SXSW 2011 is already upon us. I’m very thankful to God for the beautiful weather that we’re having, because it’s a real drag to be walking all over parts of downtown in the pouring rain or chilling weather. Anyway, as I start my reporting of the SXSW experience later on today, I thought I’d start off and list a few of the films that I’m looking forward to and/or that hold some real promise. Here’s a few that really have my interest:

New Jerusalem
New Jerusalem is the second feature film from director R. Alverson, and will make its North American premiere as part of the Emerging Visions section at SXSW. The film stars Will Oldham in his first leading role since Kelly Reichardt’s 2006 feature Old Joy, and Colm O’Leary (who co-wrote the film with Alverson).

Sean (COLM O’LEARY), an Irish immigrant to America, returning from military service in Afghanistan, finds his heart and mind in disarray. He befriends Ike (WILL OLDHAM) a strong willed Evanglmelical Christian, who endeavors to ensure his salvation. Inundated by a relentless fragility, Sean is confronted by a choice between the temptation of certainty and the chaos of the world around him. A meditation on friendship, need and frailty, New Jerusalem explores the allure and limitations of modern utopian belief.
Watch the trailer for New Jerusalem:

New Jeruslaem Screening Dates:

03/11/2011 Alamo Lamar C, 10:00 PM
03/14/2011 State Theatre, 10:45 AM
03/18/2011 Rollins Theatre, 5:00 PM
It’s always interesting to see the plot of someone trying to “save” or share faith with another. It looks like New Jerusalem will delve into just that. Another one that involves faith has a slightly different take. Apparently it’s about two people posing as believers to infiltrate a cult and get a loved one out.
Sound of My Voice
Festival Favorites – Zal Batmanglij’s SOUND OF MY VOICE (Acquisition Title)

Peter (Christopher Denham) and Lorna (Nicole Vicius), a young Silver Lake couple, delve into the underworld of a cult that meets in the San Fernando valley. At the center of the group is an enigmatic young woman named Maggie (Brit Marling) who never leaves her basement chamber. The members follow Maggie blindly-growing her food, obsessively sanitizing the house, giving her their own blood for transfusions. But why? We follow Peter and Lorna as they smuggle hidden cameras into Maggie’s basement bent on exposing her as a charlatan and freeing the members from her spell.

TRT: 85 minutes


Friday, March 11th at 9:00pm – State Theater – Premiere

Sunday, March 13th at 11:30am – Alamo Lamar C – Screening #2

Saturday, March 19th at 9:30pm – Alamo Ritz 1- Screening #3

Here’s some of the film company’s social media hype:

Please join the cult on twitter @s_o_m_v

Watch/Post this video and help us recruit others…

Friday, March 11th at 11:59pm

…This could be a fun one to watch: It’s a documentary on the very film festival it’s airing at.

sxsw movie

Outside Industry: The Story of SXSW

OUTSIDE INDUSTRY: THE STORY OF SXSW is a documentary that introduces the four founders of SXSW and chronicles the origin and evolution of the festival, from a small local music festival to its present stature as the biggest music industry event in the world.  The documentary is also very much a love letter to Austin, and illustrates how Austin came to be the center of the music universe each March.  The world premiere at SXSW 2011 is fitting because this year happens to mark the 25th anniversary of the festival.  The film includes rare footage of music performances including Iggy Pop and Johnny Cash, to name a few. OUTSIDE INDUSTRY: THE STORY OF SXSW will premiere in the 24 Beats Per Second Category on the following dates/times:

About Outside Industry: The Story of SXSW

In 1980, four guys living on next to nothing started a regional music conference in Austin, Texas.  They had no money, little experience, and low expectations. South by Southwest has grown from 700 attendees in its first year as a music-only festival to over 36,000 participants in 2010 for its expanded music, film and interactive festivals, achieving a global significance far beyond what the founders had dreamed. The festival’s massive and rapid success also drew backlash, criticism, and even arson, as the outsiders became the insiders. Outside Industry: The Story of SXSW goes backstage to show how this unprecedented music phenomenon became the most important music industry event in the world. The film features rare footage of rock legends such as Iggy Pop, Johnny Cash and Lucinda Williams and interviews with the four founders and key players in the history of SXSW.
Filmmakers’ Bio

Alan Berg, co-founder of Arts+Labor, is the film’s director. Berg won his first Emmy for the documentary short South by Southwest: The Business of Music in 1994, and he directed two additional feature-length documentaries that were distributed nationally by PBS. On this latest film, Berg leads a creative team that collectively has won international industry awards and screened at major festivals including Cannes Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, LA Film Festival, Tribeca, and Sundance. Joining Berg as Producers are Jason Wehling and Dawn Johnson.  Wehling is a winner of the John Cassavetes Independent Spirit Award for August Evening.  Johnson is an Emmy Award winning producer with fifteen years experience producing independent documentaries, as well as network series for PBS and A&E.
About Arts+Labor

Founded in 1999 by Alan Berg and Kristin Johansen-Berg, Arts+Labor is a creative content company specializing in film, video, motion graphics and documentaries. Craig Parks joined the firm as Partner in 2009. The company has experienced significant growth over the past two years, and has produced a wide range of videos, films, online content and TV commercials.

…And here’s one with an interesting angle…

The Other F Word
The word in this case is “father” (or fatherhood) and it’s a peek into the lives of punk rock icons who are now dads.

The Other F Word
(United States – 98 minutes)
World premiere
Spotlight Premieres
dir.: Andrea Blaugrund Nevins
What happens when a generation’s ultimate anti-authoritarians — punk rockers — become society’s ultimate authorities — dads? With a large chorus of Punk Rock’s leading men — Blink 182’s Mark Hoppus, Red Hot Chili Pepper’s Flea, Rise Against’s Tim McIlrath –The Other F Word follows Jim Lindberg, 20 year veteran of skate punk band, Pennywise, on his hysterical and moving journey from belting out his band’s anthem, “Fuck Authority”, to embracing his ultimately pivotal authoritarian role in mid-life, fatherhood.
Screening times:
SAT 03/12 @ 8:30 PM (Alamo South Lamar. A. 1120 South Lamar Blvd)
MON 03/14 @ 3:45 PM (State Theatre – 719 Congress Ave)
THU 03/17 @ 4:30 PM (Vimeo Theatre at ACC)
Interview opportunities in Austin include:
Director Andrea Blaugrand Nevins, Producer Cristan Crocker Reilly, doc subject Jim Lindbbergh (formerly of Pennywise), Tony Brandenburg (aka Tony Adolescent of The Adolescents), Rony Reyes (formerly of Black Flag), Rick Thorne (pro BMX rider) and more.
Interview day:
SUN 03/13 between 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM. Location TBA.
View the trailer:
…and here’s one I’ve watched a screener of already:
Fubar: Balls to the Wall
It’s a silly story that shows two guys down on their luck that do what they seem to be best at: party their butts off and stay high or drunk as much as possible. With few brain cells left or functioning, it’s like a microscope on the human tendency to unravel and dive headfirst into debauchery. A redemptive angle to the lives these two guys (imagine Bill & Ted, Bob & Doug McKenzie and Cheech & Chong rolled into one out-of-control story) is seeing how the love they have for one another and forgiveness enter into their relationship at crucial times.
Taken By Storm (Thorgerson)
This artist, Storm Thorgerson, is responsible for a ton of the iconic album covers from the early 70s onwards. If nothing else, the visuals in this film should be stunning. Interestingly enough, this film was financed on last summer.
Source Code Movie Poster1
Source Code
This is a world premiere that’s showing tonight at Austin’s Paramount Theater.

Duncan Jones’ SOURCE CODE – Headliners (World Premiere) – Opening Night
A decorated soldier learns he’s part of a government experiment enabling him to cross over into another man’s identity.

If these films hold up to their promise, it should be a great SXSW this year (especially since this is only a handful of the films showing during the next week.


Heaven's Metal: An Oral History of the Genesis of Christian Metal

Heaven's Metal

When rock emerged from blues and 'heavy metal' began to surface, faith-based metal acts also rose to start their own journeys. Initially shunned by both believers and non-believers, they were fighting for their spot at the table, ultimately building a legacy that would go on to change the genre forever. HM presents an oral history of the beginning of Christian metal music, featuring Guardian, Tourniquet, Holy Soldier, Whitecross, and, of course, Stryper.


Full Feature

Trapped in Limbo

Black metal may not be the first thing on your mind when you think of Portugal, but GAEREA is here to change that. HM contributing writer Andrew Voigt sat down with GAEREA to discuss the band’s music, their mysterious name and image, and how office work can be art.


Full Feature
All Features