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SXSW Review: The Frontier

To watch The Frontier is to take a drivers seat in the Delorean and dial the settings to 1971. It has a distinctively "homage" feeling to it - as if it were a previously unreleased Hitchcock movie, filmed a short peck after The Birds. Unlike The Guest or Cold in July, The Frontier doesn't play with old movie tropes so much as it practices a brand of straight-forward imitation, aping the style of Vietnam-era genre films, much like Ti West has done with The House of the Devil. The result is as if A Simple Plans met Pyscho in a back-alley, early-70s country thriller. It's not quite horror, not quite a western but Oren Shai's pulpy throwback is stylized beyond reproach, even if rather laid back narratively.

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SXSW Review: The Look of Silence

In psychology class, you learn about the concept of diffusion of responsibility, a sociopathic event that explains that when more people are present or complicit in an unfavorable event, the less personally responsible that group will feel for its outcome. The public murder of Kitty Genovese - in which a woman was stabbed to death in NYC but not one neighbor alerted the police - is a tragic true-to-life example of this but no piece of fiction or nonfiction has better captured the ghastly phenomenon than Joshua Oppenheimer's The Look of Silence.

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SXSW Review: Adult Beginners

The comic combination of Nick Kroll, Rose Bryne and Bobby Cannavale is enough to sell this wry but formulaic family-member-moves-home farce wholesale. Ironic that Bryne and Cannavale just co-starred side-by-side in Paul Feig's underwhelming Melissa McCarthy vehicle Spy as arms dealing peers and they here play another side to partners in crime as a husband and wife duo who must make room for Kroll when a failed business investment forces him out of the big city.

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SXSW Review: Creative Control

Creative Control takes place in a world of technology just a few year's out from today. Cell phones and computer screens are composed of sheer cuts of opaque glass and flicker with images only visible to their owner. Apps are controlled with the slightest wave of a finger, like a symphony composer directing his orchestra. Wearable tech has reached a fever pitch and though the big names like Apple, Google and Microsoft have name brand recognition working in their favor, a new product called Augmenta is the definitive future of how humans will interact with their technology.

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