrop of Ian Cheney's attempt to build an ark, the film heads far afield - to salt mines in the Alps, fjords in the Arctic, and ancient libraries in the Sahara - to illuminate the strange world of archives, record-keeping, and memory. Executive produced by Werner Herzog, who also appears in the film, it's a fascinating high concept doc about how we archive humanity. This looks GREAT. I'm completely sold by this trailer alone, I really want to watch it.
› Posted on March 8 in Documentaries, SXSW, To Watch, Trailer | 4 Comments
Festival Teaser for Horror Doc 'Satan Wants You' Premiering at SXSW
"There are too many people telling too many stories for this not to be true." Cargo has unveiled the teaser trailer for a documentary titled Satan Wants You, playing at the 2023 SXSW Film Festival this month. Satan Wants You is a look back at the "Satanic Panic" of the 1980s, ignited by "Michelle Remembers", a lurid memoir by psychiatrist Larry Pazder and his patient. Supported by the Catholic Church, the book relied on recovered-memory therapy to uncover Michelle’s childhood abduction by baby-stealing Satanists. The doc film digs deep into the roots of moral panics and cult conspiracies. The directors add, "In our final month of production, an anonymous source sent us one of Michelle and Larry’s original therapy tapes from 1976. This is one-of-a-kind archive material that has never been heard by anyone but Michelle and Larry and the transcribers who worked on their book." This is the kind of nostalgia doc I am all about - going back into history to show how nuts people were (still are, right??) and how BS all this was. Looking forward to it.
First Trailer for Panamanian Film 'Sister & Sister' Premiering at SXSW
"What do you mean 'just skate?'" A fest promo trailer has debuted for an indie film titled Sister & Sister, which is premiering at the 2023 SXSW Film Festival this month. It's the feature debut of Panamanian-Costa Rican filmmaker Kattia G. Zúñiga, telling a very personal story. An intimate and tender tale of sisterhood in the urban tropics, starring newcomers Ariana Chaves Gavilán & Cala Rossel Campos, the film tells the story of Marina and Luna, who travel from Costa Rica to Panama during summer vacation to look for their absent father. They explore new friendships, lovers, desires, as well as the simple joy of just hanging out. The cast also includes Gabriela Man, Fernando Bonilla, Joshua De León, Lía Jiménez, Michelle Quiñones, Angello Morales, and Mir Rodríguez. This is a lovely, upbeat trailer that has strong vibes of nostalgia and the bliss of youthful casualness. Looks like it might be a good one to see at SXSW this month.
Festival Trailer for SXSW Midnight Film 'Sissy' - Social Media Horror
"What are you, rebranding?" An early festival trailer has debuted for an indie horror film called Sissy, which is premiering at the 2022 SXSW Film Festival kicking off in March. It's screening in the Midnighters section at the festival, as another brutal social media horror thriller for the digital age. Invited away on a bachelorette weekend, "Sissy" ends up stuck in a cabin with her old high school bully. Cecilia is a successful social media influencer living the dream of an independent, modern millennial woman… until she runs into Emma for the first time in over a decade. This looks like it gets super crazy out in the woods! Starring Aisha Dee as Cecilia / Sissy, with Hannah Barlow, Emily De Margheriti, Daniel Monks, Yerin Ha, Lucy Barrett, Shaun Martindale, Amelia Lule, April Blasdall, and Camille Cumpston. This looks like a kick ass follow-up to Ingrid Goes West, with hints at some frightening twists and turns. Looks great! I'm in.
Baize Buzan & Allison Torem in Trailer for SXSW Dramedy 'Our Father'
"We are looking for Jerry." Fandor has debuted an official trailer for an indie dramedy feature called Our Father, which premiered at this year's SXSW Film Festival playing in the main competition. Marking the feature directorial debut of filmmaker Bradley Grant Smith, the film is described as a "sardonic drama/dark comedy" about two estranged sisters attempting to bond while in search of their mysterious long-forgotten Uncle Jerry. Who may hold the key to their father's suicide and their family's unhappiness. One review says it's "an offbeat odyssey with outwardly small tangible stakes, but calamitous emotional ones…" The indie films stars Baize Buzan & Allison Torem as the two sisters, with Austin Pendleton, Tim Hopper, Guy Massey, Keith Kupferer, and Lance Baker. Not really sure if this one is worth a watch, but there's something strangely appealing about the awkward, tragic concept that got my attention. Take a look below.
SXSW 2021: Mesmerizing Rotoscoped Parable 'The Spine of Night'
Holy gore hell. It's only March, and we already have at least two incredibly unique, extremely strange mind-fuck animated films that are definitely not for kids. Dash Shaw's Cryptozoo premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival in January, and The Spine of Night just premiered at the SXSW Film Festival this month. (And let's not forget about that wacky puppet horror Frank & Zed from the Nightstream Film Festival last year.) These films are yet another reminder that animation is a medium, not just a genre, and can be used to tell any kind of story - including extremely violent, gory, not-for-kids stories that could only be realized with animation. Fresh from SXSW, The Spine of Night is an instant cult classic, find-it-on-VHS-anywhere-you-can-at-whichever-video-store-stocks-it, extra gnarly, mind-melting sensation. Just don't watch this sober.
SXSW 2021: Justine Bateman's 'Violet' Confronts That Inner Voice
You know that inner voice that always prevents you from doing the right thing? That always stops you from being your true self? What if you could learn to reject it and listen to yourself instead, staying true to who you really are. That is the concept behind Violet, a seemingly autobiographical film that marks the feature directorial debut of filmmaker Justine Bateman. This indie dramatic feature just premiered at the 2021 SXSW Film Festival and it's one of the most creative films I caught during the virtual festival this year. It's set in Hollywood, following a development executive struggling with her life as this voice, literally voiced by Justin Theroux, keeps telling her how much she sucks and how she should just keep quiet and do her job just like she's told. Eventually, she learns to stop letting that voice control her and starts listening to herself.
› Posted on March 21 in Review, SXSW | 2 Comments
SXSW 2021: Malcolm Ingram's 'Clerk' Documentary on Kevin Smith
"More often than not, a hero’s most epic battle is the one you never see; it’s the battle that goes on within him or herself." Love him or hate him, Kevin Smith is a fascinating guy and iconic filmmaker. Love him or hate him, he has made 13 movies (so far), created a podcast empire, and cemented himself in pop culture history as a famous fanboy. Like many of us, he started as a film lover. He always wanted to be a storyteller, but had no idea if he could ever be successful. After seeing Linklater's Slacker, off he went to the Vancouver Film School in the 1990s, where he met producer / filmmaker Scott Mosier, and the rest is history. Malcolm Ingram's new documentary Clerk, which just premiered at the 2021 SXSW Film Festival, take us through Smith's entire life, examining his legacy and many accomplishments – both as a filmmaker and as a person.
› Posted on March 19 in Documentaries, Review, SXSW | Comments Closed
SXSW 2021: 'Ninjababy' is Fresh, Innovative, Progressive Filmmaking
I'm just going to say this right up front: Ninjababy is one of the most creative, innovative films I've seen this year. This film rocks! For whatever foolish reasons, I was resistant to watching this one when it first premiered at the 2021 Berlin Film Festival. Then I finally caught up with it at the 2021 SXSW Film Festival, after many of my colleagues had been raving about it. I wasn't ready to be this blown away by how brilliant and innovative and progressive and hilarious it is. This is the kind of fresh, insightful filmmaking that the world needs more of. This is the kind of empathetic, thoughtful, and delightfully witty storytelling that will shape the next era of cinema. It's not what you're expecting, and yet it's so much fun, and so smart in every way as it goes on and confronts real issues of what it's like to be a woman. This is modern cinema at its best.
› Posted on March 17 in Review, SXSW | 2 Comments
SXSW 2020: 'We Don’t Deserve Dogs' is Sublime Doggie Doc Heaven
"The way he looks at people. It's like… he understands. He looks into your soul, and understands." Dogs, man, they're the best. I love dogs. I mean – I LOVE dogs. My favorite animal. Always the cuddliest. Always the cutest. Always your best friend. Always. We Don't Deserve Dogs is a new documentary film made by cinematographer / director Matthew Salleh; produced by Rose Tucker. It was set to premiere at the SXSW Film Festival this year, though it deserves to go well beyond just that festival. This film joins the pantheon of all-time great dog documentaries, including the likes of Los Reyes and the Netflix series Dogs. It is a huge breath of doggie heaven fresh air. I loved every last second of it, and can't wait to rewatch it whenever I need a boost. It's an extraordinary feel-good look at how amazing dogs are and how humans connect with them.
› Posted on March 16 in Documentaries, Review, SXSW | 1 Comment
TGB Episode 148: Recapping SXSW 2013 (Guest: Josh Brunsting)
On this week's episode of The Golden Briefcase, Tim & Jeremy are joined by guest Josh Brunsting from CriterionCast.com to go through their latest picks of the week, the newest in DVD & Blu-ray releases, new trailers for Terrence Malick's To the Wonder and DreamWorks Animation's Turbo and much more. The main topic of the night was a recap with Josh of this past month's 2013 SXSW Film Festival held down in Austin, Texas, which just wrapped up (award winners here). Josh goes through some of his favorite films of the fest and also some that should be avoided in this full recap. Listen in for another excellent TGB episode!
› Posted on March 21 in Golden Briefcase, Podcasts, SXSW | 4 Comments
SXSW 2013 Awards: 'Short Term 12' Wins Both Grand Jury & Audience
The 2013 SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas has wrapped up this weekend. Winners for the audience awards at the festival were unveiled, along with the jury prizes given out last week. The big winner - a film called Short Term 12, directed by Destin Cretton, whose feature debut was I Am Not a Hipster, one of my favorite films of last year. Short Term 12 took home the Grand Jury prize for Narrative Feature, and went on to win the Audience Award as well, a similar double win just like with Fruitvale at Sundance earlier this year. As for docs, Josh Greenbaum's The Short Game took home the audience award. Full lists below.
› Posted on March 18 in Awards, Indies, Movie News, SXSW | Comments Closed
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