SXSW 2019 Recap: One Big Festival or Many? — IndieWire’s Movie Podcast

Screen Talk, episode 236: SXSW featured plenty of exciting high-profile films, but they weren't the only ones on display at the Austin gathering.
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 10:  Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein attend the afterparty for "BOOKSMART" World Premiere at SXSW Film Festival on March 10, 2019 in Austin, Texas.  (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for United Artists Releasing) *** Local Caption *** Kaitlyn Dever; Beanie Feldstein
Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein attend the SXSW afterparty for "Booksmart"
Getty Images for United Artists Releasing

Over the years, the SXSW Film Festival has become an ideal launchpad for raunchy studio comedies and edgy alternative visions of America. This year’s edition was no exception, starting with opening night horror crowdpleaser “Us,” and continuing with similarly well-received entries such as teen party movie “Booksmart” (above) and Harmony Korine’s artsy stoner comedy “The Beach Bum.” These movies all found welcoming crowds at Austin’s Paramount Theater, where “A Quiet Place” kicked off the festival one year ago. But they weren’t the only movies on display at SXSW, where the narrative and documentary sections showcase a much wider array of cinema, while the technology and music conferences expand the scope of the festival to other media. So how does the scale of SXSW impact the experience as a whole? Is SXSW one giant festival or many smaller ones?

That’s the starting point for this week’s episode of Screen Talk, as Eric Kohn and Anne Thompson go over some of the highlights from the 2019 edition. They also revisit the Spielberg-versus-Netflix debate, review “The Aftermath,” and share plans for their upcoming vacations. (Screen Talk will be on hiatus for the next two weeks and return in time for Cinemacon.)

Listen to the full episode below. 

Screen Talk is available on iTunes.

You can subscribe here or via RSS. Share your feedback with Thompson and Kohn on Twitter or sound off in the comments. Browse previous installments here, review the show on  and be sure to let us know if you’d like to hear the hosts address specific issues in upcoming editions of Screen Talk. Check out the rest of IndieWire’s podcasts on iTunes right here.


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