Between the craziness that is SXSW and a bunch of other great news items, this week has been pretty eventful. Nicolas Cage and Tilda Swinton, two of Hollywood’s most bizarre stars, spoke at SXSW. David Gordon Green called Cage “mysterious and magical” and Swinton spoke of the power of film. Lean Dunham also spoke, recalling her journey, crediting SXSW where her film “Tiny Furniture” first showed, and the need for change in the industry in regards to women.
Outside of SXSW, a new trailer for the fourth season of “Game of Thrones” arrived and it looks just as good as ever. Director Robert Rodriguez also announced that he’s getting rid of executives, revolutionizing television.
In introducing his “Joe” star Nicolas Cage to the stage at a SXSW panel held in the actor’s honor, director David Grodon Green called the Oscar-winner a “mysterious and magical man.” His words couldn’t have been more apt. Over the course of the hour-long “fireside chit-chat” (per Green), the idiosyncratic icon did not disappoint, answering every question posed by Green and his well-prepared fanbase in attendance with a mix of gusto and humility. He even at one point offered to buy a fan a flight home after learning that she had missed hers to make his talk.
If there’s anything more mesmerizing than watching a Tilda Swinton performance, it’s seeing the actress and film festival runner speak live in person. SXSW attendees in Austin got to experience Swinton in all her alluring glory yesterday during an hour-long talk, moderated by the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s newly appointed Deputy Director (and Indiewire co-founder), Eugene Hernandez.
Lena Dunham started her keynote speech at SXSW by going over her journey to this point — thanking the festival for giving her the opportunity to be featured there in multiple years — but she closed out with a bang, calling on the entertainment industry to change in regard to the way it sees women.
“What good is power if you cannot protect the ones you love?” The April 6th premiere date for “Game of Thrones” season four draws nearer, and with it comes another trailer for the hit HBO fantasy drama featuring all of our favorite surviving characters as well as some new ones and some dramatic landscapes.
You can never have enough time talking to Robert Rodriguez. That’s how I felt putting together the interview, below, which is comprised of two separate conversations, and after having listened to the filmmaker-turned-TV network founder speak about his career and latest ventures at different press events over the past few months. Rodriguez earned himself a place in the indie film canon forever by funding his $7000 1992 debut “El Mariachi,” which he wrote, directed, shot and edited, by participating in medical research studies. He’s since gone on to make much bigger features, including “Spy Kids” and “Sin City,” while maintaining the same run-and-gun approach, something he’s also brought to El Rey, the cable network he founded in December.
With the Oscars now just a week-old memory, the time has come for the final edition of this column (for this season). From the Toronto International Film Festival’s unofficial awards season kickoff in September to last weekend’s generally underwhelming ceremony, it’s been six long months of speculation and anticipation and we’re ready to move on (as we’re sure many of you are as well).
Producer Dana Brunetti (“The Social Network,” “House of Cards”) is a fan of crowdfunding — except when it involves celebrities. The “House of Cards” producer railed against celebrity crowdfunding at a talk at SXSW led by former Facebook executive Randi Zuckerberg.
Amazingly, I spent five days at SXSW and didn’t see one movie. But it was far from a waste of time. Sitting in on keynote sessions and panel discussions, I came away with a broad sense of how technological advances and the internet have expanded opportunities for filmmakers who no longer have to rely on the traditional gatekeepers to pursue their projects.
When “Girls” began in 2012, the sex scenes it featured between Hannah (Lena Dunham) and the at the time utterly opaque Adam (Adam Driver) were a justifiably hot topic. Hannah knew almost nothing about Adam, whom she’d met at a party and who she apparently saw only in the context of heading over to his apartment for the odd hookup — and they could be odd, involving humiliation and costumes and dominance games and elaborate dirty talk that Hannah was self-deprecatingly game for without ever seeming to particularly enjoy.
New York-based filmmaker Casey Neistat has made short films for Nike and his keynote address today at SXSW might be summarized best by the company’s slogan: Just Do It.