I’m super pumped to kickstart my third SXSW and while some things are the same (scored free taco not even five minutes after picking up my badge), I’m still getting used to one big change. I am not volunteering at all, which makes this my first festival attendance as a *regular person*. Woot woot! Here’s my plan of attack for the next week.
“Evolution of a Criminal” (Dir. Darius Clark Monroe)
What motivates a 16 year old to rob a bank? Filmmaker Darius Clark Monroe’s autobiographical documentary 7 years in the making is bound to make for a memorable screening. As they say “the more personal, the more universal”.
“Veronica Mars” (Dir. Rob Thomas)
It’s “Veronica Mars”, people! Do not judge me. Probably the saddest day of my high school years was learning the epic season 3 finale was actually the series finale.
“CESAR CHAVEZ”” (Dir. Diego Luna)
Category: Narrative Spotlight
Grapes haven’t looked the same since I saw the documentary “Cesar’s Last Fast” at Sundance. From the trailer, it looks like actor/director Diego Luna will offer up a great companion piece with this biopic starring Michael Pena, Rosario Dawson and America Ferrera.
“JIMI: All Is By My Side” (Dir. John Ridley)
Category: Festival Favorites
Directorial debut from a newly minted Oscar-winning screenwriter, starring Andre 3000 from OutKast? Yes, please. I’m no Jim Hendrix expert, so I’m looking forward to learning more about the music legend.
“Que Caramba es la Vida” (Dir. Doris Dörrie)
Category: 24 Beats Per Second
Is there a glass ceiling in the world of mariachi? Who knew? Just when I think everything’s been done to death in the music documentary genre, SXSW pulls out another gem.
“Last Hijack” (Dirs. Tommy Pallotta & Femke Wolting)
“Waltz with Bashir” meets “Fishing Without Nets”? Count me in. I love how today’s docs are combining various narrative techniques to tell amazing true stories. I have a feeling this won’t be your average “one last heist” movie.
“Boyhood” (Dir. Richard Linklater)
Category: Festival Favorites
Only Richard Linklater could shoot a movie secretly for 12 years. That feat alone is the reason I will be the first in line for the one-time 10:30am screening on Sunday. Haven’t been this pumped for a three-hour movie since “Titanic”.
“Mateo” (Dir. Aaron I. Naar)
Category: Documentary Feature Competition
Former convict becomes America’s first white mariachi singer? Similar to last year’s “The Great Hip Hop Hoax”, this is a story just too ridiculous to be true. Which of course means I can’t leave the fest without seeing it.
“Above All Else” (Dir. John Fiege)
Category: Documentary Spotlight
I’m probably going to feel a kitchen sink of emotions with this tale of East Texas activists vs. the Keystone XL Pipeline. Shout out to Ithaca College alum Ayshea Khan who worked on the film.
“Kehinde Wiley: An Economy of Grace” (Dir. Jeff Dupre)
Category: Documentary Shorts
I think this is one of the best trailers I’ve ever seen for a short documentary. Still surprised it’s not a feature. With a running time of 38 minutes and a captivating character like artist Kehinde Wiley, I’m pretty sure I’ll be left wanting more.