VHS

South by Southwest is our favorite film festival not just because it’s in our own backyard (relatively speaking) or because it affords us a chance to eat BBQ on daily basis or even because it means we can sit in the Drafthouse all day but because – wait, no, it’s our favorite film festival for precisely those reasons. What else could you possibly want from a film festival? Good films? Fair enough. Luckily, finding good films at SXSW isn’t hard, not even remotely, which explains why our list of Our 16 Most Anticipated Films came together with no overlap – there’s truly something for everyone. For Rob Hunter, that means a lot of guns and violence, for Dear Leader Neil Miller, he just wants to stop being the last person in America who hasn’t seen The Raid. We even let Jack pick some films too. Sixteen in total, these films encapsulate the variety that makes SXSW so great – stick with this list and you probably can’t go (too)  wrong. Why sixteen films? Because we’re sweet. Or just suffering from anticipatory exhaustion from our favorite film festival. Check out all the movies we’re aching to see after the jump.

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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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Fresh off of making one audience member pass out and another one puke into a bucket at Sundance, V/H/S has found a home with Magnolia, and it’s a matched made in hellacious heaven. The horror flick is both an anthology, which seems to be a rising trend, and a found footage movie that has many critics claiming that it refreshes the genre considerably. It’s made up of vignettes from writer/director David Bruckner (The Signal), writer/director Glenn McQuaid (I Sell the Dead), writing/directing team Radio Silence, actor/director Joe Swanberg (Autoerotic, The Zone), writer/director Ti West (House of the Devil, The Innkeepers), director Adam Wingard (A Horrible Way to Die, You’re Next), writer Simon Barrett (A Horrible Way to Die, You’re Next), and writer Nicholas Tecosky. The story focuses on a team hired by a mystery person (or persons) to break into a broken down house to steal a rare VHS tape. Horror ensues. So it’s a found footage horror film with an interstitial device of people looking for found footage. Already off to a good start. This is another ear on the necklace of the You’re Next team of Wingard, Swanberg and Barrett who will see that film released in October of this year as well. Thank god that V/H/S will be seen outside of Sundance. These are the kinds of horror filmmakers that deserve to blow up big. Personally, I can’t wait for the inevitable George Lucas mash-up trailer, V/H/S 1138.

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Sundance is many things – cold temperatures, snow, memorizing the shuttle schedule, training your body to take two hour “naps” each night, Simon Baker stopping your delirious self from walking into on-coming traffic on Main Street (a true, and embarrassing, story), but most importantly – it’s about movies. The Sundance Film Festival is the first big film festival of the year and as such, it never fails to set the bar high with standout programming from premiere features to moving documentaries to midnight scare-a-thons. With an impressive (and at times overwhelming) slate of films to choose from, I narrowed down the films that seem to be getting the most buzz already and are popping up on people’s “must-see” lists. Of course there will probably be a film or two here that do not live up to expectations while there is also a good chance that I have left something out that will end up being a standout at this year’s festival, but it is that unpredictability that’s part of the fun. Stay tuned to FSR as Kate Erbland and I head to Park City this weekend to take in as many of these titles as we can and report back on whether they live up to the hype and what should stay on your must-see lists as these films (fingers crossed) get picked up for distribution over the next eleven days. A mix of features and documentaries, comedies and horror, this list features both actors and filmmakers returning to Sundance and […]

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Junkfood Cinema

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; home of the fried food advent calendar. As December marches on, here at JFC it’s beginning to look a lot like Type-II diabetes.  We are back yet again to roast a particularly horrible cinematic chestnut on the open fire of relentless mockery as you struggle to keep the terrifying Jack Frost from trying to bite pieces of your face off; seriously, how scary is that song? But then, I will sugarcoat that same chestnut (plum? bag of mixed metaphors?) with genuine adoration until you are confronted with the unconquerable desire to take me off your Christmas card list and add me to the one enigmatically marked “People to Letter Bomb.” To make your season especially bright, in much the same fashion that nuclear blasts are quite luminous, I will then pair the film with a festively tasty, disgustingly decadent snack food item. Today’s figgy pudding of shame: Elves.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column currently perpetrating a home invasion on yo’ behind. It’s going to tie you up and make you watch while it plays video games in your living room. Also, it will tell you the news… We begin with my favorite thing of the night, the Halloween special episode of Community, “Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps,” yet another brilliant display of the playful and unfathomably intelligent writing behind this show. Something broken down quite nicely in Todd VanDerWerff’s review at The AV Club. And for those of us with simpler tastes, there’s a Community BINGO drinking game now. Coming soon to Reject HQ…

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly round-up of all things interesting and wonderful happening in the world of movies. At least, that’s what it was born as. Lately it’s been feeling as if it might be more of a Rachel Weisz News After Dark kind of column. A Rachel Weiszsexual, if you will. And yes, that’s the technical term. It’s a tough affliction to live with. Because their just isn’t enough Rachel Weisz in the world. Luckily Hollywood is hell-bent on changing that… Guess what this week is… Rachel Weisz week. Based on a survey of our male 18-35 demographic, which represents a solid percentage of our readership, this is somehow preferable to all of my updates about Doctor Who. I don’t see why, as Doctor Who is excellent. But I can understand your affinity for Rachel Weisz news. Anyway, she’s not only in line to take a high profile role in Oz the Great and Powerful and The Bourne Legacy. According to a report from Cinema Blend, Weisz is high on the list to star opposite Johnny Depp in Rob Marshall’s remake of The Thin Man. Even though that film sound unnecessary, we just can’t say no to more Rachel Weisz… can we?

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What is Movie News After Dark? It too slays vampires and zombies. Not in a top hat, mind you, but it slays them nonetheless. It also believes strongly that it will be assassinated (by /Film’s Page 2) while attending a revival of Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theatre in Washington D.C. “There’s something in the American psyche, we want our presidents to be warriors. We’re giving that to Abraham Lincoln, sort of posthumously in this case.” That’s what Seth Grahame-Smith had to say A in an interview with The New York Times. It’s part of NYT giving the world its first look at Benjamin Walker as Abe Lincoln, the ax-wielding, vampire slaying 16th President of the United States. It’s a neat article that gives away a lot of details about the project, but nothing that you wouldn’t get having read the book.

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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 newest 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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