This year's annual South By South West film festival in Austin, Texas has picked up some heavy-hitting foreign science fiction, with the industrial Cargo, not to mention Star Wars finger-pointing, and vampires. Here are our top SXSW film picks.
The Swiss film, which has been getting some positive attention on the internet, will be premiering on U.S. soil at SXSW. The film takes place in the future, after the Earth has been ruined, and the human race now lives in orbit. A giant spaceship clunks to a stop eight years into an unknown future. The main character, a woman, awakes from hyper-sleep — but even though the rest of the crew is still slumbering, she's not alone on this vessel.
Screening: March 17 @ 09:30 PM.
Filmed and produced to look like a graphic novel, we're pretty intrigued with Geoff Marslett's romantic comedy in space. Especially because it stars Mark Duplass, who can do no wrong, whether acting in The League or directing and writing, which he earned a lot of recognition for at Sundance this year.
A new space race is born between NASA and the ESA when Charlie Brownsville, Hank Morrison, and Dr. Casey Cook compete against an artificially intelligent robot to find out what's up there on the red planet. Mars follows these three astronauts on the first manned mission to our galactic neighbor. On the way they face adventure, self doubts, obnoxious reporters, and the boredom of extended space travel.
Screening: Saturday, March 13th @ 04:30 PM, 18th @ 06:30 PM, and the 19th @ 06:30 PM.
The People Versus George Lucas
Alexandre O. Philippe's fan-driven documentary asks the people what they think of George Lucas and what he's done to and for the Star Wars legacy. Plus a few "famous" people weigh in as well, like the honorable Neil Gaiman.
Screenings: March 13 @ 06:30 PM, the 16th @ 03:30 PM, and the 18th @ 01:45 PM.
Gareth Edwards tackles Mexico's monster problem, after a NASA probe crashes to Earth, bringing the littler creatures down with it. A journalist behind the infected lines agrees to help an American tourist through the quarantined alien zone to the U.S. border, and gets the whole experience on camera.
Screenings: March 13th @ 11:59 PM and the 18th @ 11:59 PM
A film from the Netherlands by director Michael Schaap, all about how one little pill changed sex on this planet, forever.
Screenings: March 12 @ 06:00 PM, March 18 @ 10:15 PM
Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper, Henry Rollins and Moby all make cameos in this vampire rock-star movie. There's not much else to say, other than it's about wanna be vampires, actual vampires, and rock and roll. Go for the guest stars, but be warned it's suuuuuuuuper rock-ballad-heavy.
Screening: March 17 @ 11:59 PM
This green-toned film wakes up an entire space station crew just to tell them they are living a lie. But what is the reality, who are they, and what does it all mean?
Screening: March 14th @ 11:30 AM, 15th @ 07:00 PM, and the 18th @ 07:00 PM
Star Wars: Retold By Someone Who's Never Seen Star Wars
Exactly what the title says. You can watch it here:
Screenings: March 13th @ 06:30 PM, the 16th @ 03:30 PM, and the 18th @ 01:45 PM, same time as People V. GL.
Man on a Mission
A documentary following millionaire Richard Garriott as he pioneers private space travel, and showing all the prep work and training that went behind his $30 million ticket aboard a Russian rocket.
Screenings: March 14th @ 01:30 PM and the 18th @ 02:30 PM.
Director Tae-Kyun Kim tells the story of two separated brothers, one of whom is later found on an island full of vampires.
Screenings: Sunday, March 14th @ 11:45 PM and the 19th @ 11:59 PM.
Mark Millar's live action adaptation of his killer teen superheroes comic premiers at SXSW. Directed by Matthew Vaughn, we can't wait to see the cussing 10-year-old stick the sharp end of her weapon through the skulls of some mobsters. Baby vigilantes FTW.
Screenings: March 12th @ 07:00 PM.
Not hard-core science fiction, this film is still full of nerdy references, outlandish science and silly humor. It's directed by Lonely Island and SNL's Jorma Taccone, who also played that furry guy in Land of The Lost. While films created from SNL sketches have rarely impressed us, Val Kilmer's involvement with this project perks our interest way up.
Screenings: March 15th 09:30 PM
Cotton now titled The Last Exorcism
Daniel Stamm's phony exorcist film actually sounded hilarious. Coming from the man who directed The Hangover, this fake exorcism gone horribly wrong could have easily been a crowd favorite. But, alas, it was slashed.