Last month, Wil-Low attended South by Southwest, better known as Southby or SXSW. SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. The event, an essential destination for global professionals, features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, and a variety of networking opportunities.
Just like last year, we represented iText, and we joined the startups.be mission, along with other Belgian companies such as Jack, Look, ONAK, Sentiance, Muuselabs, Farmboy, Fifteen24, Foodpairing, and Yondr.
We go to SXSW Interactive for business; we like SXSW Film for fun. We went from movie theatre to movie theatre: Paramount, Stateside, the two Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas (Lamar and the Ritz), Rollins Theatre, and (not in the picture) ZACH Theatre.
We managed to watch 27 movies:
- Colossal (****) by Nacho Vigalondo
- The Transfiguration by Michael O'Shea
- This Is Your Death (***) by Giancarlo Esposito
- The Archer (***) by Valerie Weiss (F)
- Madre (**) by Aaron Burns
- Prevenge (**) by Alice Lowe (F)
- Mr. Roosevelt (****) by Noël Wells (F)
- The Disaster Artist by James Franco
- Dara Ju (***) by Anthony Onah
- M.F.A. (****) by Natalia Leite (F)
- Hounds of Love (***) by Ben Young
- Hot Summer Nights (***) by Elijah Bynum
- Disgraced (*) by Pat Kondelis
- Lane 1974 (***) by S.J. Chiro (F)
- A Bad Idea Gone Wrong (***) by Jason Headley
- The Strange Ones (*) by Christopher Radcliff and Lauren Wolkstein (F)
- Inflame by Ceylan Özgün Özçelik (F)
- A Critically Endangered Species (****) by Zachary Cotler and Magdalena Zyzak (F)
- Unrest (***) by Jennifer Brea (F)
- Lemon (*) by Janicza Bravo (F)
- DRIB (**) by Kristoffer Borgli
- California Dreams (****) by Mike Ott
- Doug Benson Master Pancake (hors category): Leprechaun 5: In the Hood by Rob Spera
- NOBODY SPEAK: Trials of the Free Press (***) by Brian Knappenberger
- The Most Hated Woman in America (**) by Tommy O'Haver
- The Big Sick (***) by Michael Showalter
- 68 Kill (**) by Trent Haaga
Obviously, the Leprechaun movie on Saint-Patrick's Day is "hors category". We all know it's a bad movie, but we go and watch it because of what happens on stage during the movie. As for the other 26 movies, we've added (****) to 5 titles, (***) to 10 other titles, and (**) to 5 more, marking the movies we liked most. There were only 3 movies that we considered "so-so" and 3 other movies that really weren't our cup of tea. That doesn't mean it were bad movies! For instance: the rest of the audience seemed to enjoy "The Disaster Artist" very much, but we probably just weren't in the mood for that particular movie at that particular moment.
If you browse the list, you will find many different genres (from rom-com to slasher movies), but every film festival, we try to find a central theme that emerges. In our opinion, this edition's theme was "strong women." 10 of the 29 directors of the movies we watched were female, and movies such as Colossal, The Archer, M.F.A., Lane 1974, Unrest,... had very strong and interesting female protagonists.
This was only our second SXSW edition; we hope we can return next year!