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    SXSW '12 Review: At Its Best, Harmless 'Hunky Dory' Is Just That

    It’s the summer of 1976, and between a conservative school administration and an unrelenting drought, things are beyond dry for Wales’ scrappier teens. It’s little wonder that they flock to the more permissive Miss Mae (Minnie Driver) and her glam-rock interpretation of Shakespeare...

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    SXSW '12 Review: Guy Maddin's 'Keyhole' Beautiful And Brassy...But Frustratingly Sealed

    Let us pause, then, to contemplate the fate and fortunes of the director who does not have his or her eye set on the five-picture deal, the glossy franchise, the production wing in the bungalow offices of some major studio; what becomes of the director who only wants to make art and make it well? Ca...

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    SXSW '12 Review: Celebrity, Notoriety & Living In Public As 'Frankie Go Boom'

    "Frankie Go Boom" opens with a home video from a long-ago washed-out suburban childhood, as Bruce tricks his brother Frankie into a pitfall prank that's both caught on tape and a trap for the two of them; flashing forward to adulthood -- or something like it -- Frankie (Charlie Hunnam)...

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    SXSW '12 Review: Melissa Leo Shines In Minutely Observed, Minimalist 'Francine'

    Evoking films like "Winter's Bone" and "Wendy and Lucy" in presenting a sparse, narrowly focused portrait of a lone female protagonist in adverse, not to say desperate circumstances, "Francine" is the kind of small film made for the festival circuit, and for which the festival circuit was made. It i...

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    SXSW '12 Review: 'Tchoupitoulas' Is An Experimental, Dreamy Melange Of The Sights & Sounds Of New Orleans

    "Tchoupitoulas” is a documentary that doesn’t feel like a documentary – and that’s a good thing. This portrait of the famed New Orleans street is more of an experience, a sensation, a mood that washes over you. The new film from the Ross Brothers (Bill and Turner) is ano...

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    SXSW '12 Review: 'Sinister' Starring Ethan Hawke Is A Satisfying Old-School Horror, But Lacks Resonance

    As a horror movie that’s incredibly effective and yet evaporates pretty quickly once it’s over, Scott Derrickson’s “Sinister” defines the difference between "scary" and "haunting." Truthfully it’s a balance of a lot of things – ghost stor...

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    SXSW '12 Review: 'Killer Joe' A Terrific Texan Tale With A Revelatory Matthew McConaughey Turn

    In recent years, film translations of stage hits haven't been as prevalent as they once were. You might get the occasional "Doubt" or "Rabbit Hole," for instance, but compared to the early days of the talkies, when a large proportion of movies were based on Broadway hits, it's been slim pickings; au...

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    SXSW '12 Review: Director Jay Chandrasekhar's Tentative Sincerity Steps Undermined In Uneven, Sophomoric 'Babymakers'

    If you thought that “Knocked Up” was too mature a take on impending fatherhood, then “Babymakers” just might be the movie for you. Directed by Jay Chandrasekhar, it follows the comical misadventures of a husband who is reluctant to discover whether or not his sperm is “...

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    SXSW '12 Review: Todd Rohal's Third Feature 'Nature Calls' Is A Dull, Droning Wrong Number

    Curiously squandering an immensely talented cast, Todd Rohal's "Nature Calls," written when the writer-director lived in Austin, had more humor and humanity and life in its 10-minute post-screening talk here at SXSW than it showed in its previous 98-minute running time. Starring Patton...

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    SXSW '12 Review: 'Safety Not Guaranteed' A Grounded, Genuine, Oddly Effective Charmer

    Although at this point there are way too many stories about quirky man-children and the women who love them, “Safety Not Guaranteed” is an oddly effective little charmer. A film that harkens back to the magical-realism adventures of the 1980s rather than the twee dollhouse making of the last decade,...

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