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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.
Read more: SXSW Review: The Look of Silence
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.
Read more: SXSW Review: Adult Beginners
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.
Read more: SXSW Review: Creative Control
From Lina Phillips' ticks - his quick-burst nervous laughter after nearly everything he mutters, the awkward, uncomfortable way he holds himself, his unsettling obsession with Charles Manson - we know something's off. The journey is uncovering what and the platform is J. Davis' Manson Family Vacation - a dark family drama that knots itself up in misunderstandings and a trembling desire to be accepted. It's eerily funny, smartly performed and more twisty than you would expect for an independent film.
Read more: SXSW Review: Manson Family Vacation
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