SXSW

Brace yourself, SXSW attendees and fans, we’re about to hit you with a metric ton of new information. Leading off with the big stuff! SXSW has just added a number of new films to be screened, including a fistful of Sundance hits, including Safety Not Guaranteed, Sleepwalk With Me, Shut Up and Play the Hits, Searching for Sugar Man, and Chasing Ice. That news alone should excite you, but it comes bundled up with still more, including the complete conference line-up, along with the news that all screening and panel dates and times are finally live. Meaning? If you’re a psychotic planner like me, you can get cracking on crafting your schedule for maximum fun and consumption. I’m frankly afraid to look at the schedule just yet, because it will send me spiraling into a fit of planning that I might not emerge from for many hours. But you? You can start planning now. After the break, check out the full line-up for all conference panels, along with descriptions on all of today’s just-announced film titles.

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Listen, everybody knows that eventually a world-beating threat is going to come out of its hiding place on the dark side of the moon and try to take over Earth. That’s just obvious. What the upcoming SXSW midnight movie Iron Sky does is present our eventual moon-birthed doom with an interesting twist. It asks the question, what if the hulking space armada that eventually threatens the well-being of free folk everywhere is actually the Nazis regrouped and back for a second go-around at world domination? Crap, why didn’t I think of this before? Of course this is what the Nazis have been up to! Energia Productions have been teasing this movie for quite a while now, but now that it’s ready to hit the festival circuit, they’ve hit us with a full-length trailer that, more than any thing else, proves how far you can stretch a $10m budget if you’re absolutely, batshit crazy. This movie seems to have all sorts of spaceship stuff, all sorts of battle sequences, myriad cities being destroyed; and it’s all presented alongside that patented, iconic production design that only the Nazis can pull off. Give the new Iron Sky trailer a look to see just how warped in the head our Nazi overlords are, and what sort of over-the-top tech they’ll be using to blow us all to smithereens. It doesn’t hurt to be prepared, right?

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About a year ago, I saw Ben Wheatley‘s Kill List at SXSW. I walked in to the theater unfamiliar with what the film was about and what exactly I was in for with my viewing experience. Wheatley’s dark, unpleasant, and funny hit man story was my favorite viewing experience of last year, and explaining why has been a real chore. However, it isn’t a problem for Ben Wheatley, who was open to discussing the big spoiler topics, in particular the final minutes of the film. Much of my chat with the writer/director dealt with the ending, and the many theories it has spawned. Here’s what Ben Wheatley had to say about seeking out interpretations, the wonky logic behind Minority Report, and tedious exposition in our [SPOILER] conversation:

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Here is the place where I will start screaming about how everyone needs to just shut up and make room on their calendar to check out V/H/S because it’s so fun and scary and cool and such a great midnight film and so great to see with a crowd and then I’ll run out of breath from this ludicrous run-on sentence and get back to at least the appearance of professionalism. Joining their previously announced feature line-up, SXSW has now released their full listing of all films showing at the film festival this year, including Midnight features and a positively huge schedule of short films (including narrative shorts, documentary shorts, global shorts, music videos, Texas shorts, and Texas high school shorts). Some highlights to look out for on the Midnight beat include V/H/S (duh), the world premiere of Austin Chick’s Girls Against Boys, the U.S. premiere of Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s Intruders, and some form of “Super Secret Screening.” On the shorts side? How about Nash Edgerton’s wicked little Bear, Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman’s A Brief History of John Baldessari, Kat Candler’s Hellion, and Don Hertzfeldt’s it’s such a beautiful day? Check out the (now totally) complete listing below of the feature and short films playing at SXSW 2012!

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Editor’s note: This review was originally published as part of our SXSW 2011 coverage on March 15, 2011. But, just like another stand-out horror flick from that festival (look down!), we’re bumping this baby back up to remind all of you dear readers that the film is finally hitting limited theaters this Friday, February 3. Some films send their characters to hell and back, but few do so with the genre-bending, mind-fucking intensity of Kill List. Equal parts drama, thriller, and horror, the movie takes both characters and viewers on a hellish descent down the bloody rabbit hole with stops along the way for mystery, murder, and flesh-busting madness. Jay (Neil Maskell) has been out of work for eight months, and his wife Shel (MyAnna Buring) is not about to let him forget it. They fight constantly about finances pausing periodically to assure their young son that mommy and daddy still love each other before returning to the fray. Jay’s friend Gal (Michael Smiley) comes over for dinner along with his new girlfriend, Fiona (Emma Fryer), and the four spend a raucous night of laughs and alcohol punctuated with an ugly and awkward outburst between the feuding couple.

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SXSW is just under two months away which means many of us and many of you are eagerly awaiting the announcements as to what films will be playing the festival. Well the wait is over! At least partially… Austin’s second coolest film festival has just revealed a few of the films that will be appearing this year, and while the bulk of the movies remain a delicious mystery today’s announcement does include the highly anticipated Opening Night feature. Cabin In the Woods, the Drew Goddard-directed and Joss Whedon-cowritten horror film that floored attendees at the last BNAT, will be opening SXSW on Friday, March 9th. The film is about a group of young adults who head to a remote cabin for some rest, relaxation and probable fornication. Their festivities are interrupted though when they start falling victim to an undisclosed evil. Or something. If the movie is even half as good as the script it’s guaranteed to be one of the favorites at this year’s festival. A few other titles were revealed as well including Jonas Åkerlund’s Small Apartments, Ciarán Foy’s Citadel, and Kevin Macdonald’s look at the life and times of Bob Marley. FSR will be on the ground and in the rafters covering these and as many other movies as we can cram into our eyeballs from March 9th through the 17th. Be sure to follow along as the lovely Kate Erbland, the somewhat less lovely Jack Giroux, the impeccably dressed Neil Miller, and yours truly review the […]

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that brings life to the otherwise gray twilight of your day. It brings color where boredom once lived. Because what the hell else are you going to do before bed, read a book? Ballderdash! We begin tonight with something not exactly news, but equally as important. Above you will see a new product that ThinkGeek will release in 2012 called the IRIS 9000 voice control module for iPhone and Siri. It’s exactly what you might think, an iPhone dock that allows you to interact with Siri as if she were HAL 9000. It is perhaps the new holy grail of nerd things. And if you’re a member of the FSR staff still looking for a gift for your favorite boss, I will accept a pre-order of this item as an acceptable gift. Seriously, get on that. There’s even a video, which I’ve included after the jump.

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Susanne Bier‘s In a Better World made me, for the very first time, question my enjoyment of kids beating the hell out of each other on film. As someone that takes my fandom of kids kicking ass on film quite seriously, Bier stumped me. In a Better World is a film about violence, and the effects that it has. One of the two story-lines involves children, very nerd-like feeble children, striking back. Most of you dear readers would most likely sympathize with these kids, like I did, but they end up going to the extremes that make you question their choices. Bier is a director that is known for exploring the extreme sides of humanity, and she continues that trend in a poignant and unique manner with In A Better World. I spoke to Bier at SXSW where we discussed — starting with some small talk, of course — the grey areas of the film, the story’s structure, and finding realism in script and performance:

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The most entertaining film from this year’s SXSW film fest has finally found a US distributor. I say “finally” because someone should have picked it up the moment the closing credits started rolling on opening night. But hey, better late than never… Joe Cornish’s Attack the Block is about an alien invasion of sorts in London’s tough, inner-city neighborhoods. Pitch black creatures are eating their way through town, but there are no military units or police heroes to fight back the horde here so instead that task falls to a group of teen thugs. These are right pricks here, make no mistake, but by the film’s end they may just steal your heart. (But I’d check to make sure you still have your wallet and watch just in case.) Brian Salisbury’s excellent review of the movie is here, Sony’s press release is below, and thanks to BadassDigest for the heads up about this fantastic news.

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How would you prepare for the end of the world? Or, better yet…how would you prepare for the post-apocalypse? The day when the world is dust, the population is ravished, the landscapes are deserts, and the road is everywhere and everything. Basically, the world is Australia. How would you prepare? How could you?

You can cower in a corner at the thought, or you can be like Woodrow and Aiden and devote your adult life to building flamethrowers and finding ways to inject your muscle car with steroids so that you can rule the land, run the gamut, and in the meantime while you wait for the end of the world you can ride around in a vehicle built for pure testosterone and testicles.

Problems arise, though, when Woodrow and Aiden’s plans for building their car of destruction are interrupted by Woodrow’s encounter leading to relationship with Milly. The relationship itself doesn’t supply the complications so much as the complications that develop within the romance causing a drastic change in character for the unassuming nice guy Woodrow. Infidelity leads to depression, depression leads to anger, anger leads to places people shouldn’t go and all of a sudden the vehicle built to represent them in a future apocalypse becomes a symbol of Woodrow’s progression/regression from sensitive to pained callousness.

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, we talk SXSW with the Reject team and find out why Netflix is doing what they’re doing. Gigaom site editor Ryan Lawler joins us to help makes sense of why Netflix would get into the distribution game with House of Cards and what it might mean for the future. Joe Nicolosi (who made that video of the girl retelling Star Wars without seeing it and that Super Mario indie short film the kids are talking about), discusses the perils of the SXSW softball game, how he got the job making all the bumpers that play before the movies, his creative process, and the beauty of film festivals. Neil and Rob dust off the SXSW from their chaps to tell us about their favorite films and the movies that will coming to a theater near you. Plus, Kate Erbland from Gordon and The Whale and Scott Weinberg from Twitch Film go head-to-head in our movie news quiz, and we all end up talking about Cameron Crowe and the power of nostalgia. Loosen up your tie and stay a while.

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Detention appears to be built from the ground up as a movie whose detractors will inevitably be told that they “just don’t get it.” A hyper-stylized, post-modern teen slasher of sorts, the movie mixes an incredibly self-aware attitude with onscreen text and graphics, a shattered fourth wall, a confused mash-up of 80s and 90s homage, time travel, suspected bestiality, Hoobastank, suicide bombers, Fraggle Rock, and more. It also claims to be a comedy.

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Every week, Landon Palmer and Cole Abaius log on to their favorite chat client of 1996 as Expressionalism23 and 5DollarMilkshake in order to discuss some topical topic of interest. This week, we avoid paradigm-shifting seriousness in favor of discussing what we love about film festivals. The energy, the electricity, the discovery, all of it comes together to create a communal experience that film demands but rarely sees anymore out of the festival circuit. We both missed SXSW, but that doesn’t mean we’re not there in spirit.

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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This year, Film School Rejects is teaming up with the best movie sites on the planet (and one from Jupiter) to give you the best possible guide of complete knowledge regarding the maelstrom of media known as South By Southwest. There are a ton of movies, events, and parties to go to. There’s also down time to spend, great food to eat, and the city of Austin to explore. Get ready to cram all the useful knowledge you’ll need right into brain:

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So you’ve eaten at Pita Pit and Best Wurst (because there’s nothing wrong with two lunches) and you’re scoping out theaters ready to get more movies on, but you have no idea what you’re going to see. That teary indie drama or that ridiculous sci-fi comedy? You don’t know do you? And you can’t figure it out on your own for some reason. Fortunately, we’ve created this handy guide to help you in your time of duress. Use it wisely. There’s no chance it’ll send you to the porno theater across the highway, so if you end up there, it’s on you.

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, we do what Hollywood finds impossible by creating a successful reboot. The show is getting an upgrade (which is why you can hear both drilling and confetti being tossed constantly in the background), and the new format promises to make everyone who listens to the show three inches taller and wildly, wildly wealthy. As in, so wealthy you’ll have to figure out how to buy off politicians. You can check out the show guide below, but the quick and dirt version involves two beloved Rejects battling it out in a game of wits, a teenage director seeing her first SXSW premiere, a visual effects artist arguing on behalf of post-conversion 3D, and 5 myths about production that ensure movies will be crappy. Loosen up your tie and stay a while. Listen Here: Download This Episode

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There is a lot going on in the trailer for Joseph Kahn’s Detention. It’s got hipsters. It’s, apparently, got aliens. A high school killing spree. And, most importantly, Dane Cook as a school principle. Obviously, it’s a fairly overstuffed and messy trailer, but everything this trailer hints at could make for pure cinematic gold. The director of Torque bringing aliens and hipsters together in one movie could be magical. Who doesn’t like seeing hipsters suffer bloody and brutal deaths? In the movies, of course. It’s the joyful type of bloodshed we rarely get to see on the big screen. The last half of the trailer really picks up and finds a smooth groove. Hopefully the film is as balls to the wall as the trailer is selling it as. In almost 2 weeks time, we’ll get confirmation at its SXSW premiere. There’s promise in this trailer, and I cant wait to see whether or not Kahn managed to deliver a worthy followup to his hilarious motorcycle epic.

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There are 130 films this year at Austin’s SXSW, and 60 of them being world premieres. When you scroll down the list of the films showing there, 99% of them you’ve never heard of before. Only a handful stick out that you actually know about or have eagerly (or mildly…) been anticipating. The films at the fest that currently are the most exciting for us are also the most high profile. That’s not to say there won’t be far superior little known flicks playing there – there most definitely will be – but the big ones showing are always the early attention grabbers. We’ll be running a bigger and more comprehensive list of SXSW must-sees closers to the fest, which is basically when we’ll have more info on the films there that aren’t being released by Universal or Summit. But as of right now, here are a few features that already got our excitement on high. As for those of you interested right now in knowing more about those 130 films, check out the full list here.

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