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The Playlist

SXSW Exclusive: Meet Davina In Clip From Romantic Drama 'I Believe In Unicorns'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 6, 2014 10:05 AM
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  • 0 Comments
I Believe In Unicorns
SXSW is upon us, with the festival kicking off today. And while there are plenty of starry attractions and movies, it's always worth keeping a good eye on the smaller films making their way to Austin. And one to keep your radar tuned to is Leah Meyerhoff's debut feature, "I Believe In Unicorns."

Exclusive: Celebrate July 4th With Clip From 'Other Months' Premiering At SXSW Film Festival

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 28, 2014 10:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Other Months
Sometimes, self-discovery is the most difficult journey to take, but that exploration forms the center of "Other Months," the feature debut from writer/director Nick Singer.

2014 SXSW Film Festival Adds 'Boyhood,' 'Frank,' 'Joe,' Wes Anderson Q&A, Promising TV Lineup & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 30, 2014 3:00 PM
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  • 0 Comments
SXSW 2014 line-up
It’s always a tough act to follow-up the Sundance Film Festival each year when it comes to the world of independent cinema, but the SXSW Film Festival generally does a good job of mixing the high and low, the populist with the brainy, and the docs with the midnight madness section. Generally a more relaxed festival aiming for a good time, the Austin-based fiesta has already announced some of its heavy hitting premieres—the “Veronica Mars” movie and Jon Favreau’s “Chef”—and now they’ve unveiled their main line-up.

SXSW Review: 'Cheap Thrills' Is Like 'The Hangover' Taken To An Absurdly Nihilistic Degree

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • March 18, 2013 8:00 PM
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  • 1 Comment
It was only a matter of time before the recent hyper-raunchy comedy style exemplified by "The Hangover," would take a dark, seedily indie-movie turn. And that's what "Cheap Thrills," which was one of the few movies to acquire distribution at the South by Southwest Film Festival, really is: it's the hysterical, son-of-"Jackass" tomfoolery of "The Hanger" taken to an absurdly nihilistic degree. For the most part, it works, despite some tonal wobbliness, although it should be noted that "Cheap Thrills" is not for the squeamish or easily offended.

SXSW Doc Review Recap: Snoop Lion In 'Reincarnated,' Alex Winter's 'Downloaded' & More

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • March 18, 2013 7:48 PM
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If the South by Southwest Film Festival was burdened by anything this year, it was an abundance of quality documentaries. It seemed that, while the narrative side of things was surprisingly sparse (where was the "21 Jump Street" or "The Raid" of this year?), the documentary selection was stronger than ever – there were more buzzed-about entries than we had time for, quite frankly (sorry "Medora!"), and almost everything we saw impressed us to one degree or another. Here is a quick rundown of a handful of key SXSW documentaries – "Lunarcy!," about people obsessed with the moon; "Downloaded," which aims to be the definitive documentary about file sharing program Napster; "Twenty Feet from Stardom," which charts the history of pop music from the backup singers' point of view; "Reincarnated," about Snoop Dogg's transformation into reggae titan Snoop Lion; and "I Am Divine," about director John Waters' corpulent muse, cross-dressing sensation Divine.

SXSW Review: 'You're Next' Isn't Exactly A Next-Level Genre Triumph (But It's Still Pretty Fun)

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • March 18, 2013 2:19 PM
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  • 3 Comments
When low budget horror movie "You're Next" premiered back at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival, it received a rapturous response and set off a small scale buying war (Lionsgate, home to the "Hostel" and "Saw" franchises, and savior to Joss Whedon's marooned masterpiece "Cabin in the Woods," eventually won out). It played Austin's Fantastic Fest later that same month, to equally enthusiastic crowds and then…nothing. The movie is finally going to be released in August of this year, and in anticipation, the movie came back to Austin, this time for SXSW. And while it isn't quite the genre breakthrough many, at the time, were claiming it was (a prominent blogger provocatively asked if it was the next "Scream" -- it's not), it's still a fun, bloody, occasionally scary home invasion romp.

SXSW Review: 'Milius' Is A Rousing Tribute To The Warrior Poet Of Mainstream Hollywood

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • March 17, 2013 1:26 PM
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  • 8 Comments
In the opening moments of “Milius,” a hellzapoppin’ new documentary about John Milius, a genius tyrant and warrior poet of '70s and '80s mainstream Hollywood who wrote and directed testosterone-soaked epics like “Conan the Barbarian” and “Red Dawn,” Sam Elliott, in the same laid back butterscotch drawl he used to narrate the adventures of The Dude, sums up the filmmaker thusly: “He doesn’t write for women and he doesn’t write for pussies. He writes for men. Because he’s a man.” And as “Milius” (the documentary) elaborates on Milius (the man), this was his biggest strength and his greatest weakness – at some point the persona he fashioned for himself, festooned with his fondness for cigars, right wing politics, and guns, would become too much of a liability, ultimately leading to his undoing.

SXSW Review: VHS Doc 'Rewind This!' Is An Affectionate Tribute To A Bygone Era

  • By Cory Everett
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  • March 16, 2013 10:41 AM
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  • 8 Comments
DVDs are filling up bargain bins everywhere, Blu-ray never really took off the way it was supposed to and digital streaming and downloads will soon usurp all physical media for film the way it has for the music industry. And though VHS remained in production as recently as a few years ago, it seems like it could require some kind of archeological dig to uncover these forgotten artifacts, so far removed are we now from them. That dig is part of what fuels the new documentary "Rewind This!," a love letter to the VHS cassette and the many wonderful and forgotten oddities it brought along with it.

Video: Gillian Jacobs & Ken Marino On Why ‘Milo’ Is Just “Good Butt Fun”

  • By Kristin McCracken
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  • March 15, 2013 12:40 PM
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Unfortunately, when we talked to Ken Marino at SXSW earlier this week, the “Veronica Mars” Kickstarter campaign had not yet been announced, so there’s no word yet on whether Vinnie Van Lowe will return for the movie, already greenlit for this summer. What did we talk about? Marino’s gross-out monster movie – he describes it as “good butt fun” – which premiered in Austin this week.

SXSW Review: 'I Give It A Year' Is A Woefully Inept Deconstruction Of Romantic Comedies

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • March 15, 2013 8:58 AM
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  • 2 Comments
There's a certain amount of winky irreverence built into "I Give It A Year," based on its title alone, which is something that people snarl, usually at the weddings of people who they feel are fundamentally incompatible. The title suggests that, while it might appear to be a bouncy romantic comedy, it has some seriously acidic undertones. This sensation is solidified once you know that Dan Mazer, one of Sacha Baron Cohen's confederates and a co-writer on both "Borat" and "Bruno," wrote and directed "I Give It A Year." Maybe it's the "Cabin in the Woods" of romantic comedies – something that simultaneously deconstructs the genre while celebrating it (and ultimately elevating it to the next plateau). Unfortunately, "I Give It A Year" is a woefully inept, unfunny, unsexy romantic comedy that falls into all the pitfalls and clichés that it willingly tries to avoid.

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