Post-Katrina New Orleans is "Getting Back to Abnormal"
Hurricane Katrina changed more than just the landscape of New Orleans. After the disaster, thousands of people moved away from the city, most of them black and poor. In the years since, the city has slowly been rebuilt. But what has become of its culture?
It was the world premiere of Don Scardino's movie, starring Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi and Jim Carrey in a tale about a world-famous duo of magicians in Las Vegas. The event also brought to Austin some well-known Hollywood actors and filled the Paramount with laughter.
In little over a months the city will swell as South by Southwest takes over downtown Austin. And the over 200,000 expected festival attendees have no shortage of events to attend: Today, SXSW released its film lineup, totaling 109 features.
Film Conference and Festival Producer Janet Pierson writes that this year’s lineup “embraces love and the need/search/desire for connection.”
The South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival has announced part of the line up of films to premiere at the 20th edition of the festival.
The film festival will open with the world premiere of the Steve Carell comedy, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. Carell, as Burt Wonderstone, partners with Steve Buscemi, to play superstar Las Vegas magicians whose careers face jeopardy when rival street-magician, Jim Carrey, begins outperforming the duo. Festival goers can catch the film one week before the theatrical release, March 15.
How did a group of Internet enthusiasts evolve from online trolling to altering the course of world politics?
That was the focus of a South by Southwest Film and Interactive panel today delving into Anonymous, the loosely-organized collective of “hacktivists” that have brought attention to the Stop Internet Piracy Act (SOPA) and claimed credit for compromising the servers of Austin-based global intelligence firm Stratfor, releasing the company’s emails to Wikileaks.
In contrast to many of the sensational stories Anonymous generates, “I don’t think anything had been done where you’re trying to figure out where it came from and what it is,” said Brian Knappenberger. He’s at SXSW with his documentary, “WE ARE LEGION: The Story of the Hacktivists.” Although this today's panel was ostensibly about the film, it ended up being largely about Anonymous in general, which continues to generate headlines.
They shot the film on the burnt orange landscapes of Southern Utah and the urban desolation of Las Vegas over four weeks, filming six days a week. One of the bigger obstacles they faced during filming, despite the fact they were in the desert, was rain. “The rain follows us wherever we go, even here to Austin,” the director said during the Q&A afterwards.
The film stars Rory Culkin (yes, of that family) and the delicate Julia Garner (playing the lead, Rachel), who’s only eighteen years old. You may remember her from a smaller role in Martha Marcy May Marlene.
South by Southwest Film and Interactive are well underway, but it's hard to find a bigger trending topic than the wet weather. KUT News' Nathan Bernier reported yesterday that the rain may be dampening festival goers' clothes, but not their spirits:
When Joss Whedon introduced The Cabin in the Woods to a rowdy, friendly, huge crowd at the Paramount Theater on the opening night of the South by Southwest Film Festival, he explained that one of the challenges of marketing the film is that you really can't say anything about what happens in it. And he begged everyone in the audience not to say anything about what happens in it, either.
Austin audiences have had a few chances to catch “The Innkeepers” previously, having screened at South by Southwest and the Alamo Drafthouse’s Fantastic Fest. The follow-up to director West’s well-received “The House of the Devil,” “The Innkeepers” shares a similar retro-horror sensibility to his breakout film. Two slacker clerks at a storied northwestern inn investigate reports of workplace hauntings on the weekend the inn is slated to close. Suffice to say, mysterious visitors check in, nerves slowly fray, and plenty of things begin to go bump in the night. Light on gore and long on tension, “The Innkeepers” is certain to keep audiences unnerved.
South by Southwest will be here before you know it, and here’s another sign of the impending takeover: Today, the festival released its lineup for SXSW Film, including 65 world premieres and ten U.S. premieres.
High profile picks include the reboot of “21 Jump Street,” starring Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, and Ice Cube. The comedy has been named a “Centerpiece” film; SXSW Film producer Janet Pierson tells The Austin Chronicle she went into the screening “with total skepticism,” but came away impressed, calling the film “a real social commentary.”
Also receiving special designation as closing night film was “Big Easy Express,” a documentary on a train powered concert tour spearheaded by indie revivalists Mumford & Sons (which included an Austin stop.)