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SXSW 2013: 5 Films To See (Noah)

March 6, 2013


SXSW is almost here! I can tell because every band I’ve never heard of has suddenly decided that the one time I said some other band sounded like another band that they too probably sounded like that band that the other band that had no relation them sounded like and because of that, they should probably send me a 45-page email detailing they’re sound and that they once opened up for a guy who played back-up drums for a Van Halen studio sesh. Mmmmmmm … bitter.

I won’t be in the arid plains of Austin this year but I thought I’d still open up sizable yapper and let you know a few of my thoughts on the film section of the festival. Nothing terribly heavy, just a breakdown of the five films I would see if the given the opportunity to be a part of the 2013 SXSW Festival.

No particular order, just a handful of Narrative Films I thought sounded interesting.

1. Evil Dead, d. Fede Alvarez

If you’re even slightly a movie dork, you have to be at least a bit interested in what a remake of one of the great horror films of all time might look like. From everything I’ve seen the film looks to be intensely gory, and even if it does, as the trailers hint, seem to drop most of the more comic aspects of the original, the film seems to capture the general essence of unchecked mayhem Raimi brought to his version. Do I care that Bruce Campbell isn’t playing Bruce Campbell in the film? No. Not one bit. I’m happy to see a new generation of actors and viewers alike pulled under the gore bus of a new take on this classic. If it sucks? Who gives a shit, by this point I’ve been so desensitized to the films that helped define me getting raked over the coals of big budget Hollywood, that another film on the pile won’t mean nothing.

2. Spring Breakers d. Harmony Korine

Kids was a pretty great film for me when I was 12 and eating gummy bears and riding bikes wishing I wasn’t a shy little wallflower who could barely muster a hello to the lasses in the daisy dukes. Everything else that Harmony Korine has had (aside from his strange cameo in Beautiful Losers) any sort of connection to has been totally and completely painful for me to watch. The Trashhumpers trailer, though amazing in a way that only a film called Trashhumpers can be, really dropped the cherry on the top of the “why-I-hate-Harmony-Korine” sundae with it’s painful visuals and horrible, grating sound design. That said, Spring Breakers looks downright fantastic. Take a bunch of America’s sweethearts, throw ‘em in to the terrible world of Spring Break Miami and see what happens. Sure, sure it seems gimmicky that you cast very attractive, very recognizably pure faced women in these roles, but if Korine is doing what I hope he’s doing (casting light on the secret lives of our fresh-faced daughters and sisters) it could be amazing. James Franco, you, especially in corn rows are nothing but a distraction.

3. The Lords of Salem, d. Rob Zombie

Again, Rob Zombie and I are not a match made in heaven. His style is overly stylized and I’m sort of horrified by his post-exploitation visuals. The Lords of Salem though looks, if trailers still tell the truth, pretty awesome. It seems to actually have some sort of narrative drive (not just flashing visuals, bared boobs and bad teeth) and a foreboding sense of dread (opposed to Zombie’s usual mouth-fisting of over-the-top HORROR). Good things have been circulating, and this will play fantastically to the midnight crowd.

4. The Act of Killing, d. Joshua Oppenheimer

This film is executively produced by Werner Herzog and Errol Morris. Nothing else needs to be said. If that doesn’t give you an instant tingle in your nip-nips, then you need to throw your BetaMax out the window.

5. Upstream Color, d. Shane Carruth

I know, I know – if you’re spending enough money to go nerd out on films at SXSW you already know you should get your ass in the seat for a new film by Shane Carruth. That said, it doesn’t hurt for me to remind you, again and again (check your email I just reminded you, twice). I would go but I’m still looking over the infographic that explains the time twists in Primer.

Have fun you lucky bastards. I’ll be at home, trying to emulate 6th Street in my front yard.

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