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#SXSW 2019

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SXSW Review: The Art of Self-Defense

The Art of  Self-Defense is the kind of film that continually evolves from the moment you start watching it. Actually, it probably starts changing even before that. Its plot description belies its actuality and even if you've seen dire...

 
 
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Review: Long Shot

Things started on a high note at the SXSW 2019 premiere of the Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen headliner comedy Long Shot. Upon entry to the Paramount theater, staff distributed free drink vouchers. It was either a semi-transparent ploy...

 
 
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Review: Knock Down The House

Many people switch off when it comes to politics -- and rightly so. Politicians are typically disassociated with the working classes, and for many it’s either a case of fierce loyalty to the upheld order of things or disillusionment a...

 
 
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Review: Us

A few years ago we were all laughing our asses off with Jordan Peele on Key and Peele, but since the director hit us with the bombshell of perfectly-paced horror/social commentary that was Get Out the world has been salivating to see w...

 
 
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SXSW Review: The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash’s impact on music is undeniable. With his stern voice and lyrics reflecting blue-collar life, Cash found a way to blend folk into country, country into pop, and pop into rock. The man felt as comfortable singing in&nb...

 
 
 
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SXSW Review: Tread

The 40th president of the United States, Ronald Reagan, a one-time actor of some repute, died on June 5, 2004. Not surprisingly, the event dominated the news cycle for some days afterward. It also cut short a story that out of Granby, ...

 
 
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SXSW Review: Show Me The Picture: The Jim Marshall Story

For whatever reason, this SXSW was my year of documentaries. Maybe it’s because I like the journalistic element of them, and maybe it’s because they’ve put on show histories, cultures and politics in a way that I’d n...

 
 
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SXSW Review: Strange Negotiations

Strange Negotiations was a deeply personal and heartfelt documentary, an essay film exploring one man’s crisis of faith. Named after the eponymous album released by Christian/pop crossover band Pedro and the Lion in 2011, it centres o...

 
 
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Our top 10 movies of SXSW 2019

It’s been a fantastic year for movies at SXSW. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve eaten more queso than I care to see again in my lifetime, and, attending for the first time, I can’t adequately express how muc...

 
 
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SXSW Review: Mr. Jimmy

At some point in our lives, we’ve aspired to be our heroes. I can’t tell you how many times while playing backyard baseball I’d turn my hat backward and take a long, swooping swing a la Ken Griffey Jr. But no matter how ma...

 
 
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SXSW Review: Olympic Dreams

Maybe it’s in the name, but this is a dream of a film. To see a film completely sold out at the end of a festival is rare, but owing to its unique, funny, tenderness, Olympic Dreams was something truly special. Filmed on location at t...

 
 
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SXSW Review: Red Dog

Some people’s mothers are made for TV, might be the takeaway from Casey Pinkston and Luke Dick’s docu-dramedy Red Dog. Much like the infamous Twitter feed-turned-books-turned-Shatner-sitcom Shit My Dad Says proved...

 
 
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SXSW Review: Bluebird

To anyone who’s a fan of country music, the Bluebird Cafe, Nashville, is the holy grail, a place of pilgrimage and wonder. People come from far and wide across the United States and beyond to visit this unassuming little hole in the...

 
 
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SXSW Review: Pig Hag

Pig Hag is one of the best, most truthful films I’ve seen this festival. I don't say that flippantly -- there have been astounding documentaries tackling weighty issues -- but this narrative serves to uncover another form of injus...

 
 
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SXSW Review: Museum Town

There’s a moment when you first see a work of art that you consider the individual behind it: how did they even conceive of this project, let alone execute it? What was their inspiration? What was their thought process, by Jove! Somet...

 
 
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SXSW Review: Adopt a Highway

In Adopt a Highway, Ethan Hawke plays recently released convict trying to find his way in a world that’s changed drastically since his incarceration over twenty years earlier. An ounce of weed and California’s third strike ...

 
 
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SXSW Review: La Mala Noche

La Mala Noche is an under-the-radar narrative premiering at SXSW this year, and with its heavy subject matter it’s easy to see why it would appeal to a niche audience. It follows the story of a beautiful woman named Dana (Noëll...

 
 
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SXSW Review: Frances Ferguson

Frances Ferguson is bored. She’s a 25-year-old substitute teacher with a dead marriage and a mother who is just as annoyed with her daughter as her daughter is with her. One day at school, she meets a student and, as dry and awkward f...

 
 
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Review: Who Let the Dogs Out

Who Let the Dogs Out is an hour-long documentary, and yet it feels just as powerful as any longer counterpart. Well, powerful isn't the right word. There's nothing powerful about one man's obsessive dive into the history of one-hit-won...

 
 
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SXSW Review: Them That Follow

I’m struck by just how at home Walton Goggins seems as some redneck pulled from a holler deep in Kentucky or elsewhere in the Appalachians. First made apparent in his epic run as Boyd Crowder on FX’s Justified, Goggins retu...

 
 
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SXSW Review: South Mountain

Confession time: South Mountain is not a movie I would ever normally see. It's a slow-burning, single location, family drama with about as much buzz as a dead bee. The only reason I saw it at SXSW was because it was screening early eno...

 
 
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SXSW Review: Days of the Whale

Set in Medellin, Colombia, Days of the Whale is a story of youthful rebellion and the inevitable consequences of getting in with the wrong crowd against your parents’ advice. Following young graffiti artists Cristina (Laura Tob&oacu...

 
 
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SXSW Review: The River and the Wall

I’ve spoken highly of all the films I’ve been fortunate enough to see over the course of the last five days at SXSW, and The River and the Wall was definitely among them. It has -- repeat, has -- to be seen on the big scre...

 
 
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SXSW Review: Red 11

In 1992, an aspiring filmmaker spent a month as a lab rat in exchange for a $7,000 paycheck. He flipped that check into El Mariachi and from there Robert Rodriguez’s career took off. Now, 25 years since the film’s rele...

 
 
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SXSW Review: For Sama

For Sama is the story of the Syrian uprising and civil war, told through the point of view of Waad al Kateab. Her motivation for making the film is her daughter, Sama — a beautiful wide-eyed girl who has been born at such a tumultuo...

 
 
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SXSW Review: Aleksi

Aleksi made me laugh out loud so many times that I lose count. The directorial debut of Croatian director Barbara Vekaric and was a heartfelt, hilarious story of the dilemma 28-year-old Aleksi (Tihana Lazovic) experiences when she returns t...

 
 
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SXSW Review: I Love You, Now Die

“If I talk about it, it gets better” That’s what Conrad Roy III said about his social anxiety. Speaking to his computer in a self-prescribed therapy session, Roy laid his feelings bare. At the age of 18, he had deep suicid...

 
 
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SXSW Review: Porno

I love a good horror/comedy mashup like Porno, which debuted at SXSW this year, and when you splatter the screen with gore I'll probably love it even more. Take my glowing review of Snatchers, which also debuted at SXSW, as proof if you nee...

 
 
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SXSW Review: Booksmart

There’s something to be said for working hard to achieve goals. It’s what makes successful people successful, according to the barrage of "How To" articles that circulate on a regular basis. Tunnel vision and depriving oneself o...

 
 
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SXSW Review: The Highwaymen

We've all seen Bonnie and Clyde. We've all seen it, right? Jesus, people. Watch the classics. Fine, go watch Bonnie and Clyde then we can continue on. Now that we're all where we should be, remember the bumbling Texas police officer th...

 
 
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SXSW Review: Vai

Vai is a portmanteau film telling the stories of eight different women named Vai. Residing in seven different Pacific countries, their name means 'water', and they all have an innate connection to the sea, which accounts for their free sp...

 
 
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SXSW Review: Vision Portraits

Vision Portraits is the rare kind of film that you’ve always hoped to see, heralding back to the earliest use of montage in cinema in the 1920s and evoking a fresh sense of experimental, artistic filmmaking. Director Rodney Evans tr...

 
 
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SXSW Review: Yes, God, Yes

Sitting in her parent’s basement, 15-year-old Alice (Natalia Dyer) is about to get more than she bargained for playing movie title word scramble in an AOL chat room. Kids, AOL stands for America Online and, as their name sug...

 
 
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SXSW Review: Come As You Are

The road trip movie has a long and mostly terrible history. The genre has been done so much and has such specific requirements (you need a road, you need a trip, you need a car, you need an end goal) that it's become pretty redundant. You a...

 
 
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SXSW Review: The Hottest August

I was in the wrong damn theater. Despite having checked with the SXSW volunteer at the door I was in the wrong theater. The realization hit me the moment they started introducing the film. Dramatic and powerful didn't sound like words you'd...

 
 
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SXSW Review: Go Back To China

Go Back To China will no doubt received mixed reviews from audiences of different backgrounds, but I’m of the opinion that it was a fantastic film. Part teen movie, semi-autobiographical, it toed the line between demonstrating really ...

 
 
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SXSW Review: Community First, a Home for the Homeless

Community First is a true passion project of director Layton Blaylock. Seeing him involved in the residents’ lives is a powerful thing and reminds me of why we choose to make films: to explore the humanity in the ordinary, and to ex...

 
 
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SXSW Review: Salvage

Filmed over the course of nine years in Yellow Knife, Canada, Salvage is a straight forward presentation of a difficult documentary, which is something, considering its runtime is under an hour. Director Amy Elliott was motivated ...

 
 
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SXSW Review: Body at Brighton Rock

Body at Brighton Rock is a unique horror film in that nearly nothing actually horrific happens in it. And yet, the film can be terrifying to an extreme. A movie that plays more on fear than it does on actual scares is a rare bird, but ...

 
 




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Reviews   filter by...

LFF Harriet"Be free or die"

 

Gemini Man"Does whatever a gemini can"

 

LFF The Aeronauts"Reach for the sky"

 

NYFF Saturday Fiction"Life during wartime"

 

The Addams Family"Just be yourself (but not too much!)"

 

Parasite"Class mobility is a lie"

 

Lucky Day"Luck's run out"

 

LFF Knives Out"Whodounut"

 

LFF Bad Education"Ain't misbehavin"

 

NYFF The Whistlers"Whistling away the jail days"

 

LFF Marriage Story"Romcom in reverse"

 

LFF The Report"Democracy under scrutiny"

 

Preacher (Season 4)"The Messiah will dance!"

 

LFF The King"High drama"

 

LFF Jojo Rabbit"Ja Hitler!"

 

LFF Hope Gap"Deficient"

 

LFF Lucky Grandma"You'll never look at your grandma in the same way again"

 

LFF Waves"Ripple effect"

 

First Love"Tough love"

 

The Spy"What would you do for your country?"

 

Joker"Ha. Ha. Ha?"

 

NYFF The Irishman"Martin Scorsese's greatest hits also feels like a long goodbye"

 

Killer Sofa"Give 'em the chair!"

 
 
 
 
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