The annual South by Southwest Music, Film, and Interactive Festival will descend upon Austin, Texas in almost exactly one month from tonight, but aside from a few über-hyped projects, the full film screening list wasn’t fully known until yesterday’s announcement.
Though our recent rummaging through the Sundance Film Fest roster proved notably fruitful, SXSW’s lineups kind of pwned it in a way, offering quite the competitive array of music and/or musician-related films for us to ogle.
Now we could spit out a whole post for every single one of these, but that’s not how I roll, so let’s just throw the hand on the table, kids:
Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein and the Shins’ James Mercer Star in Some Days are Better than Others
Director/Screenwriter: Matt McCormick
SXSW will host the world premiere of this film, which was first revealed by Brownstein back in 2008. “Overall, I’d say that the film is about lonely people trying to create their own abstract forms of communication. You could call it a charmingly melancholy look at abandonment,” she told Pitchfork.
David Byrne Stars in Ride, Rise, Roar
A concert film that combines riveting onstage performances with documentary footage that explores the creative collaborations that make the music happen.
Paddy Considine Stars in Le Donk & Scor-zay-zee, Featuring the Arctic Monkeys
Director/Screenwriter: Shane Meadows
First a bit from the synopsis: “In this unpredictable, irrepressible ode to spontaneous filmmaking, Paddy Considine stars as rock roadie and failed musician, Le Donk. Along the way he’s lost a girlfriend but he has found a new sidekick in up-and-coming rap prodigy Scor-zay-zee. With Shane Meadows’ fly-on-the-wall crew in tow, Donk sets out to make Scor-zay-zee a star…with a little help from the Arctic Monkeys.”
Watch the trailer and read a review here.
The White Stripes: Under Great White Northern Lights
Director: Emmett Malloy
Watch the trailer here.
Ian MacKaye, Henry Rollins, and OK Go’s Damian Kulash in Barbershop Punk
Directors: Georgia Sugimura & Kristin Armfield. Screenwriter: Georgia Sugimura
World Premiere, fuckers: “Keeping the independent/punk spirit alive, barbershop quartet fan Robb Topolski takes on the nation’s largest cable company, only to find himself at the center of a federal investigation, inspiring a larger story of censorship, individual voice and access.”
No trailer or nothin’ yet, but they had me at “Ian MacKaye.”
Ain’t In It For My Health: A Film About Levon Helm
Director: Jacob Hatley
“Levon Helm finds himself thrust into the musical spotlight for the first time in a quarter century, but a Grammy nomination [win] and ever-growing audiences force him to confront the dark times that have haunted him since The Band’s demise: Throat cancer, bankruptcy, drug addiction and the tragic loss of bandmates Richard Manuel and Rick Danko. Win or lose, Levon is an artist who will not go quietly into the night.”
Lyle Lovett, Lucinda Williams, & More Tell the Story of Anderson Fair
Director: Bruce Bryant
“A devoted community of artists, volunteers and patrons transforms a politically subversive little coffee house and restaurant into a unique American music institution… a small place where big things happen.”
Also appearing, For the Sake of the Song: Nanci Griffith, Guy Clark and the late Townes Van Zandt. Need I say more? Watch a teaser trailer here.
Metallica, Dave Grohl, Billy Bob Thornton Appear in Lemmy Kilmister Documentary
Director: Greg Olliver and Wes Orshoski
Nearly three years in the making, this is the world premiere of Lemmy, a documentary that delves into the personal and public lives of heavy metal icon and Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister.
One Night in Vegas (w/ Tupac and Mike Tyson, btw)
Director: Reggie Rock Bythewood
On the evening of 9/7/96, Mike Tyson attempted to regain the WBA title in Vegas.
Sitting ringside was his friend Tupac Shakur. Wait, why does that date sound familiar?
Floria Sigismondi Directs Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning in Runaways Biopic
Director and Screenwriter: Floria Sigismondi
Ummm… I think a brief viewing of the teaser trailer is all you’ll need to decide whether to catch it at SXSW, watch it on a “big screen near you,” or wait ‘til Netflix, etc.
One viable reason to see this? Sigismondi has directed killer music videos for the White Stripes, David Bowie, Interpol, and many more.
Ten Years in the Making: Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and The Magnetic Fields
Directors: Kerthy Fix and Gail O’Hara
We posted about this earlier today.
The Weird World of Blowfly, the Story of Clarence Reid, aka Blowfly
Director: Jonathan Furmanski
This world premiere event will tell the provocative and revealing story of musician Clarence Reid and his alter ego Blowfly, the original dirty rapper. The film follows Blowfly as he tours the world, explores his 50-year career, and celebrates his influential and incendiary work as a music legend.
All My Friends are Funeral Singers with Live Soundtrack by Califone
Director and Screenwriter: Tim Rutili
Zel, a fortune-teller, is aided in her prognostication by a band of ghosts, but when a mysterious light appears, she may have to give up the only family she knows.
I’ve never seen a film soundtrack or Califone live, but the thought of those two ideas combined just blows my mind. Check out the official site, trailer, and a slew of info here.
That’s the list for now, though it doesn’t include all noteworthy music-related films at SXSW this year, but simply our most anticipated given what is known. We’ll post “Part 2” shortly, but in the meantime, check out the full roster here.