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SXSW Film Festival

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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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    SXSW '12: Joss Whedon Talks Challenges of The 'Avengers,' Potentially Resurrecting Old Horror Epic 'Goners,' And How 'Cabin In The Woods' Came To Be

    Today at South by Southwest, there was a panel with "Cabin in the Woods" director Joss Whedon (the screening the night before brought the house down – Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford were still talking about it today!), wherein the fan favorite writer/director talked about his intentions for th...

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    SXSW '12 Review: 'God Bless America' A Funny, Insightful & Outrageous Indictment Of Contemporary Culture

    At the movies, righteous anger is in painfully short supply these days, but writer-director Bobcat Goldthwait manages to harness all of his (and more than a little bit of ours) in “God Bless America,” a scathingly funny indictment of the vagaries of contemporary U.S. culture. Compiling a...

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    SXSW '12 Review: 'The Cabin In The Woods' Is A Smart, Witty Blast For Genre Fans

    Almost no genre (bar perhaps the romantic-comedy) revolves around formula as heavily as the horror film. Obviously there are sub-categories: the haunted-house film, the zombie flick, the vampire movie. But a disproportionate amount of the involves a group of horny teens going to a remote location, t...

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