The film fiend stalking the streets of Austin has many questions. How does an episode of Saturday Night Live come together? How can I blast off into space? Was Thomas Wolfe right when he said you can’t go home again? What does Lemmy’s carpet smell like? Unlike anybody outside Austin City Limits from March 12 to March 20, the fiend has the answers within reach. They’re among the topics tackled head-on a series of features and documentaries getting their premiere at the SXSW Film Festival this year.
At long last, this adaptation of Walt Whitman’s … [please read the IMDB synopses you’re meant to be ripping off first – Ed.] Oh. Ed Norton follows in the footsteps of Jeremy Irons, Christian Bale and Nicholas Cage, playing identical twins in a thriller written and directed by Tim Blake Nelson (O). Keri Russell and Melanie Lynskey are the lovelies who we hope get into the bed with the right Ed.
The Pennsylvania town inspired the Sherlock Holmes mystery “The Red-headed League” and is the home of some legendary bologna. But it takes a funeral to lure big city ad executive Josh Hopkins (Cougar Town) back to his hometown. There he bonds with his teenage cousin and has the plastic scales lifted from his bourgeois eyes in writer-director Ben Hickernell’s film. With Mary Beth Hurt.
Like chewing gum on your Doc Maarten, Lemmy has stuck around since the bass-thumping warthog first bellowed “Silver Machine” with Hawkwind. Greg Olliver and Wes Orshoski’s documentary promises to follow Motorhead’s head from the Hollywood apartment where he cultivates new strains of bacteria to the millionth airing of “Ace of Spades.” Tipping their SS hats at the Lemster are Slash and Dave Grohl.
Hoop Dreams filmmaker Steve James gets back on the court for this ESPN-endorsed look at The Solution’s stormy past. In 1993, the teenaged phenom was jailed following a brawl at Hampton, Va.’s Circle Lanes bowling alley. The case became a touchstone for the racially divided community. James revisits the scene of the crime, strokes the still-livid scars and maps out A.I.’s road to NBA redemption.
One Night in Vegas
In 1996, Mike Tyson fought Bruce Seldon to regain the WBA belt. The bout was notable not just for Seldon’s instant collapse, but also for being the event where “California Love” rapper Tupac Shakur was fatally shot. In this ESPN Films documentary, Notorious scribe Reggie Rock Bythewood examines the parallels between hip-hop and boxing through the prism of Tyson and Tupac’s friendship.
A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream. The scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back because the scorpion cannot swim. The frog asks, “How do I know you won’t sting me?” The scorpion says, “Because if I do, I will die too.” The frog sees the truth in this statement, and they set out, but in midstream, the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown. He has just enough time to gasp “Why?” Replies the scorpion: “It’s my nature…”
Through the magic of the Interwebs, we can hear you cry “Who is Richard Garriott? And what is his mission?” Son of an astronaut, Garriott made big bucks through computer games. Then he paid for a ticket to accompany the Soyuz TMA-13 space flight. Mike Woolf’s film considers whether this bright-eyed visionary can make space tourism a reality. The big question: Do real Russian cosmonauts eat borscht?
One of the highlights of any rodeo is watching the young cowboys test their mettle against a bucking bull. Seems like director Meredith Danluck is equally fascinated. In profiling a series of bull riders, she also discovers at a peculiarly American form of Heartland entertainment. That’s right—a movie about bull riders is only good for 45 words. Sorry.
James Franco is a hair’s breadth away from atoning for Spider-Man 3’s righteous stench. He’s guest-starred on General Hospital, delivered on his promise in Milk, played Allen Ginsberg on screen, and won a prize at Berlin for his NYU short film. Now comes his doc on how the suckiest SNL cast in recent memory expire a lot of effort to pull off yet another unmemorable episode.
With their tenth anniversary approaching, Jack and Meg White decided to do something special. Their 2007 Canadian tour found the red white and black duo doing the usual promotional chores, but also whipping out the instruments for impromptu gigs on buses and cafes. Emmett Malloy’s documentary immortalizes the eccentric jaunt, culminating in the emotional wallop of their birthday gig at Nova Scotia’s Savoy Theater.
Tags: Allen Iverson, Arthur Conan Doyle, Ben Hickernell, Bruce Seldon, Dave Grohl, Edward Norton, Emmett Malloy, George Lucas, Jack White, James Franco, Josh Hopkins, Keri Russell, Leaves of Grass, Lebanon Pa, Lemmy, Lemmy Kilmartin, Mary Beth Hurt, Meg White, Melanie Lynskey, Meredith Danluck, Mike Tyson, Mike Woolf, No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson, One Night in Vegas, Reggie Rock Bythewood, Richard Garriott, Richard Garriott - Man on a Mission, Saturday Night, Saturday Night Live, Slash, Steve James, SXSW Film Festival, The People Vs. George Lucas, The Ride, The White Stripes: Under Great White Northern Lights, Tim Blake Nelson, Tupac Shakur