Del Close was never a household name, but any comedy enthusiast is aware of his impact. From Bill Murray to Chris Farley to Amy Poehler, many of the most famous comedians consider him their mentor. Fifteen years after Del Close’s death, thousands of Improv students, comedy fans, actors, and successful comedians gather to celebrate the most important person in modern comedy that no one knows. [Synopsis courtesy of SXSW]
A has-been rock manager from Van Nuys, California stumbles upon a once-in-a-lifetime voice in a remote Afghan cave in Rock the Kasbah, a dramatic comedy inspired by stranger-than-fiction, real-life events and directed by Oscar winner Barry Levinson. Richie Lanz (Bill Murray), dumped and stranded in war-torn Kabul by his last remaining client (Zooey Deschanel), discovers Salima Khan (Leem Lubany), a Pashtun teenager with a beautiful voice and the courageous dream of becoming the first woman to compete on national television in Afghanistan’s version of “American Idol.” Richie partners with a savvy hooker (Kate Hudson), a pair of hard-partying war profiteers (Danny McBride and Scott Caan) and a hair-trigger mercenary (Bruce Willis) and, braving dangerous cultural prejudices, manages his new protégée into becoming the “Afghan Star.”
Max Fischer, a precocious and eccentric 15 year-old, who is both Rushmore’s most extracurricular and least scholarly student; Herman Blume, a disillusioned industrialist who comes to admire Max; and Rosemary Cross, a widowed first grade teacher who becomes the object of both Max’s and Herman’s affection.
The story focuses on a middle-school math teacher Olive and her relationships with Henry which spans 25 years over the four parts. It is based on Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.
As the devoutly single Don Johnston is dumped by his latest girlfriend, he receives an anonymous pink letter informing him that he has a son who may be looking for him. The situation causes Don to examine his relationships with women instead of moving on to the next one, and he embarks on a cross-country search for his old flames who might possess clues to the mystery at hand.
Maggie, a single mother, moves into a new home in Brooklyn with her 12-year-old son, Oliver. Forced to work long hours, she has no choice but to leave Oliver in the care of their new neighbour, Vincent, a retired curmudgeon with a penchant for alcohol and gambling. An odd friendship soon blossoms between the improbable pair. Together with a pregnant stripper named Daka, Vincent brings Oliver along on all the stops that make up his daily routine — the race track, a strip club, and the local dive bar. Vincent helps Oliver grow to become a man, while Oliver begins to see in Vincent something that no one else is able to: a misunderstood man with a good heart. [Synopsis courtesy of Toronto International Film Festival]
After losing their academic posts at a prestigious university, a team of parapsychologists goes into business as proton-pack-toting “ghostbusters” who exterminate ghouls, hobgoblins and supernatural pests of all stripes. An ad campaign pays off when a knockout cellist hires the squad to purge her swanky digs of demons that appear to be living in her refrigerator.
The Grand Budapest Hotel tells of a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars and his friendship with a young employee who becomes his trusted protégé. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting, the battle for an enormous family fortune and the slow and then sudden upheavals that transformed Europe during the first half of the 20th century.
Three American brothers who have not spoken to each other in a year set off on a train voyage across India with a plan to find themselves and bond with each other — to become brothers again like they used to be. Their “spiritual quest”, however, veers rapidly off-course (due to events involving over-the-counter pain killers, Indian cough syrup, and pepper spray).
Two lost souls visiting Tokyo — the young, neglected wife of a photographer and a washed-up movie star shooting a TV commercial — find an odd solace and pensive freedom to be real in each other’s company, away from their lives in America.