If you read through yesterday’s announcement of the Midnight features lined up for March’s SXSW Film Festival, one film title may have caught your eye. Nestled in among the serious entries is the film called Big Ass Spider!, from director Mike Mendez… and yeah, it’s about a giant spider.
I really don’t know what to say about the film beyond that. Well, perhaps this: the trailer for the movie demonstrates that Mendez made this movie with a free-for-all spirit that leaves room for gags based on memes, video games, monster movies, and just about anything else you can think of. I don’t know if I needed the stale bed intruder joke, but there’s plenty of other material here that looks like a good time.
Afraid of spiders? Might want to avoid the video below. Read More »
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Austin’s biggest media festival, SXSW, is coming up in about five weeks, and the film portion of the fest has unveiled a list of films that will play in the midnight and shorts categories. Running March 8-16, the film portion of SXSW has been growing into one of the country’s premiere film festivals.
The biggest inclusions on the midnight side are Rob Zombie‘s The Lords of Salem (new trailer), Adam Wingard‘s You’re Next (interview), and the very entertaining S-VHS (Sundance review). That horror sequel, incidentally, has evidently been renamed V/H/S/2, just to make the connection to last year’s horror anthology V/H/S much more clear.
There’s also the premiere of Xan Cassavetes‘ Kiss of the Damned, and Haunter, the new film from Vincenzo Natali (Splice). The image above is from Cheap Thrills, and shows how ”Craig (Pat Healy) and Vince (Ethan Embry) begin their descent into hell with Colin (David Koechner).”
Info on the full midnight lineup is after the break. Hit the SXSW website for the complete shorts list. Read More »
Any film fan should make it a point to attend the Sundance Film Festival at least once. Words can hardly describe the beauty of Park City, the camaraderie of the attendees, the smooth running machine that plays dozens of movies a day on screens all over town. And those movies. Oh, those movies. Some of the best films of the past 25 years have debuted at the Sundance Film Festival. The list has been well-documented and 2013 is likely to add at least a few to that incredible legacy.
At this year’s festival, I saw 34 movies. Not a staggering, superhuman number – remember I have to eat, sleep and write about these things – but a number to be proud of none the less. I saw comedies, dramas, foreign films, Hollywood films, sports films, happy films, sad films, black and white films, sex films, kids films. You name it; one of the movies I saw fits nearly any description you can muster.
I’ve picked my ten favorite films of the festival, with an asterisk. Though I saw 34 films, I missed probably 100 others, so this isn’t by any means definitive. But out of the movies that I thought looked interesting, or were buzzed about on the streets of Park City, these were the ten that I most enjoyed. Read More »
I saw three films at Sundance this year that I would characterize as incredibly specific, because they dedicate themselves so thoroughly to a premise and aesthetic that they exist as their own one-film subgenres. All three were so distinct that there’s really nothing else like them. One was the “shot in Disneyland” breakdown Escape From Tomorrow (coverage here); another was Charlie Victor Romeo (review), sourced from flight recorder transcripts of cockpit conversations in flights that ended in disaster. And the last was Computer Chess, from writer/director Andrew Bujalski (Funny Ha Ha and Beeswax)
Shot on Sony AVC-3260 video cameras from 1969, the film is grainy and black and white, and has some strange glitches and artifacts that occasionally seem to have more deliberate life than you’d expect. Ostensibly documenting a small convention of software developers who pit their chess-playing algorithms against one another, the film really looks into a strange crossroads where socially cloistered personalities seek to develop early artificial intelligence. How can people who know so little about life seek to create intelligence from scratch?
I still don’t know if I like Computer Chess, exactly, because I don’t think it fully follows up on some very promising ideas. But I found it to be memorable, and I greatly respect the film. It takes a certain sort of drive and vision to craft a film with a personality as unique as this one. Check out a bit of footage below.
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All you may need to hear about Zero Charisma is that it follows a tabletop RPG dungeon master who isn’t well-adjusted enough to deal with real life in any fashion. But the film has a great pedigree: Best Worst Movie and The American Scream director and Troll 2 actor Michael Paul Stephenson is the exec producer, and this one was co-directed by Best Worst Movie and The American Scream cinematographer Katie Graham and editor Andrew Matthews.
And then there’s the general approach of the film, which was just programmed as part of SXSW.
Fittingly for the team that brought us the two aforementioned docs, this looks like a film that in many ways provides an insider’s take on games such as Dungeons & Dragons, even as it accepts that the stereotypical vision of adult players is rooted in some sort of reality. From there, it gets a little bit crazy, and the trailer outlines a movie that starts off as a big nerd love letter before turning into something that be more suited to play alongside Big Fan. Read More »
The 2013 South by Southwest film schedule was already pretty good, with films like The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Evil Dead, Downloaded and Spring Breakers in the first wave revealed to screen at the annual fest. Now the full film list has been announced, and it ups the bar.
Several of the biggest hits of Sundance will be on hand, including Before Midnight, Upstream Color, Don Jon’s Addiction and Prince Avalanche. They’ll also host the U.S. premieres of Joss Whedon‘s Shakespeare adaptation Much Ado About Nothing, Nick Cassavetes’ Yellow, the North American premiere of John Sayles‘ latest, Go For Sisters, the world premiere of rising talent Emily Hagins‘ film Grow Up, Tony Phillips and much much more.
There are music films, foreign films, you name it and SXSW 2013 probably has it. It takes place March 8-16 in Austin Texas. Read the full line up below. Read More »
Charlie Victor Romeo is sure to be among the most stark and unnerving films you ever see. By using real conversations between cockpit and control tower from scenarios that ended in airplane crashes, the film walks an atypical line between entertainment and education.
The sheer, visceral terror to be had in this adaptation of the long-running stage play might lead to claims of exploitation, but there are no sick thrills here. Charlie Victor Romeo, shot in 3D, puts us right in the cabin with crews feverishly working to save themselves and their live cargo. It engenders fear, respect, and a fascinated detachment. This is an unusual and unforgettable film. Read More »
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