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Everybody Wants Some
When it comes to North American Film Festivals, Austin, TX’s South By Southwest is #3. Only Sundance and Toronto are bigger and more important. Also, it’s not just a film festival, but a music festival and several trade shows as well.
To get oriented go to the North shore of the Colorado river at Congress street.
Look north towards the capital building. The “festival territory” is on you’re right going from the Convention center on Cesar Chavez and on Congress Street from the river to the Capitol grounds. Most of it is on the notorious Sixth Avenue entertainment district, where there are dozens of clubs and the best pizza in the state. Within this area is 80% of the whole thing.
The South-By-Southwest festival (known by one and all as “Southbuy”) was founded in 1986 by the people who ran the New Music Seminar (http://newmusicseminar.com/) and from then added stuff, changed it’s name from NMS/Southwest, and became an annual fixture that basically takes over downtown for two weeks.
The whole mishegas is divided into three major parts and several smaller ones. Music, Movies and Interactive, plus what they call “eco” and some other things I can’t recall.
This is a trade show, pure and simple. They show products and hold seminars.
The thing will start when at 8AM with the first panel discussions. President Obama himself makes a keynote speech Friday, March 11 at 2:30pm at Dell Hall at The Long Center for the Performing Arts (701 W Riverside Dr., off Guadalupe), admission for that is via a lottery. Everyone else just does the con thing.
This will go on for five days.
When Interactive ends, then the music festival starts. This is also a convention, but is more open and there are lots of places where one can just hang out and do what God put Austin there for you to do, listen to country-western and punk until you’re ears bleed. The entire industry will be there to some extent and it’s going to be one of those party-till-you-drop events.
This will also go on for five days.
This thing goes on for nine days.
They’re going to screen 139 films: 89 world premieres, 14 North American premieres and seven U.S. premieres, including 52 films from first-time directors. These films were selected from 2,455 feature-length film submissions composed of 1,467 U.S. and 990 international feature-length films from a total of 7,235 submissions.
Among the highlights are a special work-in-progress preview screening of Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele’s catnapping comedy Keanu, Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused sequel Everybody Wants Some and John Michael McDonagh’s brilliantly titled: War on Everyone.
Notable world premieres include Mike Birbiglia’s Don’t Think Twice, starring the abovementioned Keegan-Michael Key; Ti West’s In a Valley of Violence, starring Ethan Hawke and Taissa Farmiga; The Master Cleanse, with Johnny Galecki and Anna Friel; Sophie Goodhart’s My Blind Brother, starring Adam Scott and Nick Kroll; Shovel Buddies, featuring Bella Thorne; The Trust, starring Nicolas Cage and Elijah Wood; and Kasra Farahani’s The Waiting, with James Caan.
Among the non premiers are: Jean-Marc Vallée’s Demolition,” which opened Toronto in September, stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Naomi Watts and Chris Cooper and biopics about Miles Davis(Don Cheadle)“ (Miles Ahead, which closed the New York Film Festival last year) and Chet Baker (Born to Be Blue, starring Ethan Hawke).
Not only that, they’ve decided to include TV shows: Danny McBride’s Vice Principals will also be featured.
Between these three, there’s almost no time to sleep. (there is also an “Eco” section, or so they say—wow).
My Golden Days
From March 11th through March 17th, the Film Society of Lincoln Center will be presenting a comprehensive retrospective of the films of Arnaud Desplechin, one of the most exciting and remarkable of contemporary filmmakers, whose extraordinary body of work includes such impressive achievements as: La Sentinelle, his fascinating and enigmatic first feature (regrettably screening in a digital format); My Sex Life… or How I Got Into an Argument, arguably his masterpiece (alas, also being screened in digital); and the absorbing Kings and Queen, one of his finest accomplishments.
The series is being launched to celebrate the release of the director’s beautiful new feature, the autobiographical My Golden Days, which will open at the Film Society on March 18th, and will be shown in a sneak preview on March 15th followed by Q&A with Desplechin (He will also be appearing on the 18th and the 19th).
The perennially popular Rendez-Vous with French Cinema, now in its 21st edition, will be returning to the Film Society of Lincoln Center on March 3rd and running through the 13th, featuring new works by such celebrated directors as Jacques Audiard, Emmanuel Finkiel, Danielle Arbid, and, above all, the incomparable Otar Iosseliani.
The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s yearly series, Film Comment Selects, now in its 16th iteration and running from February 17th through the 24th, has consistently been the strongest selection at this august institution of new works, barring the New York Film Festival. As in previous incarnations, this year’s edition features new films by many of the most outstanding filmmakers in the world now working. The current highlights include: the latest by veteran Italian director Marco Bellochio; Benoît Jacquot’s new version of Octave Mirbeau’s classic 1900 novel, Diary of a Chambermaid, previously adapted by both Jean Renoir and Luis Buñuel; and new features by the experimental Philippe Grandrieux as well as Aleksei German, Jr. Retrospective programs include spotlights devoted to controversial Polish director, Andrzej Żuławski — regrettably all in DCP — and to the underrated Charles Bronson, with two features screening in 35-millimeter. A 1984 featurette directed by Ray Davies of the Kinks is also on the slate along with the wonderful musical, Golden Eighties, the closing night selection, by the recently deceased titan Chantal Akerman, both also presented in 35-millimeter.
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