By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist January 12, 2012 at 3:00PM
Sundance isn't even here yet and already we're smelling the BBQ of Austin. The SXSW Film Festival is just a couple of months away, and to get your appetite (for movies) stirring, organizers have announced the first batch of films making their way to Texas.
After being stuck in MGM's financial quagmire, Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard's "Cabin In The Woods" is finally going to the multiplex this spring courtesy of Lionsgate, and it will make its big premiere as the opening film of SXSW. Penned and produced by Whedon and directed by Goddard, the film stars Thor himself Chris Hemsworth who leads a pack of young people into the woods where things start going awry very, very quickly, with the trailer hinting at an even bigger conspiracy far beyond the forest.
Another announcement sure to get a certain faction of people riled up, Lena Dunham's Judd Apatow-produced HBO series "Girls" will unspool its first three episodes at SXSW. The series centers on a group of young women in New York, struggling to survive and make their mark, all touched with what should be an interesting intersection of Apatow and Dunham's sensibilities. Both "Cabin In The Woods" and "Girls" will assemble their creative teams for discussions as well.
Other films of note making the trek include Kevin Macdonald's documentary "Marley" and Jonas Akerlund's "Small Apartments." The latter, from the music video director and filmmaker, stars Matt Lucas ("Little Britain," "Alice In Wonderland") as the doubly named Franklin Franklin who accidentally kills his landlord and hides the body in what is just the start of strange journey.
The SXSW Film Festival runs from March 9-17. First batch of announced movies below.
Beauty is Embarrassing (World Premiere)
Director: Neil Berkeley
A funny, irreverent and insightful look into the life and times of one of America's most important artists, Wayne White.
The Cabin in the Woods (World Premiere)
Director: Drew Goddard, Writers: Joss Whedon & Drew Goddard
Five friends go to a remote cabin in the woods. Bad things happen. If you think you know this story, think again. From fan favorites Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard comes The Cabin in the Woods, a mind-blowing horror film that turns the genre inside out. Cast: Kristen Connolly, Fran Kranz, Anna Hutchison, Chris Hemsworth, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, and Bradley Whitford
CITADEL (World Premiere)
Director & Writer: Ciarán Foy
An agoraphobic father teams up with a renegade priest to save his daughter from the clutches of a gang of twisted feral children. Cast: Anuerin Barnard, James Cosmo, and Wumni Mosaku, Jake Wilson, Amy Shiels
GIRLS (World Premiere)
Director & Writer: Lena Dunham
Created by and starring Lena Dunham (Tiny Furniture), the HBO show is a comic look at the assorted humiliations and rare triumphs of a group of girls in their early 20s. Cast: Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet, Adam Driver
MARLEY (North American Premiere)
Director: Kevin Macdonald
The definitive documentary on the life, music, and legacy of Bob Marley.
The Oyster Princess (1919) with original live score by Bee vs. Moth (World Premiere)
Director: Ernst Lubitsch, Writers: Hanns Kraly & Ernst Lubitsch
The Oyster Princess is Ernst Lubitsch’s tart 1919 silent comedy that parodies the rich and the spoiled. Austin jazz/rock band Bee vs. Moth performs their original score live with the film for the first time.
Small Apartments (World Premiere)
Director: Jonas Åkerlund, Writer: Chris Millis
When Franklin Franklin accidentally kills his landlord, he must hide the body; but, the wisdom of his beloved brother and the quirks of his neighbors, force him on a journey where a fortune awaits him. Cast: Matt Lucas, Billy Crystal, James Caan, Johnny Knoxville, Juno Temple, James Marsden, Dolph Lundgren, Saffron Burrows, Rosie Perez, DJ Qualls