SXSW 2011 Wrap-Up

by George Hickman on April 7, 2011

in Blogs

While the 2011 South by Southwest Film Festival ended nearly three weeks ago, Scene Stealers has just finished wrapping up its coverage. In total, contributor George Hickman saw and reviewed 24 films. Below are links to and brief snippets of each of those reviews. Overall, his three favorites of the festival were “Attack the Block,” “Bridesmaids,” and “Our Day Will Come,” with many, many other films making a very favorable impression. Here is a list of all award winners at SXSW 2011.

attack-the-block-2011Attack the Block (rock fist way up) – ‘Attack the Block’ is fun, complex, scary, gory, hilarious, and thrilling. Not only is this my favorite film of the festival, it’s my favorite film so far this year.”

A Bag of Hammers (solid rock fist up)
– “It manages a very tricky balance between dark comedy and cathartic sadness… a wonderfully unique but flawed film about two unique but flawed boys struggling to grow up.”

The Beaver (solid rock fist up)
– “It’s engaging, and exactly as accessible as it needs to be. It’s funny, but by no means a comedy. It is one of the best movies ever made about depression.”

Beginners (solid rock fist up)
– ‘Beginners’ is a wonderful film, and a landmark achievement in tragedy, comedy, and catharsis.”

Bellflower (minor rock fist up)
– “It is heartbreak as an emotional apocalypse, which is too much for even a badass car with a built-in flamethrower to conquer.”

Blacktino (minor rock fist down)
– “Its heart is in the right place, and it does have some genuinely clever ideas and a few witty lines.”

Bridesmaids (rock fist way up)
– “Not only is ‘Bridesmaids’ one of the most satisfying romantic comedies to come along in years, it is also the funniest comedy in recent memory.”

Cave of Forgotten Dreams (minor rock fist up)
– “(Herzog) does a commendable job of exploring different facets of the site… but the film still feels like it runs out of steam and repeats itself over and over.”

Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop (solid rock fist up)
– “It’s a hilarious and revealing documentary… not afraid to risk adoration for truth.”

The Divide (minor rock fist up)
– “The film gets very horrific and bleak, but even when its characters go off the rails the film still feels grounded somehow.”

Five Time Champion (rock fist way up)
– “It is sad and funny, heartbreaking and heartwarming, and eulogic without being overly sentimental. ‘Five Time Champion’ is a true winner.”

The FP (minor rock fist down)
– “Yes, it’s exactly as goofy as I was hoping, but the purposefully cookie-cutter plot isn’t enough to sustain what feels like a hilarious trailer unbearably stretched to the 80-minute mark.”

The Future (solid rock fist up)
– “With its perceptive humor and veiled sadness, I found ‘The Future’ to be worth facing.”

The Innkeepers (solid rock fist up)
– “The film is much closer to classic haunting films, with its emphasis on building character and atmosphere over hitting specific horror beats or fulfilling a body count.”

The Key Man (rock fist way down)
– “There’s an alarming lack of tension or suspense, and it never engages the way it needs to. It’s a shame, because the performances are mostly of a high caliber, with complex and conflicted portrayals…”

Kill List (solid rock fist up)
– “It’s a very adult horror film, and far removed from the splatterfests Craven and Cunningham inspired or the glossy Platinum Dunes remakes currently infecting cinema.”

My Sucky Teen Romance (minor rock fist up)
– ‘My Sucky Teen Romance’ is a family-friendly film with so much heart you won’t want to drive a stake through it.”

Natural Selection (solid rock fist up)
– “It’s a perceptive film impeccably told about two people adrift, whose brief encounter changes them both for the better and proves that you’re never too old to come of age.”

Our Day Will Come a.k.a. Notre Jour Viendra (rock fist way up)
– “I wasn’t completely sure what I had just seen but I knew it was definitely filled with madness and brilliance and I knew I wanted to immediately watch it again.”

Paul (solid rock fist up)
– “In the end, ‘Paul’ is a hilarious, fun, and deeply lovable film I was very happy to encounter.”
sound of my voice 2011

Sound of My Voice (solid rock fist up)
– “It is thoughtful, funny, and captivating, and like a catchy pop song, “Sound Of My Voice” will stick in your head for a long time.”

Source Code (solid rock fist up)
– “Science fiction does not have to be a choice between either heady concepts or alluring spectacle; there can be a balance. ‘Source Code’ proves it.”

Tabloid (solid rock fist up)
– “It all makes for an energetic, amusing, and unforgettable film. This is one ‘Tabloid’ worth perusal.”

Wuss (minor rock fist up)
– “It is a funny film which excels at intimate character moments and explosive confrontations but falters a bit when it comes to resolving the plot.”

George Hickman

George Hickman is the first child conceived and raised by a sentient television and an anthropomorphic video store. He is a true Texan, in the sense that it is true that he lives in Texas. He spends his days making the Internet work and his nights surviving on the sustenance that only flickering lights and moving pictures can bring. There were no survivors.

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