The South by Southwest Conference & Festival (SXSW) took place in Austin, Texas, From March 10 to March 19. SXSW is an unusual conference/festival because it brings together the tech-industry, the film Industry, politicians and musicians. With such a diversity of themes the festival panels, film screenings, tech presentations and concerts sparked very interesting conversations like, government surveillance and Trumps government but also talks about the future of technology and a first look on some really cool new movies and TV shows. If Sundance Festival is where films with Oscars ambitions are showed, SXSW it’s where we can have a peek at future cult movies.
This year, the most buzzed movie of the festival was The disaster Artist a biographical comedy flick directed, produced and starred by James Franco which is based on a book with the same name.
At this point, I will ask you to bear with me because things are going to get very meta, so here we go. The book Franco’s movie is based on (The disaster Artist) is about some other movie called The Room which is considered the worst movie ever made and it is frequently referred to as the Citizen Kane of bad movies. The Room, a 2003 film written, directed and funded by the mysterious and eccentric Tommy Wiseau, is full of nonsense scenes and plots that are introduced and then abandoned. Everything in the flick was done wrong. The acting is terrible, the story is bonkers, the editing and cinematography are ridiculously bad but the irony here is that the movie flaws makes it unintentionally funny. The book about the movie was written by Greg Sestero, who co-starred in The Room. Sestero tells the stories of the making of The Room and how bizarre life can get when you are hanging out with someone so peculiar like Tommy Wiseau. When the movie premiered on the festival, James Franco had this to say about it "It would’ve been easy to make a movie that was just making fun of The Room … but we love it and we didn’t do that". I’m also a big fan of The Room and I love the book even more so, needless to say that I’m very excited to watch Franco’s flick, unfortunately no release date is set yet.
Another movie in SXSW with a lot of buzz was Baby Driver an action crime film written and directed by Edgar Wright. The flick is about a talented, young getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) that relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. When he meets the girl of his dreams (Lily James), Baby sees a chance to ditch his criminal life and make a clean getaway. Critics are praising the movie as a super fun action-comedy that pays homage to heist masterpieces, apparently the soundtrack is also great. Well, I’m sold! Baby Driver is scheduled to be released in the United States on August 11, 2017.
The other hyped movie that premiered in the festival that I want to talk about is Atomic Blonde an adaptation of the 2012 graphic novel The Coldest City the movie shows MI-6 Agent Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) sent to Berlin in 1989, on the eve of the collapse of the Berlin Wall. She partners with embedded station chief David Percival (James McAvoy) to navigate her way through the deadliest game of spies. Directed by David Leitch (John Wick and Deadpool 2), Atomic Blonde is earning praise for its action set pieces but not so much praises for its lack of story. Similar to Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver, Atomic Blonde banks on a super fun soundtrack, only this one is full of all those catchy ’80s hits. I really liked the trailer and I’m looking forward to watch the flick. Atomic Blonde will have a wide release this summer.
SXSW started introducing TV to its lineup with some screenings over the past few years and the shows they previewed this year that I can’t wait to watch are the following - American Gods, Starz’s television adaptation of author Neil Gaiman’s book follows Shadow Moon (Whittle) an ex-con who, left adrift by the recent death of his wife, becomes bodyguard and traveling partner to another conman Mr. Wednesday (McShane). The trailer it's dark, bloody and looks gorgeously shot. Dear White People For this new comedy/drama series, Justin Simien adapts his own 2014 movie of the same name about racial tensions at a mostly white Ivy League college. The Netflix show picks up where the film left off, with African Americans students navigate campus life through the lens of social injustice, cultural bias, political correctness and activism. The Son Pierce Brosnan stars in this show based on the New York Times bestselling novel. Spanning 150 years and three generations of the McCullough family, the ten-episode, one-hour family drama explores how wealth and power can transform a person and the generations who follow him.
Anyway, this is my take on this Year’s South by Southwest. 2017 was already packed with great upcoming movies and TV shows and based on these new additions I will spend a lot of time geeking out in movie theaters and in front of my TV set.