sxsw film 2011

we are just about a week away from austin's biggest annual event, the south by southwest music, film and interactive conference.

the film portion of the conference runs from 3.11.11 through 3.19.11 and will play host to 130 features from around the globe, 60 of them world premieres, in addition to a full slate of shorts, music videos and the like. add to this about 80 panels and workshops and you have the makings of a seriously busy week or so. there are a handful of things that i am looking forward to in particular.

the documentary feature competition: these eight films, all world premieres, look solid from top to bottom. they chronicle a diverse range of fighters, chefs, would-be rock stars, con men and kids lost to war, lost to their parents, lost to the indiscretions of youth. each of these looks like a good bet.

takashi miike's 13 assassins (2010).

the prolific and provocative miike makes what may be the most surprising move by playing it straight this time with an old-fashioned feudal epic. in the twilight of the samurai era, a group of assassins is assembled to put an end to the tyranny of a sadistic lord. the climactic battle sequence is an astounding 45 minutes long. i hope i can get a ticket to this one.

alison bagnall's the dish & the spoon (2010).

bagnall wrote buffalo '66 (1998), so she's no stranger to melancholy, unconventional romance. the chemistry between greta gerwig and olly alexander is supposed to be worth the price of admission. we shall see.

werner herzog's cave of forgotten dreams (2010)!

herzog was allowed unprecedented access to the chauvet-pont-d'arc cave in southern france that contains the earliest known cave paintings in the world, literally the beginning of art. finally, a legitimate argument for 3D technology.

the entire sxfantastic lineup of midnight shows. fantastic fest is far and away my favorite festival and they handpicked some special genre madness for night owls.

and that's just a small sampling of what's going on. if you would like to see the full slate of films, with synopses, trailers, venues and times, go here. i am going to try to see as much as money, work and band schedules will allow. if you're coming to town, let me know. we'll catch a show.

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