SXSW Preview: Mars

SXSW Film 2010

As I’ve mentioned about a hundred times already, we’re coming down the home stretch toward SXSW 2010. And as we continue to dig deeper into the festival line-up, we continue to find all sorts of interesting hidden gems. This one in particular stood out to me. Mars is a romantic comedy told in the visual style of a graphic novel, that tells the story of a reborn space race between the United States and the European Space Agency. This time, the target is the red planet. Also interesting is the fact that the film stars Mark Duplass. Seriously, did you ever think you’d see Mark Duplass in a semi-animated movie about traveling to Mars? Neither did I. It reminds me a lot of Richard Linklater’s Waking Life, which perhaps inspired University of Texas at Austin teacher Geoff Marslett, who is making his SXSW feature directorial debut. We’ll see. Either way, the film looks very interesting. Full synopsis and trailer are below.

Mars premieres on Saturday, March 13 at 4:30p at the Alamo Ritz.


A new space race is born between NASA and the ESA when Charlie Brownsville, Hank Morrison, and Dr. Casey Cook compete against an artificially intelligent robot to find out what’s up there on the red planet. MARS follows these three astronauts on the first manned mission to our galactic neighbor. On the way they face adventure, self doubts, obnoxious reporters, and the boredom of extended space travel.

This romantic comedy is told in the playful style of a graphic novel – using an animation process that director Geoff Marslett developed specifically for MARS. Underneath the silliness it is an exploration of exploration. Why do we want to know whatÕs out there? How do we react when we find it? Is it really that important? And where does love fit into the whole thing?


Neil Miller is the Founder and Publisher of Film School Rejects. For almost a decade, he has been talking movies on television, the radio, and the Internet. As of yet, no one has stopped him.

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