Because each section more than deserves its own close-up, here is a look at the SXSW 2006 Spotlight Premieres:
95 Miles to Go
Dir: Tom Caltabiano; Cast: Ray Romano, Tom Caltabiano, Roger Lay, Jr.
Sitcom star Ray Romano documents his unpredictable stand-up comedy tour through Middle America. (WORLD PREMIERE)
A Prairie Home Companion
Dir: Robert Altman; Cast: Woody Harrelson, Tommy Lee Jones, Garrison Keillor, Kevin Kline, Lindsay Lohan.
An adaptation of the popular radio program by Garrison Keillor, featuring an all-star cast. This is the Opening Night Film for SXSW 2006. (NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE)
Al Franken in God Spoke
Dir: Nick Doob and Chris Hegedus;
A cinema verite pursuit of Al Franken, shot over the course of two years, the film follows the former SNL writer turned political attack dog from his feud with Bill O’Reilly to the 2004 Presidential election. (WORLD PREMIERE)
Dir: Paul Weitz; Cast: Hugh Grant, Dennis Quaid, Marcia Gay Harden, Mandy Moore, Willem Dafoe.
A comedy about American identity, set around a popular television singing contest called “American Dreamz.”
Brothers of the Head
Dir: Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe; Cast: Luke Treadway, Harry Treadway, Tania Emery, Sean Harris, Bryan Dick.
The feverish, mind-bending odyssey of conjoined twins Tom and Barry Howe, who were plucked from obscurity by a 1970s music promoter and groomed into a boy band. (U.S. PREMIERE)
The Cassidy Kids
Dir: Jacob Vaughan; Cast: Kadeem Hardison, Anne Ramsay, Judah Friedlander.
A group of adults reunite when their real-life murder mystery becomes a nostalgic kids’ show success. (WORLD PREMIERE)
Dir: Mark Rydell; Cast: Kim Basinger, Danny DeVito, Kelsey Grammer, Nick Cannon, Ray Liotta, Forest Whitaker, Carla Gugino, Grant Sullivan, Jay Mohr.
Gambling addiction bring the stories of three otherwise unconnected people together as it destroys each of their lives. (WORLD PREMIERE)
Dir: Chris Bradley and Kyle LaBrache; Featuring: Annabelle Gurwitch, David Cross, Illeana Douglas, Bob Odenkirk, Jeff Garlin, Andy Dick.
After being fired by Woody Allen, Gurwitch set out – with the help of some famous faces – to look at what it means to be both hired and fired as an American worker in the global economy. (WORLD PREMIERE)
Dir: Steve Collins; Cast: Courtney Davis, John Merriman, Stephen Root.
A misunderstood teen-age girl faces a serious of misadventures on her way to finding love, and her father. (WORLD PREMIERE)
Dir: Terry Green; Cast: Timothy Hutton, David Strathairn, Anthony Mackie, Leelee Sobieski.
Based on the “Scottsboro Boys” trial of the 1930s, a lawyer meets obstacles and injustice while defending the accused. (WORLD PREMIERE)
Dir: James Marsh; Cast: Gael Garcia Bernal, Pell James, William Hurt.
A small-town family is torn apart by tradition, romance, and murder. (NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE)
The Life of Reilly
Dir: Barry Poltermann and Frank Anderson.
Popular character actor and TV staple, Charles Nelson Reilly, delivers the final performance of his touching and hilarious one-man show. (WORLD PREMIERE)
Dir: Turk Pipkin.
Pipkin travels the world chatting with living Nobel Prize winners, to get their perspective on the world today. (WORLD PREMIERE)
The Notorious Bettie Page
Dir: Mary Harron; Cast: Gretchen Mol, Lili Taylor, David Strathairn, Cara Seymour.
The story of Bettie Page, uber-successful 1950’s pin-up model, one of the first sex icons in America, and the target of a Senate investigation. (U.S. PREMIERE)
The Oh in Ohio
Dir: Billy Kent; Cast: Parkey Posey, Paul Rudd, Mischa Barton, Danny DeVito, and Liza Minnelli.
Priscilla Chase seemed to have everything going for her with one small private exception…. She never thought much of sex. When her husband unexpectedly leaves her to regain his manhood she embarks on a wild journey that leads her to satisfaction and love in the most unlikely place. (WORLD PREMIERE)
Dir: Jeffrey Ross.
A stand-up comedian documents his trip to Iraq when he and other entertainers make their way abroad for a USO tour. (U.S. PREMIERE)
Dir: John Hyams.
A beautifully textured documentary look at one year in professional bull riding, and the effect it has on the personal lives of those who compete. (WORLD PREMIERE)
Tales of the Rat Fink
Dir: Ron Mann;
In this fun and comprehensive history, John Goodman narrates a journey through the cult status and international influence of hot-rod designer Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, creator of the popular “Rat Fink” character. (WORLD PREMIERE)
Who the $#%& is Jackson Pollock?
Dir: Harry Moses.
A documentary following the adventures of a 73 year-old truck driver, after she buys what some believe is a Jackson Pollock painting, for five dollars at a thrift shop. (WORLD PREMIERE)
See them at SXSW 2006, March 10-18.