It’s exactly a week until the SXSW Film Festival kicks off in Austin, Texas – and it’s hard to know where to begin with the absolutely incredible lineup that – as usual – fills its program. Last year, both Boyhood and The Grand Budapest Hotel had premiere screenings at the festival and went on to win a myriad of Oscars and other prizes! So it’s certainly a festival that everyone has their eye on. Here are the first six films we’ll be keeping a close eye on during the festival…
Film: “Ex Machina”
Director: Alex Garland
Cast: Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Alicia Vikander
With the technology available to film makers these days, going down the sci-fi pth has just become an even more exciting venture. Ex Machina deals with Artifical Intelligence, specifically, an A.I robot experiment in the form of the stunning Alicia Vikander. The Alex Garland (28 Days Later, Never Let Me Go) directed feature set to debut in the SXSW Film ‘Headliners’ category, stars Domhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac as a software programmer and business CEO respectively, who find themselves dabbling in the field of Artificial Intelligence, only to find out their latest experiment is way more sophisticated and deceptive than they thought it could be.
Ex Machina is showing on March 20th at the Topfer Theatre at 9:15pm
Film: “Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck”
Director: Brett Morgen
This look at Kurt Cobain’s life has already made the headlines, with Frances Bean Cobain’sinvolvement winning over any sceptics who may have thought it was going to be a cheap look into the tragic life and death of the late Nirvana frontman. Brett Morgen’s film instead tracks Cobain’s journey as artist, songwriter and cultural icon through Cobain’s own home movies, recordings, artwork and journals. Being shown at SXSW as part of the 24 Beats Per Second program, Montage of Heck is going to be one not to miss.
Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck is showing on March 20th at the Satellite Venue at Marchesa at 6:45pm and at the Stateside Theatre on March 21st at 11:00am.
Film: “Wild Horses”
Director: Robert Duvall
Cast: Robert Duvall, James Franco, Josh Hartnett, Jim Parrack
Showcasing as part of the SXSW Narrative Features program, Robert Duvall presents Wild Horses. A murder mystery surrounding a Texas ranger, an estranged family and a curious set of circumstances, Wild Horses looks set to be an interesting ride. Starring James Franco, Josh Hartnett and Jim Parrack, the film makes its World Premiere at SXSW in 2015.
Wild Horses is showing at the Paramount Theatre on March 17th at 11:30am.
Film: “Deep Web”
Director: Alex Winter
Destined to be one of the most talked about documentaries of the festival, Deep Web is the story of Ross William Ulbricht aka “Dread Pirate Roberts”, the recently convicted creator and operator of online black market Silk Road. With exclusive access to the Ulbricht family, Alex Winter’s film is set to explore how the brightest minds and thought leaders behind the Deep Web and Bitcoin are now caught in the crosshairs of the battle for control of a future inextricably linked to technology, with our digital rights hanging in the balance.
Deep Web is showing at the Alamo Slaughter on Monday, March 16 at 5:00PM
Film: Hello, My Name Is Doris
Director: Michael Showalter
Cast: Sally Field, Max Greenfield, Beth Behrs, Wendi Mclendon-Covey, Stephen Root, Elizabeth Reaser, Jack Antonoff, Natasha Lyonne, Tyne Daly
This one has such an excellent concept, we feel it just deserves the full synopsis to be included in this article. Also, it has Sally Field and Stephen Root in it, who we’d watch open a door for 90 minutes if we were told to.
“After the death of her mother, Doris, an isolated 60-year-old woman, becomes motivated by a self-help seminar to romantically pursue a younger coworker at a hip Brooklyn clothing company. As she finds ways to connect with John (going to an electronica concert, hanging out in hipster coffee shops..), her authentic retro style thrusts her into the spotlight of the local hipster social scene and she soon gets caught up in the world of chocolate bar haikus and rooftop knitting clubs. But her other relationships suffer as a result of her new found popularity and Doris has to realize that what she wants isn’t necessarily what she needs.”
Hello, My Name is Doris is showing at the Paramount Theatre – Saturday, March 14 5:00PM
Director: Antoine Bardou-Jacquet
Cast: Ron Perlman, Rupert Grint, Robert Sheehan
Conspiracy theorists are going to love this film, even if it’s not meant to be taken seriously. This new French film from Antoine Bardou-Jacquet is having its world premiere at SXSW and plays with one of the favourite theories of the last few decades: What if Apollo 11 never actually made it to the Moon and the whole thing was made in a studio by Stanley Kubrick? With Rupert Grint (Harry Potter) as a “lousy manager of a seedy rock band” and Ron Perlman (Hellboy) as a “stubborn CIA agent”, we’re being promised a “riotous, high-tempo action-comedy.” We certainly can’t wait to see if it lives up to its name. It also follows a space-related trend that you’ll see throughout the festival. Also look out for the documentary The Last Man on the Moon.
Moonwalkers is showing at the Alamo Ritz – Saturday, March 14 at 9:00PM
Contribution to this article series by Sosefina Fuamoli and Jules LeFevre.