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Narrative Features
  • Chelsea Walls
  • Kwik Stop
  • Made Up*
  • Manito*
  • Nothing So Strange
  • Six In Austin
  • Toxic Avenger

  • Chelsea Walls

    Ethan Hawke s directorial debut is an aesthetically gorgeous and intellectually entertaining journey into the historically bohemian enclave, The Chelsea Hotel. Established in 1905, The Chelsea was once home to writers and artists like Dylan Thomas and O. Henry.

    The film’s camera plays "the fly on the wall" as the viewer is taken from room to room, in no particular order, to observe the hotel’s struggling tenants over the course of 24 hours.

    The ensemble cast is studded with offbeat favorites Steve Zahn, Uma Thurman (Hawke’s wife), Robert Sean Leonard (playing an equally tragic role as his turn in The Dead Poet’s Society) and Vincent D’Onofrio, along with new recruits Rosario Dawson and Mark Webber. The latter pair plays married lovers that must separate as Webber seeks money in his friend’s seedy work to keep the couple afloat. A highlight of the film is when the two recite a Dylan Thomas poem that poignantly portrays their love.

    Hawke acknowledges his film is a lyrical tone poem that follows an elliptical journey through the lives of his eclectic characters. Indigent Films, a company that allotted $1 million to produce 10 films shot entirely on digital video, produced Chelsea Walls as well as Richard Linklaters Tape.

    – Jennifer Prestigiacomo


    Kwik Stop

    When I walked out of Michael Gilio’s Kwik Stop after the first half-hour, the SXSW ushers mentioned to me that Gilio had also written and starred, and it suddenly made sense. This was intended to be a vanity project for an ambitious actor (and his friends) to look good and show some range. No dice. Gilio and his main partner in this crime had no appeal as characters, actors, or plot points. I just didn’t care that their lives went nowhere, and the appearance of Karin Anglins superior acting made everyone else look so bad I couldn’t stand to see any more. Is there a payoff at the end? Does anything work out? I couldn’t care less, and neither will you.

    –Reed Oliver


    Made-Up

    In times when makeovers are performed everywhere from Oprah episodes to Cosmo spreads, Made-Up freshens a time-honored tradition. In his directorial debut, actor Tony Shalhoub (Big Night) studies how beauty and age are adversaries in the game of life.

    Kate documents her older sister Elizabeth’s makeover, executed by daughter Sara. Along the way, Kate spices the plot with a love interest (played by the endearing Shalhoub himself) for Elizabeth. Throughout the shoot, Elizabeth battles with the mirror and resigns herself to only be filmed with her mask of makeup, Liza Minelli wig and stick-on face-lift.

    This festival gem was smart, hilarious and a great first effort by Shalhoub.

    –Jennifer Prestigiacomo


    Made-Up

    First-time director Tony Shalhoub got such a gift with Lynne Adams funny observations about women, self-esteem, and the convergence of appearance and make-up.

    –Roxanne Bogucka


    Manito

    Never have I seen a film where every individual shot looked so bad, but the whole, edited together, worked magic. Winner of well-deserved awards at both Sundance and SXSW, Eric Easons Manito reveals a troubled family in Spanish Harlem, exploring their hopes, their dreams, and the albatrosses that drag them down. Excellent performances by a non-actor cast, brilliantly directed, make this a small film not to be missed when you get the chance. Best narrative feature of the fest.

    –Reed Oliver


    Nothing So Strange

    In the middle of a charity event in 1992, Bill Gates was assassinated from atop a neighboring building! So begins Brian Flemmings Nothing So Strange, a mockumentary about the Gates assassination and the conspiracy theories (and nutcases) it spawned. A funny beginning, but Nothing So Strange can’t decide whether it’s a zany send-up or a serious analysis of the LAPD. Stock footage of the Watts riots and Malcolm X fight with board meetings of the society formed to re-open the investigation of Gates’ murder. I got so bored I walked out after 45 minutes.

    –Reed Oliver


    Six In Austin

    Taking their cue from the film Six In Paris, six Austin filmmakers present a program of separate, and apparently unrelated, stories. With no theme to bind them, it’s tough not to have favorites in this uneven work. I can recommend the humorous Rummy, wherein a man’s chance encounter with his ex brings up unsuspected depths of feeling, leading to a doggie custody fight; and The Absence Of Wings, which shows Kat Candlers (cicadas) note-perfect touch with young adult actors who portray the truly disaffected and unhappy.

    – Roxanne Bogucka


    The Toxic Avenger

    If you haven’t seen the one that started it all for Troma Films and you have a sense of humor about silliness on screen, you really should go out and rent The Toxic Avenger. Part of a Lloyd Kaufman retrospective at SXSW, this film exemplifies low-budget action, cheap effects, and over-the-top everything else in a morality tale of the geek who rids the town of evildoers after turning into a monster via a barrel of toxic waste.

    –Reed Oliver


    Mike Doughty



    none now
    -------


    South By Southwest 2014
    David DeVoe

    South By Southwest 2013
    David DeVoe

    Red Hook Music Festival
    George Dow

    SXSW 2012
    David DeVoe

    Our Favorite Records 2011
    Hybrid Staff

    AWOLNation
    Rachel Fredrickson

    Kanrocksas
    Rachel Fredrickson

    Warped Tour 2011
    Rachel Fredrickson

    Eddie Spaghetti
    Melissa Skrbic-Huss

    Murder By Death
    Mike DeLeo


    Mike Doughty
    Boulder, CO

    Epilogues
    Denver, CO

    Imagine Dragons
    Denver, CO

    Sebadoh
    Cambridge, MA

    Young Magic
    Denver, CO

    Warped Tour 2012
    Denver, CO

    Thrice
    Denver, CO

    Mike Doughty
    Denver, CO

    MuteMath
    Kansas City, MO

    Other Lives
    Lawrence, KS

    Los Campesinos
    Boston, MA

    The Civil Wars
    Lawrence, KS

    Ha Ha Tonka
    Lawrence, KS

    Thrice
    Lawrence, KS


     
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