Editor’s Picks for SXSW Film: 2015

Top Picks and Selections from our Editor



TRAINWRECK (WORK IN PROGRESS)

Sunday, March 15, 5:30 – 7:30pm
Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Ave

The latest film from Judd Apatow (40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up) is queued up to be comedian Amy Schumer’s breakout role. Schumer wrote the screenplay for Trainwreck, and stars alongside SNL alum Bill Hader and Lebron James (who makes his movie debut). In the film, Amy is a magazine writer that finds it hard to live a life of monogamy until she meets the subject of her next profile, sports doctor (Bill Hader). Apatow films are all about capturing the honest, and often crude, truths to our lives and relationships and this one looks to be another great.

A “work in progress” cut will premiere at SXSW as the film isn’t slated to release in theaters until July 17. I’m really looking forward to this one.

ATTENDING STARS:
Judd Apatow (director), Amy Schumer, Bill Hader

A CONVERSATION WITH AMY SCHUMER

Monday, March 16, 3:30 – 4:30pm
Austin Convention Center, Room 16AB

After seeing the premiere, I’m excited to see what Amy has to say about working with Judd Apatow, and her path from stand-up comic to her first feature film.


Hello_My_Name_is_Doris_credit_Seacia_Pavao

HELLO, MY NAME IS DORIS

Saturday, March 14, 5:00 – 6:35pm
Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Ave

In her first starring role since 2012’s Lincoln, Sally Field returns to comedy in this Michael Showalter (They Came Together) directed film. Sally plays the 60-year-old title character, alongside the up and coming Max Greenfield (New Girl) and Beth Behrs (2 Broke Girls). Struggling with the loss of her mother, Doris gets the confidence to pursue her younger co-worker as she discovers a hip and cool version of herself in trendy social circles.

The film makes its world premiere at SXSW, before a yet-to-be-determined theatrical release later this year.

ATTENDING STARS:
Sally Field, Max Greenfield, Stephen Root, Natasha Lyonne, Michael Showalter (director)

A CONVERSATION WITH SALLY FIELD

Sunday, March 15, 3:30 – 4:30pm
Austin Convention Center, Room 16AB

I plan on dropping into this conversation between
Sally Field and director Michael Showalter. Sally Field’s 50 year career is inspiring and I’m sure she’ll drop plenty of insight on how to stay focused and selective on projects.



EX MACHINA

Saturday, March 14, 8:00 – 9:48pm
Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Ave

Writer and Director Alex Garland (28 Days Later) takes on the delicate subject of artificial intelligence in this sci-fi thriller. In the film, programmer Caleb Smith (Domhnall Gleeson) must evaluate Ava – the latest creation of CEO Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac) in a real life Turing test (the test of a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human). As Caleb’s relationship with Ava develops, his perception of truth, reality, and humanity become challenged.

The film premieres at SXSW with a national release in theaters slated for April 10.

ATTENDING STARS:
Alex Garland (director), Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Ben Salisbury (composer), Geoff Barrows (composer / Portishead)

ALEX GARLAND & THE SEDUCTIVE ENIGMA OF A.I.

Sunday, March 15, 2:00 – 3:00pm
Austin Convention Center, Room 16AB

The concepts behind Ex Machina aren’t new, but in today’s world they seem so much more closer to reality. I’m interested to hear director Alex Garland’s thoughts on this paradigm.


Steve_Jobs_The_Man_in_the_Machine_credit_

STEVE JOBS: THE MAN IN THE MACHINE

Saturday, March 14; 3:30 – 5:37 pm
Vimeo Theater, 201 Trinity St

Thursday, March 19; 2:00 – 4:07pm
Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Ave

Academy Award winning director Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) takes on the subject of one of the greatest innovators of our generation, Steve Jobs.

The documentary aims to show the duality of Jobs’ genius by featuring interviews with those closest to him throughout his life.

ATTENDING STARS:
Alex Gibney (director)



LOVE & MERCY

Sunday, March 15; 2:15 – 4:14 pm
Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Ave

Tuesday, March 17; 3:45 – 5:44 pm
Alamo Lamar A, 1120 S Lamar Blvd

John Cusack and Paul Dano portray Brian Wilson, lead singer and songwriter of The Beach Boys, in this film about the music icon’s personal struggles along the road to success. Elizabeth Banks and Paul Giamatti also co-star, as Wilson’s wife and therapist respectively, in Academy Award winning producer Bill Pohlad’s directorial debut.

The film is set for a US release on June 5th, and makes it’s US premiere at SXSW

ATTENDING STARS:
John Cusack, Max Schneider, Brian Wilson (subject), Bill Pohlad (director)



THE COMEDIANS

Sunday, March 15, 1:00 – 1:45pm
Vimeo Theater, 201 Trinity St

In this FX comedy series about a comedy series, Billy Crystal and Josh Gad create the unlikely pairing for a developing late night sketch comedy series. The series marks Crystal’s return to TV (since his breakout role in Soap), and joins a slate of new comedies for FX which is amping up their original programming.

The pilot episode makes it world premiere at SXSW, before it is broadcast nationally on April 9th. I’m sticking around for the Q&A with the cast after the screening.

ATTENDING STARS:
Billy Crystal, Josh Gad, Ben Wexler, Matt Nix



ANGIE TRIBECA

Saturday, March 14, 1:00 – 1:40pm
Vimeo Theater, 201 Trinity St

Rashida Jones and Hayes MacArthur star in this TBS police parody directed and produced by Steve Carell.

Expect several high profile cameos throughout the series’ wildy outlandish portrayal of two LAPD criminal detectives – think Brooklyn Nine-Nine with a heavy dose of Naked Gun.

The series makes its world premiere at SXSW, before landing on TBS later this year. I’d like to hear Steve Carell talk about his return to TV (The Office) in the Q&A to follow.

ATTENDING STARS:
Steve Carell, Rashida Jones, Hayes MacArthur, Nancy Carell (writer/producer), Ira Ungerleider (producer)



RAIDERS

Saturday, March 14; 9:30 – 11:14pm
Alamo Lamar B, 1120 S Lamar Blvd

Monday, March 16; 12:00 – 1:44pm
Alamo Slaughter

Thursday, March 19; 9:00 – 10:44pm
Alamo Lamar A, 1120 S Lamar Blvd

Friday, March 20; 9:45pm – 11:29pm
Vimeo Theater, 201 Trinity St

After seeing Raiders of the Lost Ark, three 11-year-old boys from Mississippi banded together to recreate the film, shot-for-shot.

In a project that spanned seven years, and tested their friendship, the resulting Raiders is now regarded as being the great fan-film ever made. This documentary takes you through the dedication and meticulous detail the young filmmakers went through to fulfill their dreams of being Indiana Jones.


RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK: THE ADAPTATION

Saturday, March 14; 11:15 – 1:02am
Alamo Lamar B, 1120 S Lamar Blvd

To get the full experience, stick around after the documentary premiere to see the completed adaptation of Raiders of the Lost Ark. This should be a lot of fun.


Click below for the rest of our expert picks…

SXSW Film

SXSW Interactive

SXSW Music


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