SXSW Looks To Launch A Number Of Interesting Films


There’s always a new festival to get excited about. Less than two months removed from the Sundance Film Festival, with another two months or so to go until the Cannes Film Festival, you’d be forgiven for assuming nothing was brewing. You’d be wrong, though. This week, the 2019 South by Southwest Film Festival commences. This fest of movies and music has, in recent years, become a hub for launching some pretty nifty movies. Known as SXSW, it’s about as hip as it gets for cinephiles currently. Plus, it happens to take place in Austin, which is one of the coolest places in America for art and culture.

Here now are a few (specifically, ten) SXSW titles to look out for:

The Art of Self Defense – Jesse Eisenberg stars in this tale of a man who is attacked and enlists a Sensei to train him in how to defense himself. The quirk? Apparently it’s a comedy. Alessandro Nivola plays the Sensei for Riley Stearns. This one has some major potential, that’s for sure.

The Beach Bum – What happens when you combine Matthew McConaughey with filmmaker Harmony Korine? You may just get an epic stoner flick. Perhaps it’ll just be too odd to work, but the Trailers suggest a bit of unusual fun. SXSW is literally the perfect place to debut this one, so expect a favorable reaction.

Booksmart – Actress Olivia Wilde directs this comedy about high school senior girls hoping to have one wild night to make up for four years of playing it safe. Kaitlyn Dever leads the cast, getting a welcome leading role. All eyes will be on Wilde to see how she fares as a filmmaker.

Good Boys – Another SXSW comedy, this is purportedly a raunchy one, about sixth graders. Jacob Tremblay getting to be in a dirty laugh riot? Nothing not to like here. It sounds very mainstream, so look for it to be a potential breakout hit, if all goes well.

The Highwaymen – Soon to be seen on Netflix, this crime drama pairs Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson as cops coming out of retirement to catch Bonnie and Clyde. There’s no bias against the streaming service at this festival, which bodes well for the initial response.

Long Shot – One of the highest profile titles at the festival, this potentially huge comedy pairs Seth Rogen with Charlize Theron. The former plays a hard partying journalist, while the latter is a Presidential candidate. It’s just unique enough to work. Rumors are that it has tested well, so this could launch just like The Disaster Artist and Trainwreck have in years past.

Pet Cemetery – A mainstreaming offering at the fest, this horror remake could be rather promising, considering the bow here. As long as it’s not outright dismissed as a waste of time, it should build buzz for a big opening. No reason not to expect that, right?

Running with Beto – Here’s a documentary about potential Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke. Whether he opts to run or not, the politician was a sensation last year. Interest will surely be high. If he announces his candidacy? That will only elevate its profile in the process.

Stuber – This work in progress screening stars Kumail Nanjiani and Dave Bautista. The two of them in an action comedy? Yes please. Though not finished, it’ll be banking on strong reviews to build buzz before it hits theaters in the heart of July.

Us – Easily the biggest SXSW debut, we have Jordan Peele’s follow up to Get Out. We’ve spoken about it before and will again. The only thing worth saying right now is that the cinematic world can not wait. As soon as we know how it has been received in Auston, we’ll be sure to let you know…


Stay tuned to see what hits at SXSW!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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