Our intrepid reporter and World Movies programmer Shannon is on the front line at SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas. We’re jealous.
Here is her latest update as she spies stars and catches the hottest premiere films from around the world.
It’s been a busy few days here in Austin. The sun is shining and the streets are even busier now that the Music has started. (And there is a strong smell of weed in the air…lol)
Here are a few highlights:
I sat in on an hour long interview with the Texan boy and crowd favourite Matthew McConaughey. He spoke about his early days in Hollywood and his breakout role in Dazed and Confused – a cult classic that was just honoured at the Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards earlier this week. He then went on to talk about the next chapter in his acting career; his move away from rom-coms into more challenging roles and indie films. We were shown a few clips from his latest film Mud which has been really well received here at SXSW. He also spoke about upcoming roles in the new Scorsese film The Wolf of Wall Street and another challenging role in Dallas Buyers Club where he is playing a man dying of AIDS. Such a great interview – he was really insightful and genuine (and not too bad on the eye either!).
Downloaded (World Premiere)
This was the first film selected by SXSW. It’s a slick documentary about the phenomenon that was Napster. Director Alex Winter was there to present the film as well as co-creators of Napster, Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker. This doco has a lot of great interviews and archival footage. It really manages to tell the story from both sides – the downloading generation vs the music industry. As a teenager who used Napster myself, I found this fascinating.
Good Ol’ Freda (World Premiere)
This was great documentary about Freda Kelly – a shy teenager asked to work for a young local band hoping to make it big: The Beatles. Their loyal secretary tells her tales for the first time in 50 years in this beautiful doco. I loved this doco from beginning to end. This has been a real crowd favourite – the first film I’ve been to at SXSW that got a full standing ovation. Freda was also there for great Q&A after the film
Don Jon’s Addiction
A naughty comedy about a man addicted to watching pornography – this was a hit at Sundance and much anticipated here at SXSW. A well written first feature by writer, director and star Joseph Gordon Levitt. The line to get into this film seemed endless – I actually thought I wouldn’t get in! Not only did I make it in, I ended up seated in the same row as the cast! Another great Q&A with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tony Danza and Brie Larsen.
Stay tuned for my last update as the festival closes up for another year!