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The Playlist

Video: Joe Swanberg Talks His "Breakthrough" Feature 'Drinking Buddies' Starring Olivia Wilde, Anna Kendrick & Jake Johnson

  • By Edward Davis
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  • March 14, 2013 6:27 PM
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Joe Swanberg, the indie director arguably responsible for the DIY aesthetic known as "mumblecore" (though don't fully blame him, he didn't coin the term) is the most prolific filmmaker alive. OK, maybe not quite, but since 2005, the filmmaker has made about 14 feature-length films. That's not quite an average of two films per year between 2005-2013, but it's close (and it doesn't even include the shorts he's made). His debut, "Kissing on the Mouth" kicked off this movement when it was heralded as a hit at SXSW and since then he's become known for micro-budgeted indies like "Hannah Takes The Stairs" (which helped launch Greta Gerwig's career), "Nights & Weekends" and "Alexander The Last."

Video: Brie Larson Talks 'Short Term 12,' Her Upcoming Bollywood Musical, Being SXSW's "It Girl" & More

  • By Edward Davis
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  • March 14, 2013 5:00 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Brie Larson, the 23-year-old actress known for roles in "The United States of Tara," "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," and "21 Jump Street" is having a moment. In fact, she's been crowned the unofficial "It Girl" of the 2013 SXSW Film Festival by us and many others. Why exactly? She had (count 'em) four films at the festival this week. They include the Sundance hits "The Spectacular Now" and Joseph Gordon Levitt's directorial debut, "Don Jon," her second co-directed short film, "The Arm" and lastly, "Short Term 12," the movie which won SXSW's coveted top Grand Jury prize this week.

SXSW: Brie Larson Starring Drama 'Short Term 12' Wins Grand Jury Prize

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 13, 2013 9:02 AM
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...and just like that it's all over. The ribs, beer, parties and oh yeah, movies, are put away until next year as the 2013 SXSW Film Festival has come to close. Last night, awards were handed out in Austin, with a number of films getting a boost as they leave Texas.

SXSW Review: 'Kiss Of The Damned' Is An Intoxicatingly Lusty Homage To Old School Horror

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • March 11, 2013 4:13 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Xan Cassavetes, the daughter of John Cassavetes and the director of the wonderful film world documentary "Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession," wrote and directed "Kiss of the Damned" with a wink and a nod so overt that, from the opening credit sequence, which closely mimics the similarly-titled Hammer horror movie "Lust for the Vampire," it runs dangerously close to becoming a ninety-minute game of Spot The Reference. Thankfully, the knowingness never becomes too cloying, and what Cassavetes lacks in technical proficiency, she more than makes up for in a kind of heartfelt conviction sorely lacking in the genre.

SXSW: Selena Gomez Says 'Trash Humpers' Is Her Favorite Harmony Korine Movie & More From 'Spring Breakers' Panel

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • March 11, 2013 3:57 PM
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  • 3 Comments
In what was easily one of the most anticipated films of SXSW, based on the wildness factor alone, Harmony Korine's "Spring Breakers" wasn't so much unspooled as unleashed on audiences in Austin last night. And while reaction was swift as the credits rolled, and discussion will continue about where this candy colored movie will fit in the director's ouevre, as we made clear in our review from Venice, "a piece of pop art."

Listen: Exclusive Dubstep Track From SXSW Thriller 'Snap'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 11, 2013 1:03 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Last night, Harmony Korine's "Spring Breakers" hit the SXSW Film Festival, bringing with it mayhem and a pushed-to-the-red soundtrack fuelled by Skrillex. But it's far from the only movie in Austin with cutting edge tunes that play an important role in the thrust and texture of the narrative. "Snap," co-directed by Youssef Delara (who was behind last year's buzzed-about "Filly Brown") and Victor Teran, is a psychological thriller set within the dubstep scene and we've got an exclusive track from Reza Safinia to give you a flavor of what will be coming out of movie theater speakers at SXSW.

SXSW Review: Olivia Wilde & Jake Johnson Have Crazy Chemistry In Joe Swanberg's 'Drinking Buddies'

  • By Cory Everett
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  • March 11, 2013 12:42 PM
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With the rise of digital filmmaking in the last decade, a new wave of DIY "mumblecore" filmmakers have risen up through the ranks. While initially many of these films were loose and unpolished, they are now are becoming more refined with many of these directors and actors now having basically integrated themselves into the mainstream (or mainstream indie anyway). Of the directors who have come of age during this digital era, perhaps none is more notorious or divisive than Joe Swanberg, the writer/director/editor/actor responsible for 12 films over the last 8 years. With an output that prolific, you would think by now you should know whether Swanberg's brand of filmmaking is your cup of tea or not.

SXSW: Danny Boyle Gives A Sneak Peek Of 'Trance'; Talks His Career With David Carr & Underworld's Rick Smith

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • March 11, 2013 11:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments
On Saturday morning at the South by Southwest Film Festival, a special retrospective of the works of chameleonic British film director Danny Boyle was presented. Moderated by craggy New York Times reporter David Carr, who spent a copious amount of time with Boyle during the extended Oscar campaign for "Slumdog Millionaire" (and remains an avid fan), the presentation also featured Rick Smith who, as one half of electronic music duo Underworld, has been working with Boyle since his landmark "Trainspotting" in 1996 and who, most recently, provided the score for Boyle's new psychedelic mind-bender "Trance," opening in April. (We've seen the movie but are under embargo, but suffice to say the filmmaker has scored once again.)

SXSW Review: 'Short Term 12' A Heartrending, Heartwarming & Authentic Portrait of Life At A Foster Care Facility

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • March 10, 2013 5:00 PM
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  • 4 Comments
It’s Nate’s (Rami Malek) first day at the adolescent foster care facility Short Term 12, and his new coworker Mason (John Gallagher Jr., scruffy and soulful) is regaling the staff with a silly monologue about an unfortunate sharting incident he suffered in the line of duty. It's a funny tale, but it also lays out exactly what kind of people these workers are, willing to forego all bodily comfort in order to make sure these kids are okay. They’re a no nonsense bunch who’ve seen it all and remain unflappable, particularly supervisor Grace (Brie Larson), a steely and impenetrable young woman.

SXSW Review: Frighteningly Dull 'Haunter' Missing Vincenzo Natali's Usual Edge & Inventiveness

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • March 10, 2013 2:43 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Vincenzo Natali is one of those genre filmmakers who has the rare ability to inspire loyalty in his small but vocal fan base by maintaining an aura of utter fearlessness. The director of ingenious, high concept doodles like "Cube," "Cypher," and, most importantly, the envelope pushing, outrageously underrated "Splice," can literally go anywhere or do anything. Unlike his contemporaries, Natali isn't happy to ever be pigeonholed or pinned down. You go to his movies not because you know what to expect, but because what you end up seeing is so unexpected. All of this makes "Haunter," his new "reverse ghost story," one of the bigger disappointments of the South by Southwest Film Festival thus far – a dull, repetitive, utterly confounding chiller that had the usually uproarious SXSW midnight crowd as quiet as church mice.

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