SXSW

Homesick finds the beauty in the bizarre tale of literally recreating one’s childhood: SXSW Film Festival Review

March 20, 2022

To call Homesick bizarre would be a colossal understatement.  And that’s meant in the most complimentary of fashions. Born – and that’s quite the fitting term when the film’s narrative is uncovered – from director Will Seefried‘s fascination with society’s urgency in recreating their childhood, Homesick takes a unique look at how one could submit […]

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Interview: Director Nyla Innuksuk on her SXSW horror film Slash/Back and the importance of incorporating her indigenous culture

March 20, 2022

Having premiered at SXSW to rave reviews (including our own here) the horror/adventure film Slash/Back has more than announced filmmaker Nyla Innuksuk as a talent to take note of.  Talking with Peter Gray during her time at the festival, the two spoke about the origins of the film’s story, the importance of incorporating her indigenous […]

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Omoiyari: A Song Film by Kishi Bashi is a beautiful and heart-breaking journey into the historical relationship between America and Japan: SXSW Film Festival Review

March 18, 2022

Weaving together both historical and current events, how those events pertain to the savagery of racism over the years, and the juxtaposition of his own calming musicality, Omoiyari: A Song Film by Kishi Bashi is a stunning documentary about Kishi Bashi‘s own personal journey in exploring his past as he looks for inspiration for his […]

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Interview: Director Maureen Bharoocha and actress Ramona Young on their SXSW revenge comedy The Prank

March 17, 2022

After missing out on the SXSW screening experience in 2020 with her feature The Golden Arm, director Maureen Bharoocha is even more grateful to be screening her latest film, The Prank, in person this year.  As the dark comedic thriller premiered (you can read our festival review here) our Peter Gray spoke to both Maureen […]

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The Cow; A slow burn thriller with a wild reveal that asks more questions than it answers: SXSW Film Festival Review

March 17, 2022

For such a scrappy little feature, Eli Horowitz‘s The Cow has some impressive calibre that will no doubt help earn it some extra eyes beyond the unique indie crowd this seems tailor made for. Headlined by Winona Ryder (always a treat to see taking charge these days) and a suitably disarming Dermot Mulroney, The Cow […]

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The Prank is an uneven black comedy kept afloat by the wicked Rita Moreno: SXSW Film Festival Review

March 16, 2022

A somewhat standard high-school comedy and a campy dark mystery are fused together in Maureen Bharoocha‘s ambitious offering The Prank.  Whilst much of the film rides on the fact you have to root for unlikeable archetypes – either outcast students Ben (Connor Kalopsis) and his feisty bestie Tanner (Ramona Young) or their evil-incarnate teacher (a […]

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Everything Will Be Alright is a bleak yet soul-stirring drama that speaks to our universal determination: SXSW Film Festival Review

March 15, 2022

A pandemic story without exclusively being as such, Everything Will Be Alright has an everyman-type quality to it in how it presents the dilemmas the Coronavirus inflicted upon the world.  Director Farhard Pakdel fuses his narrative with a heightened sense of drama though, injecting a potentially triggering additive that further highlights how people’s realities were […]

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Pretty Problems comedically indulges in the unpleasantness of the privileged: SXSW Film Festival

March 15, 2022

When watching Kestrin Pantera‘s Pretty Problems, if such titles as This Is 40, Wanderlust, The Invitation, White Lotus, and/or Schitt’s Creek come to mind, you can sit comfortably knowing that was somewhat deliberate.  Though there’s evident inspiration from such vast titles, Pretty Problems is still very much its own being; it just helps it has […]

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Sissy is a gross and darkly funny horror that explores the dangers of the social influencer: SXSW Film Festival Review

March 14, 2022

Whether we like them (or follow them) or not, influencers – sorry, “content creators” – are a cultural mainstay in our society that often extends beyond the environment of social media.  In Australian horror effort Sissy, co-writers/directors Hannah Barlow and Kane Senes seem all too aware of the faux importance influencers place upon themselves, a […]

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Slash/Back thrills with both a genuine terror and its youthful energy: SXSW Film Festival Review

March 14, 2022

Unless you’re already an established name in the industry – and even then, to some degree, getting a film off the ground can have its challenges – the process of seeing a film through its production stages is never without its hurdles.  So you can only imagine how it was for a first-time director like […]

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Interview: Director Bianca Poletti on her SXSW short film Radical Honesty; “I love stories that have subtle, dark, awkward humour”

March 12, 2022

Premiering at this year’s SXSW Film Festival, Radical Honesty is a new short feature from director/photographer Bianca Poletti.  In the lead-up to the film’s premiere, our own Peter Gray spoke with her about the inspiration behind its unconventional take on relationships, her own personal attachment to the idea of non-monogamy, and which filmmakers she personally […]

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SXSW announce Keynotes and Featured Speakers for their 2022 line-up; including Grammy winners Lizzo and Beck

March 2, 2022

With only just over a week away until SXSW 2022 (March 11th-20th), the festival has revealed Keynotes and Featured Speakers made up of prominent industry leaders and creative visionaries from the world’s of tech, film, music, and beyond. The Keynotes announced include three-time Grammy Award-winning artist Lizzo; 2022 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominee […]

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SXSW Festival 2022 Line-up Highlights: The Movies We Are Excited About

February 4, 2022

The South By Southwest Festival has announced its 2022 Film Festival slate for its 29th edition, with this year’s acclaimed program being a largely in-person event, with select titles being offered online.  Running from March 11th to the 20th, the 2022 program will include 99 features, including 76 World Premieres, 4 International Premieres, 4 North […]

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SXSW Film Review: Sound of Violence is a cathartic yet violent expression of how to overcome grief

March 19, 2021

Grief is often something that runs throughout the core of the horror narrative.  And depending how it is structured, it can act in a nature that’s either cathartic or repressive.  In Alex Noyer‘s Sound of Violence it’s a mixture of both psychological expressions, with the additive intricacy of music production – another key element to […]

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SXSW Film Review: Swan Song is a reminder to the queer trailblazers of where they have been and how far the community has come

March 19, 2021

German character actor Udo Kier is so synonymous with villainy that his role in Swan Song appears all the more revelatory.  But given the actor’s own queer identification and penchant for theatrical performances, a character like his at the centre of Todd Stephens‘s gentle dramedy feels quite in tune with the actor’s aesthetic. Based on […]

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SXSW Film Review: Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil amplifies her unique voice over the tragedies that have defined her existence

March 19, 2021

Not unlike the professional front Katy Perry put forward in her Part of Me documentary, where she grinned and performed for a mass crowd only moments after being informed that her marriage (at the time) was over, Demi Lovato similarly bravely faces her adoring fans night after night in the early seconds of Dancing with […]

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SXSW Short Film Review: The Thing That Ate The Birds holds up a mirror to one’s own conscience in a more fantastical manner

March 18, 2021

Written and directed by Sophie Mair and Dan Gitsham, The Thing That Ate The Birds is an atmospheric short that teases a darker universe we can only hope could be expanded on. Abel (Eoin Slattery) and Grace (Rebecca Palmer) are on the verge of separation, but the tragic circumstances surrounding their farmland have pushed their […]

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SXSW Film Review: The Feast delights in both metaphorical and mythical terror

March 18, 2021

One of those films that has a log line that feels all too familiar, Lee Haven Jones‘s The Feast presents itself as a supernaturally inclined horror film on the surface, only to gradually morph into an allegory of sorts that runs deeper than the film’s initial mentality would have you believe. Set in a secluded, […]

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SXSW Film Review: Introducing, Selma Blair highlights the actress’s wit and charm in the face of her battle with MS

March 18, 2021

As displayed by her effortless wit and charm in the opening seconds of Introducing, Selma Blair, the actress’ own self-awareness has been one of her pillars of strength as she battles multiple sclerosis (MS).  Always aware of her supporting actress stance in Hollywood – the star noting as such throughout – the Legally Blonde alum […]

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SXSW Film Review: Paul Dood’s Deadly Lunch Break is as uplifting and positive as it is dark and shockingly violent

March 18, 2021

A film that’s as uplifting and positive as it is dark and shockingly violent (at times), Paul Dood’s Deadly Lunch Break is a quintessentially British black comedy that roots for the underdog, even when he perhaps doesn’t deserve it. The titular Paul Dood (Tom Meeten) is a bit of a pathetic character, but one who’s […]

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SXSW Film Review: The Fallout is an authentic snap-shot of a movie that runs high on emotion

March 18, 2021

A devastatingly topical drama surrounding a school shooting and the emotional and psychological damage such a tragedy can cause for its survivors, The Fallout takes a quieter, more intimate look at the unseen faces – those that aren’t framed in the media as “a survivor”, merely fellow students who are unsure how to navigate their […]

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SXSW Film Review: Potato Dreams of America tells a bold story in an artificial manner

March 18, 2021

There’s that old chestnut saying that truth is stranger than fiction, and it would appear that no one knows this more than writer/director Wes Hurley.  An autobiographical tale of growing up queer in the USSR in the 1980’s, Potato Dreams of America is an often bizarre, occasionally sad, but completely unique feature that, however trite […]

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SXSW Film Review: Here Before utilises its supernatural premise and twists it when we least expect

March 18, 2021

Creepy children are always good fodder for horror-leaning films, and Here Before, whilst more psychological thriller than all-out horror, is no exception with writer/director Stacey Gregg utilising the premise and twisting it just so. Andrea Riseborough leads the charge as Laura in this small, gradual thriller that focuses on young Megan, a seemingly friendly school […]

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SXSW Film Review: Recovery adds as much levity as it can to the global pandemic

March 18, 2021

A comedy both made during and about the pandemic that has forever altered the landscape of the world, Recovery adds as much levity as it can to the most devastating of situations.  Written, directed and headlined by the relatable comedy duo of Mallory Everton and Whitney Call (Everton serving as director and co-writer, Call as […]

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SXSW Film Review: Executive Order is an often infuriating and incredibly timely film

March 17, 2021

Literally adopting the phrase “Go back to where you came from” and structuring a thriller-leaning narrative around it, Lazaro Ramos‘s Executive Order is an often infuriating and incredibly timely film given the racial prejudice that has framed the last 12 months. Set in a near-dystopian future in Rio de Janeiro, the film starts on the […]

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SXSW Short Film Review: The Nipple Whisperer maintains a genuine sense of heart amongst its odd temperament

March 17, 2021

Immediately telling from its title, Jan Van Dyck’s The Nipple Whisperer is a bizarre offering, but it’s one that maintains a genuine sense of heart amongst its odd temperament. If you weren’t already privy to the title you’d think Van Dyck’s film was taking on a much more serious subject, with the film’s titular character […]

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Aussie thriller The Drover’s Wife joins SXSW Film Festival as full lineup revealed

February 13, 2021

The 2021 SXSW Film Festival has revealed its full line up for its 28th edition for SXSW Online, running March 16th-20th, 2021.  The previously announced Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil, a hard-hitting documentary covering the personal and professional life of the pop star, including her fatal near-overdose, will serve as the festival’s opener, whilst […]

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The first Aussie acts to play SXSW Online 2021 have been announced

January 28, 2021

If 2020 was the year that conference festivals were dealt the unexpected and either had to cancel or quickly adapt, 2021 is the year they have to settle into a new normal. For now, this means events that are entirely run online- and hopefully, as the year progresses, hybrid events that will see us start […]

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SXSW Film Festival 2021 announces opening night headliner and other premiere highlights

January 18, 2021

The SXSW Film Festival has announced its opening night headliner as the 28th annual event prepares to announce its complete film lineup on February 10th, 2021. Serving as the opening night headliner will be Michael D. Ratner‘s Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil, a powerful YouTube Originals documentary event that explores the aspects that led […]

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SXSW 2020 – The One That Never Was: What Happened In Austin & 7 Artists I Wish We Saw

May 8, 2020

Every year in March, myself and a close band of music colleagues and friends from all over the world make a pilgrimage to the iconic new music and discovery festival South By Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas. This year was set to be no different, and I was buzzing and more prepared than ever, having […]

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