The legendary Austin hospitality is especially extended to first-time filmmakers. That’s what the Emerging Visions section is about—highlighting the talent making the move from attention-getting short to career-making features. In with a chance this time around are documentaries tackling topics like Bill Hicks and bears, as well as features revolving around mung beans and android love.
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Remember 2008? Man, wasn’t that a time! We were all running around, registering to vote, filled with hope in our hearts, shouting “Yes, we can!” at the top of their lungs … 2010 and the suck has set in. That hasn’t stopped director Jeff Deutchman, so inspired by the spirit of the times that he made this documentary on what people were doing the day Barack Obama was elected president.
For many, getting to work means jumping into the car and enduring a slow commute to the infernal chatter of morning zoo radio. Problem is, all this four-wheeled to-ing and fro-ing is killing our planet by degrees. Monteith McCollum took his cameras and went looking for those who do it differently. He found a quartet of characters who have taken to the pavement and waterways to get to work.
Before Jon Stewart ever got behind a desk or Bill Maher banged a Playboy bunny, Texan comedian Bill Hicks was applying a comic blowtorch to politics. A prophet without honor—David Letterman famously pulled the plug on him—Hicks’s legacy has only grown since his premature 1994 death. Matt Harlock and Paul Thomas daringly tell his story using personal testimony and animation.
Goofy boy meets life-changing girl is a scenario beloved of festivals and Frank V. Ross’s film looks ready to cater. Anthony J. Baker is an ATM parts purchaser and Alexi Wasser is the way-too-cute courier he meets via an Internet dating service. What’s new is how Ross situates their courtship in the context of work and social life that has deteriorated into stale routine.
Frenchman Jonathan Zaccaï (The Beat My Heart Skipped) follows the love of his life to New York. The frog out of water struggles to prove his worth among a cast of eccentric Gothamites. All demonstrate that ‘10s Manhattan is a lot closer to Woody Allen than Abel Ferrara. Greta Gerwig obsessives will be happy to know their heroine makes an appearance in Olivier Lécot’s made-for-Arte telefilm.
No, it’s not the long-awaited sequel to Grizzly Man. This documentary is a tour through the gay subculture that celebrates being overweight, hairy and generally looking like Tad Doyle. Your guide is filmmaker Malcolm Ingram, who first hit the festival scene with Small Town Gay Bar, but is probably best known as the occasional foil for too-fat-to-film SMODcaster Kevin Smith.
In the best tradition of Class and maybe Oxford Blues, never-laid freshman Aaron Milton arrives at his Ivy League college and becomes the mayo in an erotic sandwich. On the one side, a delectable mature student looking to put her glory days behind her. On the other, the MILF’s wise-beyond-her-years teenage daughter. Writer-director Jeffrey Fine guarantees life lessons are also on the curriculum.
Writer-director Paul Gordon plays Bill, a poet who finds that iambic pentameter won’t pay the rent. He gets another brainwave, though, and branches out into selling organic food. What’s good for the stomach may not be so great for the rhyme schemes, especially when you’re peddling the pure in Wieniestan.
With a voice cast that includes cartoonist James Kochalka, Giant Sand’s Howe Gelb, SXSW favorite Mark Duplass and country gadfly Kinky Friedman, this is a must for connoisseurs of riotous assemblies. Geoff Marslett’s ‘toon begins with a race to Red Planet between robots and humans. The competing teams, however, discover common romantic cause. Bound to be better than Delgo.
Broadway legend Jerome Robbins is best known for choreographing West Side Story and more great musicals than even Nathan Lane can remember. This documentary situates a performance by a pair of New York City Ballet soloists of his intimate 1958 jazz ballet on the High Line walkway. Ellen Bar and Sean Suozzi capture a symphony of movement that’s hotter than July.
Tags: 11/4/2008, A Different Path, A NY Thing, Alexi Wasser, American: The Bill Hicks Story, Anthony J. Baker, Audrey the Trainwreck, Barack Obama, Bear Nation, Bill Hicks, Cherry, David Letterman, Ellen Bar, Frank V. Ross, Geoff Marslett, Giant Sand, Greta Gerwig, Howe Gelb, James Kochalka, Jeff Deutchman, Jeffrey Fine, Jerome Robbins, Jonathan Zaccaï, Kevin Smith, Kinky Friedman, Malcolm Ingram, Mark Duplass, Mars, Matt Harlock, Monteith McCollum, New York City Ballet, NY Export: Opus Jazz, Olivier Lécot, Paul Gordon, Paul Thomas, Sean Suozzi, Small Town Gay Bar, SXSW Film Festival, The Happy Poet, Une aventure New-Yorkais