The 2018 SXSW Film Festival kicks off in March and the first wave of movies that will be playing has been announced. A Quiet Place, the new horror film from director John Krasinski starring Emily Blunt, will be the opening night film. However, the programming runs the gamut from prestige dramas like Final Portrait to crude comedies like Blockers to TV shows like Krypton. But perhaps importantly (at least to me!), the fest will see the premiere of Jody Hill’s new movie, The Legacy of the Whitetail Deer Hunter.
The SXSW Film Festival is an annual delight because you never know what you’re going to get. Everyone seems to know what a “Sundance movie” or a “Cannes movie” is, but it’s far more difficult to pin down a “SXSW movie,” mainly because the festival programmers refuse to let themselves get pinned down. This fest never ceases to surprise me and I’ve been attending it for close to a decade now.
Case in point: the opening night film is A Quiet Place, a creepy-looking horror movie directed by John Krasinski. The other “headliner” films include the world premieres of Blockers, Boundaries, and Paradox, along with the North American premiere of Final Portrait.
However, you’ll have to journey outside the major premieres to find my most anticipated film of the fest: The Legacy of the Whitetail Deer Hunter, the new film from director Jody Hill. Hill hasn’t directed a feature since 2009’s brilliant and scathing Observe and Report (although he’s kept busy on television with Eastbound & Down and Vice Principals) and I can’t wait to see what kind of evil, pitch-black comedy he’s cooked up. Other noteworthy small films on my radar include Lynn Shelton’s Outside In, Andrew Bujalski’s Support the Girls, and John Hyams’ All Square.
There are also a few heavy-hitters in the fest’s Episodic section, including the world premieres of Krypton, HBO’s Barry, and Jordan Peele’s The Last O.G.
The SXSW Film festival kicks off on March 9 and we’ll in attendance. I’ve included a few key categories from the film line-up below, but head over to SXSW’s official site to see the rest. A few more categories, including the Midnighters selection, will be announced next week.
A Quiet Place (World Premiere)
Director: John Krasinski, Screenwriters: Bryan Woods, Scott Beck, and John Krasinski, Producers: Platinum Dunes
If they can’t hear you, they can’t hunt you. Cast: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Noah Jupe, and Millicent Simmonds.
Blockers (World Premiere)
Director: Kay Cannon, Screenwriters: Brian Kehoe & Jim Kehoe, Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg, Eben Russell
When three parents discover their daughters’ pact to lose their virginity at prom, they launch a covert one-night operation to stop the teens from sealing the deal. Cast: Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz, John Cena, Kathryn Newton, Geraldine Indira Viswanathan, Gideon Adlan.
Boundaries (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Shana Feste
Laura and her troubled son Henry are forced to drive her estranged, pot-dealing, carefree father Jack across country after being kicked out of a nursing home. Cast: Vera Farmiga, Christopher Plummer, Lewis MacDougall, Bobby Cannavale, Kristen Schaal, Dolly Wells, Yahya Abdul-Mateen , Christopher Lloyd, Peter Fonda.
PARADOX (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Daryl Hannah
A loud Poem. A whimsical western tale of music and love. Cast: Neil Young, Lukas Nelson, Micah Nelson, Corey McCormick, Anthony LoGerfo, Tato Melgar, Willie Nelson, Charris Ford, Dulcie Clarkson Ford.
Final Portrait (United Kingdom, United States) (North American Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Stanley Tucci
Final Portrait is the story of the touching and offbeat friendship between world renowned artist Alberto Giacometti and American writer and art-lover James Lord, based on Lord’s memoir. Cast: Geoffrey Rush, Armie Hammer, Clémence Poésy, Tony Shalhoub, Sylvie Testud.
6 Balloons (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Marja Lewis Ryan
Over the course of one night, a woman drives across LA with her heroin addict brother in search of a detox center, with his two year old daughter in tow. Cast: Abbi Jacobson, Dave Franco, Charlotte Carel, Madison Carel, Jane Kaczmarek, Dewan Owens, Tim Matheson, Jen Tullock, Maya Erskine, Heidi Sulzman.
All Square (World Premiere)
Director: John Hyams, Screenwriter: Timothy Brady
A down-on-his-luck bookie befriends an ex-girlfriend’s son and gets the bright idea to take bets on hi(Noerth American Premiere)s youth league baseball games; only to realize he’s killed what’s pure about the sport as the games turn ugly when money is on the line. Cast: Michael Kelly, Josh Lucas, Pamela Adlon, Tom Everett Scott, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Harris Yulin, Yeardley Smith, Jesse Ray Sheps, Jay Larson, Craig Walker.
Anchor and Hope (Spain) (North American Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Carlos Marques-Marcet
When the best friend of a bohemian lesbian couple agrees to be their surrogate, the three friends set out on an unconventional journey to start a family. Cast: Natalia Tena, Oona Chaplin, David Verdaguer, Geraldine Chaplin.
A Bluebird in My Heart (Belgium, France) (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Jérémie Guez
Attempting to lead a quiet reformed life, an ex-con finds refuge in a motel run by a single mother and her daughter Clara. The peace and freedom he has found in this safe haven disappears when Clara is assaulted, forcing him to face his old demons Cast: Roland Moller, Veerle Baetens, Lola Le Lann, Lubna Azabal.
The Breaker Upperers (New Zealand) (World Premiere)
Directors/Screenwriters: Jackie van Beek, Madeleine Sami
Two women run a business breaking up couples for cash but when one develops a conscience their friendship unravels. Cast: Jackie van Beek, Madeleine Sami, Celia Pacquola, James Rolleston, Ana Scotney.
Fast Color (World Premiere)
Director: Julia Hart, Screenwriters: Julia Hart, Jordan Horowitz
In this genre-bending supernatural drama, a woman is forced to go on the run when her extraordinary abilities are discovered. Years after having abandoned her family, the only place she has left to hide is home. Cast: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Lorraine Toussaint, Saniyya Sidney, Christopher Denham, David Strathairn.
First Light (Canada) (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Jason Stone A close encounter with mysterious lights sends two teens on the run after one discovers she has extraordinary but dangerous powers. Cast: Stefanie Scott, Theodore Pelerine, Said Taghmaoui.
The Legacy of the Whitetail Deer Hunter (World Premiere)
Director: Jody Hill
The great hunter Buck Ferguson (Josh Brolin) and his trusted cameraman Don (Danny McBride) set out for an epic weekend adventure to reconnect with Buck’s young son (Montana Jordan). Cast: Josh Brolin, Danny McBride, Scoot McNairy, Montana Jordan.
Neurotic Quest for Serenity (Brazil) (North American Premiere)
Directors/Screenwriters: Paulinho Caruso, Teodoro Poppovic
Kika is going through a lot. She’s a famous actress. She has millions of fans. She’s about to star in a post apocalyptic soap opera. And she has obsessive compulsive disorder. Cast: Tatá Werneck, Vera Holtz, Bruno Gagliasso, Daniel Furlan.
Outside In (U.S. Premiere)
Director: Lynn Shelton, Screenwriters: Lynn Shelton, Jay Duplass
An ex-con struggling to readjust to life in his small town forms an intense bond with his former high-school teacher. Cast: Jay Duplass, Edie Falco, Kaitlyn Dever, Ben Schwartz.
Support The Girls (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Andrew Bujalski
The general manager at a highway-side ‘breastaurant’ has her incurable optimism and faith–in her girls, her customers, and herself–tested over the course of a long, strange day. Cast: Regina Hall, Haley Lu Richardson, Shayna McHale, James LeGros, Dylan Gelula, AJ Michalka, Brooklyn Decker, Lea DeLaria, Jana Kramer, John Elvis.
Unlovable (World Premiere)
Director: Suzi Yoonessi, Screenwriters: Mark Duplass, Sarah Adina Smith, Charlene deGuzman
A sex- and love-addicted woman learns what real intimacy is when she starts making music with a reclusive man. Cast: Charlene deGuzman, John Hawkes, Melissa Leo, Paul James, Ellen Geer, Gigette Reyes.
A Vigilante (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Sarah Daggar Nickson
A once abused woman, Sadie (Olivia Wilde), devotes herself to ridding victims of their domestic abusers while hunting down the husband she must kill to truly be free. Cast: Olivia Wilde, Morgan Spector, Kyle Catlett, CJ Wilson, Tonye Patano, Chuck Cooper, Betsy Aidem, Jusy Marte.
Who We Are Now (U.S. Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Matthew Newton
Beth, recently released from prison, tries to get custody of her son again and find her way back into the outside world, along the way realizing who she is isn’t about where she’s been, it’s about where she’s going. Cast: Julianne Nicholson, Emma Roberts, Zachary Quinto, Jess Weixler, Jimmy Smits, Jason Biggs, Lea Thompson, Scott Cohen, Octavia Chavez-Richmond, J. Mallory McCree.
Wild Nights With Emily (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Madeleine Olnek
Molly Shannon plays Emily Dickinson in Wild Nights With Emily, a humorous drama. This independent film explores her vivacious, irreverent side that was covered up for years — most notably Emily’s lifelong romantic relationship with another woman.Cast: Molly Shannon, Amy Seimetz, Susan Ziegler, Brett Gelman, Jackie Monahan, Kevin Seal, Dana Melanie, Sasha Frolova, Lisa Haas, Al Sutton.
WILDLING (World Premiere)
Director: Fritz Bohm, Screenwriters: Fritz Bohm, Florian Eder
A blossoming teenager uncovers the dark secret behind her traumatic childhood. Cast: Bel Powley, Brad Dourif, Liv Tyler, Collin Kelly-Sordelet, James Le Gros, Troy Ruptash, Arlo Mertz, Aviva Winick.
You Can Choose Your Family (World Premiere)
Director: Miranda Bailey, Screenwriter: Glen Lakin
A seventeen-year-old boy blackmails his father after discovering his secret second family. Cast: Jim Gaffigan, Logan Miller, Anna Gunn, Samantha Mathis, Alex Karpovsky, Hayes MacArthur, Michelle Hurd.
Barry (World Premeire)
Director: Bill Hader, Screenwriters: Alec Berg and Bill Hader
Barry features Bill Hader as a low-rent hitman from the Midwest. Lonely and dissatisfied in his life he begrudgingly travels to Los Angeles to kill someone and ends up finding an accepting community in a group of eager hopefuls within the LA theater scene. Cast: Bill Hader, Henry Winkler, Stephen Root, Sarah Goldberg, Glenn Fleshler, Anthony Carrigan.
Condor (World Premiere)
Directors: Lawrence Trilling, Andrew McCarthy, Screenwriters: Jason Smilovic and Todd Katzberg
Inspired by Paramount’s Sydney Pollack 1975 political thriller Three Days of the Condor. Condor follows Joe Turner (Max Irons), a young CIA analyst whose idealism is tested when he stumbles onto a terrible plan that threatens millions of lives. Cast: Max Irons, William Hurt, Leem Lubany, Mira Sorvino, Brendan Fraser, Bob Balaban, Angel Bonnani, Katherine Cunningham, Christina Moses, Kristen Hager.
Krypton (World Premiere)
Directors: Colm McCarthy, Ciaran Donnelly, Screenwriters: Cameron Welsh, Damian Kindler and David S. Goyer, Story by David S. Goyer, Ian Goldberg
What if Superman had never existed? Seg-El, Superman’s grandfather, is faced with a conflict: Save Krypton? Or let it be destroyed in order to secure the future of his grandson-to-be? Cast: Cameron Cuffe, Georgina Campbell, Elliot Cowan, Ann Ogbomo, Aaron Pierre, Rasmus Hardiker, Wallis Day, Blake Ritson, Ian McElhinney, Shaun Sipos, Colin Salmon.
The Last O.G. (World Premiere)
Director: Jordan Peele, Screenwriters: Jordan Peele, John Carcieri
The Last O.G. is a show about humanity, second chances and redemption. Morgan plays Tray an ex-con who is shocked to see just how much the world has changed when he returns to the free world after 15 years in prison. Cast: Tracy Morgan, Cedric the Entertainer, Allen Maldonado, Tiffany Haddish, Joel Marsh Garland, Gino Vento, Natalie Carter, Taylor Mosby, Ryan Gaul.
Vida (World Premiere)
Directors: Alonso Ruizpalacios, So Yong Kim
Vida is about two estranged Mexican-American sisters from the Eastside of Los Angeles who couldn’t be more different. Circumstances force them to return home where they are confronted by the past and surprising truth about their mother’s identity. Cast: Melissa Barrera, Mishel Prada, Ser Anzoategui, Chelsea Rendon, Carlos Miranda, Maria Elena Laas.
Warriors of Liberty City (World Premiere)
Directors: Evan Rosenfeld, Andrew Cohn
Warriors of Liberty City from showrunner Evan Rosenfeld follows a season with the Liberty City Warriors, a youth football program founded by an unlikely mentor: Luther Campbell, better known as Uncle Luke from 2 Live Crew. Cast: Luther “Uncle Luke” Campbell, Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson, Lavalrick Lucas, Jr., Lavalrick “Dread” Lucas, Sr. , George Harris, Jr. , George Harris, Sr., Barry Jenkins, Herbert Ritchie, Chatarius “Tutu” Atwell, Jr., Robert “Lamont” Beneby, Jr..
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Source: Slash Film