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SXSW Picks Kick-Ass As Opener

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood January 6, 2010 at 12:00AM

Clearly, Austin is Kick-Ass country.
Thompson on Hollywood

Clearly, Austin is Kick-Ass country.

Matthew Vaughn's R-rated action spoof already rocked Harry Knowles' Butt-Numb-A-Thon last month. So SXSW fest producer Janet Pierson can be forgiven for banking on a proven winner for this year's opener. “Kick-Ass is a truly fun ride, with non-stop action, clever humor, and even heart, which is exactly what our audience has come to love and expect from SXSW every year,” stated Pierson, who's running her second fest. “We feel fortunate to have found such a tailor-made good time to kick off our 2010 event!”

When teen fanboy Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) tries to become a real-life superhero, he meets a pair of crazed vigilantes: 11-year-old sword-wielding Hit Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) and Big Daddy (Nic Cage), as well as fledgling superhero Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). Sherlock Holmes villain Mark Strong plays their nemesis, mobster Frank D’Amico.

Lionsgate will open Kick-Ass on April 16.

The fest also announced five premieres before the complete lineup is announced in early February:

Cold Weather – SXSW Alum Aaron Katz directs this feature about a former forensic science major and avid reader of detective fiction, who, after making a mess of his life in Chicago, returns to his hometown of Portland, Oregon. There, he, his sister Gail, and new friend Carlos become embroiled in something unexpected.

Elektra Luxx – Following the successful world premiere of Women In Trouble at SXSW 2009, writer/director Sebastian Gutierrez returns with the world premiere of its hotly anticipated sequel. The film follows a hectic day in the life of former adult film superstar Elektra Luxx as she tries to survive in the straight world. The film stars Carla Gugino in the title role, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Timothy Olyphant, Emmanuelle Chriqui and Malin Akerman.

Hubble 3D - SXSW will present the first public screening of Hubble 3D at the Bob Bullock IMAX® Theater. Through the power of IMAX® 3D, Hubble 3D will enable movie-goers to journey through distant galaxies to explore the grandeur and mysteries of our celestial surroundings, and accompany space-walking astronauts as they attempt the most difficult and important tasks in NASA’s history. The film is directed and produced by Toni Myers.

Lemmy - A documentary from director Wes Orshoski, the film delves into the personal and public lives of heavy metal icon and Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister. Nearly three years in the making, and featuring appearances by such friends/peers as Metallica, Dave Grohl, Billy Bob Thornton and pro wrestler Triple H, the film follows Kilmister from his Hollywood bedroom to the hockey arenas of Scandinavia and Russia.

SATURDAY NIGHT – Directed by actor James Franco, the documentary looks at what it takes to create an episode of the legendary comedy show, Saturday Night Live. Follow behind the scenes as the actors, writers and producers go through one frenetic week of trials and tribulations as each volley to get sketches on air.

This article is related to: Festivals, Headliners, SXSW, Nic Cage

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.