September 18, 2015
        "Black Mass" could get Johnny Depp back in the Oscar game                J.J. Abrams and Denis Villeneuve: Ten potential first time writer/director nominees for Oscar in 2015                Roger Deakins offers up some of his very best cinematography in "Sicario"                "The Martian" launches itself as an awards hopeful at the Toronto Film Festival                "Steve Jobs": Oscar predictions for September                "Sleeping with Other People" is one of the most charming films of 2015                Sandra Bullock looks like a contender in the Trailer for "Our Brand is Crisis"                Sam Smith will sing the theme song for the upcoming 007 film "Spectre"                Richard Gere is an under the radar Best Actor contender for "Time Out of Mind"                Telluride and Venice launch festival debuts into the Oscar race                “The Hateful Eight”: Looking at potential Best Original Screenplay Contenders                David O. Russell and Ridley Scott: Which filmmaking contenders this year are most due for their first win?                Telluride Announces 2015 Lineup - Steve Jobs, Black Mass, Suffragette                “Sicario”: Ten Films to see in September                Will Smith crusades for Best Actor in the "Concussion" Trailer        

Tag Archives: south by southwest

SXSW buzz makes “Trainwreck” a comedy to watch out for

Yesterday evening, folks at South By Southwest (or SXSW) got to see an early glimpse at Trainwreck, the new film from A-list comedy director Judd Apatow. Penned by and starring Amy Schumer, the pairing of those minds held tons of potential, so I was waiting with baited breath to hear how the work in progress screening was received. Well, the first notices for the movie are all exceptionally good, making this a potential huge hit in the making. Not only that, we might now be in a position to start vaguely wondering if it has a chance to follow in the footsteps of Bridesmaids and gun for a few awards notices.
In case you don’t know anything about this film, Trainwreck is a romantic comedy set in New York City. Amy (played by Schumer) is a modern single woman living a happy life, free of romantic attachments beyond a single night. Her father (Colin Quinn( engrained it in her and her sister (Brie Larson) at a young age, though only Amy has held on to it through adulthood. It works great for her until a doctor (played by Bill Hader) begins getting past her defenses. Hilarity and romance ensue. As mentioned above, Apatow directs while Schumer writes, with the supporting cast also including Tilda Swinton and believe it or not, an apparently excellent LeBron James.
At SXSW, audiences were treated to a work in progress cut that it seems everyone fell in love with. As such, we can actually begin to speculate a bit about this one in terms of the O word…Oscar. When I wrote about Trainwreck a month or so ago, I thought it was probably a longer shot than most of Apatow’s features, but with reviews likely be as strong as he’s ever received, there is the possibility that this could be his Bridesmaids. Essentially, it contends all season long before the Academy hopefully throw it a bone at the end of the day.
Where could it show up? Well, assuming the buzz remains the same, we’re probably looking at Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay (for Schumer) as the only two categories with a real chance. Best Actress (for Schumer as well) is probably a long shot, while Best Director (for Apatow) is probably a pipe dream. Honestly, Best Picture isn’t amazingly likely either, especially when Bridesmaids came up short, so this really could be Best Original Screenplay or […]

The South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival announced Audience Award-winners

The South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival announced Audience Award-winners today from the Narrative Feature Competition, Documentary Feature Competition, Narrative Spotlight, Documentary Spotlight, Emerging Visions, Midnighters, 24 Beats Per Second, SXGlobal, Festival Favorites and Design Award categories. Audience Award results for all categories were certified by the accounting firm of Maxwell Locke & Ritter.
The Audience Awards follow the previously announced 2013 Jury Awards, which included Grand Jury Winners Destin Daniel Cretton’s Short Term 12 for Narrative Feature, and Ben Nabors’ WILLIAM AND THE WINDMILL for Documentary Feature. For the complete list of 2013 Award Winners, visit
The 2013 SXSW Film Festival hosted a total of 133 features, consisting of 78 World Premieres, 13 North American Premieres and 9 U.S. Premieres, with 76 first-time directors. 110 shorts will screen as part of 10 overall shorts programs. The nearly 250 films were selected from a record number of overall submissions, over 5,700, comprised of approximately 2,100 features and 3,600 shorts, with an overall increase of 7% over 2012.
2013 SXSW Film Festival Audience Award Winners:
NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION Winner: Short Term 12 Director: Destin Daniel Cretton
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION Winner: The Short Game Director: Josh Greenbaum
DOCUMENTARY SPOTLIGHT Winner: An Unreal Dream: The Michael Morton Story Director: Al Reinert
NARRATIVE SPOTLIGHT Winner: Zero Charisma Directors: Katie Graham & Andrew Matthews
VISIONS Winner: Maidentrip Director: Jillian Schlesinger
MIDNIGHTERS Winner: Cheap Thrills Director: E.L. Katz
24 BEATS PER SECOND Winner: A Band Called Death Directors: Mark Christopher Covino & Jeff Howlett
SXGLOBAL Winner: The Punk Syndrome Directors: Jukka Kärkkäinen & J-P Passi
FESTIVAL FAVORITES Winner: The Crash Reel Director: Lucy Walker
SXSW Film Design Awards
EXCELLENCE IN POSTER DESIGN Audience Award Winner: Kiss of the Damned Designer: Akiko Stehrenberger, Gravillis Inc
EXCELLENCE IN TITLE DESIGN Audience Award Winner: Chasing Shakespeare Designer: Lucky Post
As today is the final day of SXSW Film, additional screenings have been scheduled as follows for all Audience Award-winners:
Audience Award: Narrative Feature Competition
Short Term 12
03/16/2013, Topfer Theatre at ZACH, 9:30 PM
Audience Award: Documentary Feature Competition
The Short Game
03/16/2013, Stateside Theatre, 6:45 PM
Audience Award: 24 Beats Per Second
A Band Called Death
03/16/2013, Vimeo Theater, 7:15 PM
Audience Award: Visions
03/16/2013, Alamo Ritz 1, 9:30 PM
Audience Award: Narrative Spotlight
Zero Charisma
03/16/2013, Stateside Theatre, 9:30 PM
2 of 3
Audience Award: Documentary Spotlight
An Unreal Dream: The Michael Morton Story
03/16/2013, Vimeo Theater, 9:45 PM
Audience Award: Midnighters
Cheap Thrills
03/16/2013, Alamo Ritz 1, 11:59 PM
Audience Award: SXGlobal
The Punk Syndrome
03/16/2013, Alamo Ritz 2, […]

Imagine the Future of Digital at SXSW PepsiCo, the largest food and beverage company in North America, is creating rich experiences for attendees at South by Southwest (SXSW) 2012, across digital, music and film.
In its fourth year at SXSW, PepsiCo and four of its “billion-dollar” brands will be onsite, including a first-time appearance by Doritos and engaging activations from Pepsi, Mountain Dew and Brisk. During the Interactive festival, PepsiCo will host the What If? Unconference, where attendees will collectively brainstorm ideas about what the future might look like by applying digital solutions in surprising ways.
Photo Courtesy
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Hobo With a Shotgun lives up to SXSW hype

By Sean O’Connell Surreal.
That’s the best – and perhaps the only – way to describe the South By Southwest midnight premiere of Jason Eisener’s “Hobo With a Shotgun” at the Alamo Ritz Tuesday night.
One of the hottest tickets at the fest, “Hobo” started with director Eisner emerging from a trash can, played to a raucous crowd, and let out long after 2 a.m. to what looked like SXSW-inspired Armageddon on Sixth Street.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Did we mention the homeless man who burst into the theater’s lobby as audience members waited to enter the Alamo screening room? He proclaimed it said “Hobo” on the sign outside, and wanted to know where his seat would be.
Then there were the flashing ambulance lights filling the night sky outside the Ritz as police tried to break up the fights and anarchy spilling out of Austin’s rowdiest bars as SXSW patrons stumbled out after a long night of drinking. It felt, in a surreal way, like the desolate town created by Eisener for his exploitation flick had transported itself to Austin for the evening. I looked for a shotgun-wielding hobo, to no avail.
This morning, things were back to normal. I had a great conversation with Eisener on the porch of a downtown hotel, and I’ll get that up on the site shortly. In the meantime, here are some photos from the “Hobo” melee last night. This buzz title more than lived up to its hype.
There’s another screening of “Hobo With a Shotgun” at SXSW tonight. After that, it goes to VOD on April 1, and to theaters in May. More details on “Hobo” as they emerge, and our interview with Eisener momentarily.

“Hobo” director Jason Eisener minutes before his movie premieres at SXSW

“Hobo” already has a video game. This one was in the Ritz’s lobby.

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SXSW Secret Screening a bust; Harry Knowles up next

By Sean O’Connell The “Secret Screening” held Monday afternoon at SXSW turned out to be a big surprise … mainly because it wasn’t one of the titles most people were guessing out in the line.
In what was one of the most buzzy moments of this year’s fest so far, the crowd that piled into the Paramount Theater around 2 p.m. speculated wildly on what SXSW programmers had in store.
A rumor that Kenneth Branagh’s “Thor” was on the docket was shot down when no one received 3D glasses on the way in. A rumor that the 20th Century Fox theme song was heard over the house speaker system as audio was tweaked sent fans to the Web to see what the studio had on the release schedule? Would it be “Rio?” Maybe an early look at Terrence Malick’s “Tree of Life?”
None of the above.
Instead, Mike Cahill’s Sundance drama “Another Earth,” introduced by star and co-writer Brit Marling, played to mixed reviews. A difficult story of a young woman affected by a tragic car accident, “Earth” references a unique bit of science-fiction, but doesn’t develop either the sci-fi or the human relationship that it’s meant to support. While I liked the idea behind “Earth,” it was tough to defend the film’s illogical plotting (and even tougher to ignore the loud chuckles from the Paramount crowd).
Luckily, SXSW has one more trick up its sleeve tonight. Harry Knowles of Ain’t It Cool News will preside over an anniversary screening back at the Paramount tonight, and speculation is running rampant. Knowles has said he is picking a retro film, but that could be to throw people off his trail. We’ll know soon enough. I’m off to the Paramount, Will report back later. I hope and pray it’s “E.T.”
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Natalie Portman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt films highlight star-studded SXSW Sunday

By Sean O’Connell The madness that is South By Southwest has begin, and the minute we stepped foot in Austin, we were busy. Here are a few quick updates on what’s happening on the ground at SXSW, and what’s still to come:
SXSW 2011, for us, began with the world premiere of “Detention,” a high-energy teen comedy from director Joseph Kahn that switches gears from being a John Hughes-era ensemble spoof to a slasher-teen horror thriller before trying on a time-travel adventure. It’s “Heathers” meets “Scream” meets “Back to the Future” meets “Some Kind of Wonderful” … except not quite as good as the films it references at a fast and furious pace.
The film stars Josh Hutcherson as the school’s coolest kid, Shanley Caswell as the Neve Campbell-Molly Ringwald heroine, and Dane Cook as the kids’ bizarre principal.

From there, we shifted into “Hesher,” a dark drama starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rainn Wilson and Natalie Portman in the story of a broken family struggling to cope with the lose of a parent.
Spencer Susser washes out the color palette of his film, and the happiness washes out as well. The drab earth tones of the film fit the overall funk that hangs over Wilson – as a widower – and Levitt (with his headbanging locks) slashes through the morose as the title character.
“Hesher” isn’t as dangerous, as punk or as unpredictable as it appeared it might be, though Levitt elevates it to a metal level in choice scenes. The movie begins by preaching anarchy, but settles for conformity in the end.
Across town, Universal had a big night, premiering the sci-fi comedy “Paul” with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in tow, then screening a work-in-progress print of the Kristen Wiig comedy “Bridesmaids.” Both killed, according to reports, with the latter earning tremendous praises from word-of-mouth critics on Monday morning.

We’re off and running, about to interview Amy Ryan and Paul Giamatti for Tom McCarthy’s excellent “Win Win,” and then (hopefully) a sit down with Dane Cook for “Detention.”
More from Austin as the day progresses!
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Jake Gyllenhaal scuffle overshadows “Source” – SXSW

By Sean O’Connell The world premiere of Duncan Jones’ “Source Code,” which kicked off this years’ South By Southwest film portion on Friday night, is being overshadowed by a strange story involving Jake Gyllenhaal, a camera, and a men’s room.
Twitter exploded with accounts of a scuffle between Gyllenhaal, who plays a soldier in Jones’ sci-fi thriller, and a guy who tried to take his photograph … er, mid-stream.
“Gyllenhaal apparently grabbed the dude mid-photo, threw him against the wall and was like, ‘are we really gonna do this right now?’” Tweeted Cinematical’s Erik Davis.
And JoBlo, who reportedly was in the men’s room when the “fight” occurred, updated, “Guy just tried to take Jake Gyllenhaal’s picture while he was taking a leak. Cops came. Brouhaha ensued.”
So fists are flying in Austin as SXSW gets underway. I’ll have a full review of “Source Code” on the site soon, but it’s a twisty little mystery about a bomb on a train that suffers a happy ending it never earns. Still, worth a glance when it opens on April 1.
Other films getting great buzz out of SXSW on Friday are James Wan’s ghost story “Insidious,” Susanne Bier’s Oscar-winning “In a Better Place,” and the cult film “Sound of My Voice,” which burst out of Sundance on a wave of positive reviews and just continues to collect raves.
More on SXSW as the fest continues.
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SXSW starts with Source Code; 5 more Must-See films

By Sean O’Connell South By Southwest has grown to become a must-attend for film aficionados, the launch pad for spring’s high-profile offerings and a fan-friendly environment for discovering emerging talents and experimental cinema.
Coupled with the concurrent Music and Interactive components, SXSW’s Film program helps turn downtown Austin, Texas into a bustling metropolis of ideas and imagination. It’s also crazy busy, so come early, prepare to be patient, and most of all, enjoy.
This year’s festival kicks off tonight around 6 p.m., though the banner event will be the World Premiere of Duncan Jones’ “Source Code,” a sci-fi thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal as a soldier trying to identify a bomber on a doomed, Chicago-bound train. Jones’ film plays the Paramount Theater tonight, but it’s just one of a hundred films we’d eagerly cover if we had the time. And clones. And maybe access to our own source code. But let’s not get into spoilers. is heading back to Austin to cover SXSW 2011. We’ll have reviews, interviews, buzz reports and on-the-ground blogs to make you feel like you are there. Be sure to bookmark the site and check back often during the fest, which runs through Saturday, March 19.
In the meantime, to whet your whistle for coverage (or help you plan out your schedule if you happen to be in Austin), here are 5 “can’t miss” films for the coming week. If you happen to be at SXSW, look us up. If not, enjoy this year’s coverage, and plan to be there next year. It’s truly something special.

1. The Beaver – Is Jodie Foster’s latest directorial effort about more than a man and his hand puppet? Will audiences be able to look past Mel Gibson’s tabloid exploits and appreciate the performer we know he can be? These and other questions will be answered when “The Beaver” holds its World Premiere on Wednesday, March 16. Part of me feels like I should already be in line.
2. Win Win – Another winning drama from Tom McCarthy, director of “The Station Agent” and “The Visitor.” His latest boasts an outstanding ensemble telling the story of a high school wrestling coach who takes a troubled young teenager under his wing. Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan and Melanie Lynskey co-star.
3. Paul – Universal kindly screened Greg Mottola’s “Paul,” a love letter to sci-fi fans (and an homage to all things Spielberg), prior to SXSW. Having […]

New “Source Code” and “Moon” posters from Alamo’s Mondo – SXSW

By Sean O’Connell Alamo Drafthouse and Mondo selected Duncan Jones to profile for its next “Director’s Series” with two posters for the upcoming “Source Code” and the filmmaker’s debut sci-fi thriller, “Moon.”
We have attached the two wholly original, breathtaking posters — designed by Olly Moss — below.
From the release:
Every so often a filmmaker arrives on the scene with such a clear and creative filmmaking vision that it results in an instant fanbase that hungers for their next project.
Mondo is pleased to be a part of that fanbase and honor Duncan Jones with its second “Director’s Series” after Guillermo del Toro. Duncan crafted a revelatory film with MOON and Mondo is very much looking forward to SOURCE CODE and all future filmmaking projects by Duncan Jones.
“I’ve been a huge fan of Mr. Moss since I first saw his mock game manual for Half Life what feels like an age ago,” Jones said of the poster designs. “I’ve been desperate to own one of his pieces ever since. Getting that piece to be based on my films is even better!”
“Source Code” will have its world premiere at SXSW on Friday, March 11.
Follow @MondoNews on Twitter for the sale date announcement for these posters. Each retails for $35.

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SXSW closing with Billy Bob Thornton, adds “Bridesmaids” and Pee Wee Herman

By Sean O’Connell The South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival announced that Billy Bob Thornton’s “The King of Luck,” a documentary about Willie Nelson, will be thus year’s Closing Night Film, screening on Saturday, March 19.
In addition, SXSW announced more features and shorts for the 2011 event, including a work-in-progress screening of Paul Feig’s “Bridesmaids,” starring (and co-written by) Kristen Wiig and produced by Judd Apatow; “Umshini Wam,” a short film from Harmony Korine featuring South African act Die Antwoord; and “Hit So Hard,” P. David Ebersole’s documentary on HOLE drummer Patty Schemel, among others. will be reporting from this year’s SXSW, which runs March 11-19, in Austin, Texas. For details on the complete film and conference lineup, visit
Additional Films in the 2011 SXSW Film Festival include:
“The King of Luck”
Director: Billy Bob Thornton
This is a documentary about Willie Nelson: the man, the songwriter, the friend, the father, legendary performer and champion of the family farmer. (World Premiere)
“Bridesmaids” (Work In Progress)
Director: Paul Feig, Writers: Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig
Kristen Wiig leads the cast as Annie, a maid of honor whose life unravels as she leads her best friend, Lillian (Maya Rudolph), and a group of colorful bridesmaids (Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Ellie Kemper) on a wild ride down the road to matrimony.
Films from R.E.M.’s Collapse Into Now followed by a Q+A with Michael Stipe
A selection of films from R.E.M.’s latest album, ”Collapse Into Now,” with films by notable artists and filmmakers and personally curated by Michael Stipe.
“Night Fishing”
Directors: PARKing CHANce (PARK Chan-wook, PARK Chan-kyong) (Narrative Short)
Story about the transitions between life and death brought by PARKing CHANce, the first collaboration between PARK Chan-wook and PARK Chan-kyong. (North American Premiere)
“The Pee-wee Herman Show on Broadway”
Director: Marty Callner, Created and Conceived by: Paul Reubens, Written by: Paul Reubens and Bill Steinkellner, Additional Material by: John Paragon, Also written by: Josh Meyers, John Koch and Paul Rust
Based on the original show that launched Pee-wee Herman into a pop culture icon, Paul Reubens’ beloved character brings his Playhouse to life once again in the HBO special “The Pee-wee Herman Show on Broadway.”
“Sound & Scene: Made in Israel”
SXSW Film and Wyatt Brand present a unique music/film/interactive convergence brunch, as two Israeli bands – Eatliz and Onili – play live to their stunning, award winning videos. GRAMMY®-nominated directors Yuval and Merov Nathan Skype in from […]

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