SXSW 2013 Wrap: Twitch Puts A Bow On Austin's Big Fest

Ryland Aldrich, Festivals Editor



The SXSW mayhem has come to an end and most of Austin has about shaken off the hangover. There was a ton of fun and plenty of great films on display at SXSW 2013. We had it all covered for you here at Twitch and while there will be a few more reviews and interviews trickling in over the next week, it's time to wrap it up with some thoughts from our contributors and links to our coverage thus far.

Previews
Preview: Headliners and Competition Slates
Preview: Spotlight and Visions Programs
Preview: Midnight, 24BPS, SXGlobal, and Festival Faves
Twitch Raises the Curtain with Our Top 20 Picks

Reviews and First Impressions
Review: AWFUL NICE is Painfully Funny by Ryland Aldrich
Review: BIG ASS SPIDER! Attacks Los Angeles With More Humor Than Horror by Peter Martin
Review: CHEAP THRILLS Fiendishly Recalculates the Value of Money by Peter Martin
Review: COLDWATER is Lukewarmby John Jarzemsky
Review: DOWNLOADED is a Fascinating Look at Our Wired Times by John Jarzemsky
Review: DRINKING BUDDIES Brings Joe Swanberg to the Big Time by Eric D. Snider
Review: EVIL DEAD Commits Firmly to Disturbing Brutality by John Jarzemsky
Review: GO FOR SISTERS Is an Easy-Going Character Drama from John Sayles by Eric D. Snider
Review: GOOD VIBRATIONS Is The Best Punk Film Since 24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE by J Hurtado
Review: GROW UP, TONY PHILLIPS is More Wholesome Fun from Hagins by Ryland Aldrich
Review: HAUNTER Delivers an Enjoyably Tame Ghost Story by Eric D. Snider
Review: HOLY GHOST PEOPLE Sadly Slips From Scary To Silly by J Hurtado
Review: HOURS Makes the Mistake of Putting All Its Dramatic Weight on Paul Walker's Shoulders by Eric D. Snider
Review: I AM DIVINE Lays Bare A Legend by J Hurtado
First Impression: THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE Brings Big Laughs in Spurts by Ryland Aldrich
Review: THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE Pits Magic Against Stunts by Peter Martin
Review: KISS OF THE DAMNED Intricately Apes Classic Eurohorror, Warts And All by J Hurtado
Review: MAIDENTRIP is a Beautiful Celebration of Youth by Ryland Aldrich
Review: MILIUS Sparks New Interest in a Brilliant Filmmaker by John Jarzemsky
Review: PLUS ONE Invites Sci-Fi to a College Party by Peter Martin
Review: THE RETRIEVAL Quietly Takes on Life, Loss, and Hope by Peter Martin
First Impression: REWIND THIS! Spreads the Cinematic Love Past the Living Room by Ryland Aldrich
Review: REWIND THIS! Is About More Than Just Tapes, It's About Love by J Hurtado
Review: THE SHORT GAME Will Double-Eagle Your Heart by Ryland Aldrich
Review: SNAP Rattles Nerves as a Mind Unhinges by Peter Martin
Review: SWIM LITTLE FISH SWIM Is A Sincere Look At The Stubbornness Of Artists by Ben Umstead
Review: UNHUNG HERO Takes A Tiny Prick On A Global Trip by J Hurtado
Review: WHITE REINDEER Decks the Halls with Boughs of Hilarious by Ryland Aldrich

Interviews
Twitch Talks to the Mooninites Behind LUNARCY! by Lainna Fader

Peter Martin



What was your overall favorite film?
Mud

How about your biggest disappointment?
Plus One

Who gave the best performance?
Pat Healy in Cheap Thrills

What was your favorite documentary?
These Birds Walk

What was your top discovery of the fest?
Cheap Thrills

Finally, what was your favorite SXSW moment?
Passing Fandor's David Hudson on the street and hearing his one-word review of the Harry Stanton documentary: "Fantastic!"

Eric D. Snider



What was your overall favorite film?
It was a five-way tie between You're Next, Cheap Thrills, Drinking Buddies, I Give It a Year, and Spring Breakers.

How about your biggest disappointment?
Milo. It had some laughs, but a movie about a man with a demon living in his colon ought to have been much, much funnier, especially given the talent involved.

Who gave the best performance?
Rob Zombie, in the Q&A following the Lords of Salem screening. He's funny, self-deprecating, and down-to-earth. Turns out I like him! I just don't like anything he does.

What was your favorite documentary?
Due to a strange confluence of scheduling events, I didn't see a single documentary.

What was your top discovery of the fest?
The Retrieval is a solid, intelligent drama that never wouldn't have been on my radar otherwise.

Finally, what was your favorite SXSW moment?
When a pedicab went past me and I heard the driver telling his passengers, "...I don't know, I've never bought it myself, but it's pretty easy to find..."

Lainna Fader



What was your overall favorite film?
I really loved Lunarcy! It seems all my favorite events at SXSW this year were space-related, from this film to a lecture on hacking the universe and the 100 Year Starship panel. Director Simon Ennis would've done okay with his initial plan -- a doc following how humans have viewed the Moon throughout history -- but the final product we got at SXSW is a really wonderful and inspiring exploration of creativity and passion.

Who gave the best performance?
Sam Edison killed as angry gaming geek Scott Weidemeyer in Zero Charisma. So hilarious, so sad.

What was your favorite documentary?
The Punk Singer -- I love Kathleen Hanna and Bikini Kill, and director Sini Anderson did an incredible job knitting together rare archival footage with new, revealing interviews with everyone from Corin Tucker to Tavi Gevinson and Joan Jett to tell Hanna's complicated and immensely important story.

Finally, what was your favorite SXSW moment?
Becoming a lunar land owner! (When we've colonized the moon, you can find me near Simon Ennis' crater.)

J Hurtado



What was your overall favorite film?
This is a tough one, but I think I'll probably have to go with Lisa Barros D'Sa and Glenn Leyburn's Good Vibrations, one of the purest distillations of the allure of punk rock ever put on screen.

How about your biggest disappointment?
My biggest disappointment was probably the hipsterrific Austin-based drama, Loves Her Gun. I couldn't connect with any of the characters, and the protagonist was particularly unpleasant.

Who gave the best performance?
I know this is probably getting old by now, but it's impossible to forget James Franco's transcendent turn as Alien in Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers.

What was your favorite documentary?
This category probably is the most difficult to dissect, though I have to say that both I Am Divine and A Band Called Death choked me up pretty good.

What was your top discovery of the fest?
The Alamo Drafthouse's new Mexican Chocolate Shake (with tequila!)

Finally, what was your favorite SXSW moment?
Finally seeing You're Next on a big screen. Even though it wasn't the ideal screening location, the energy of the crowd was fantastic and the film is going to blow people away!

John Jarzemsky



What was your overall favorite film?
Evil Dead, without a doubt. My attitude towards this release leading up to the screening was paranoid skepticism, followed by cautious optimism, followed by sheer adoration. This is a lesson not only in revisiting a beloved horror franchise, but in effective horror filmmaking in general.

How about your biggest disappointment?
I hate to say it, but I was incredibly underwhelmed by You're Next. Admittedly, my expectations might have been high after that two year waiting period following its premiere at Fantastic Fest, but I thought the concept was nothing special and found the execution clunky. In my opinion, the whole "winky" subgenre of horror needs to go away for a long, long time.

Who gave the best performance?
David Koechner in Cheap Thrills. Everybody knows the guy has comedy chops, and he's been the go-to guy for oblivious, loveable jerks for quite a while, but his turn as a hilariously sociopathic Hollywood millionaire proves the man is ready for meatier roles.

What was your favorite documentary?
Milius. He's a hero of cinema who's gone overlooked by the casual movie-going public for far too long, and the film is packed to the brim with incredible stories, heartwarming interviews, and moments of pure inspiration. A must-see for any aspiring writer or filmmaker.

What was your top discovery of the fest?
That Gareth Evans, who gave us the incredible Merentau and The Raid is able to churn out a pretty damned impressive horror vignette for V/H/S/2.

Finally, what was your favorite SXSW moment?
That would have to be when Alex Winter, director of the very good Downloaded, joined me and others in publicly shaming a guy unrepentantly using his phone during a screening. It reminded me that SXSW is still a festival for film lovers, first and foremost.

Ryland Aldrich



What was your overall favorite film?
The best film I saw at the fest was kids golf docu The Short Game. The best dramatic film, and the film I'll remember SXSW 2013 by, was E. L. Katz's awesome Cheap Thrills.

How about your biggest disappointment?
I was rather disappointed by Chilean drama Dog Flesh which just ended up being too slow and naturalistic to tell what could have been an interesting story.

Who gave the best performance?
There were a number of strong, female-driven stories at the fest and Anna Margaret Hollyman led the way in White Reindeerwith her hilarious and subtle performance. Lindsay Burdge deserves a nod for her role in A Teacher as well.

What was your favorite documentary?
This was a great year for documentaries at SXSW with The Short Game topping my list. I also loved Maidentrip, Rewind This!, and The Crash Reel.

What was your top discovery of the fest?
Two previously mentioned films stand out as discoveries: Anna Margaret Hollyman for her performance in White Reindeer and the directing/producing team of Jillian Schlesinger and Emily McAllister on Maidentrip -- who will surely be up to more interesting things in the future.

Finally, what was your favorite SXSW moment?
Having the film I produced, Snap, premiere at the fest has to top the list. The personal response has been super positive, but mostly I'm just happy the film played through all 3 sold-out screenings without a projector breaking down or anyone pulling the fire alarm.

Around the Internet:
  • mightyjoeyoung

    "Finally, what was your favorite SXSW moment?
    That would have to be when Alex Winter, director of the very good Downloaded, joined me and others in publicly shaming a guy unrepentantly using his phone during a screening. It reminded me that SXSW is still a festival for film lovers, first and foremost."

    Good job, Mr Jarzemsky.....that´s how they should be treated.

    "Finally, what was your favorite SXSW moment?
    Having the film I produced, Snap, premiere at the fest has to top the list. The personal response has been super positive, but mostly I'm just happy the film played through all 3 sold-out screenings without a projector breaking down or anyone pulling the fire alarm."

    Congrats again Mr Aldrich.

    Thanks for the wrap up Twitch crew.....Cheap Thrills sounds very enteratining, and some oteh stuff on this list.

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