Posts Tagged ‘Rebecca Richman Cohen’

SXSW: And the Winners Are …

March 17, 2010

The SXSW Film Festival still has a few days to run, but the awards have already gone. Lena Dunham’s Tiny Furniture, where the filmmaker herself stars as a college grad at a loose end in New York, won the Narrative Feature competition. Look for it to turn up in a 2 AM slot on IFC sometime in the next five years. The best documentary feature was Marwencol, Jeff Malmberg’s portrait of a man who recovers from a beating by building a town in his backyard.

In the acting race, Brian Hasenfus’ incarnation of an aging party animal in Garth Donovan’s Phillip the Fossil boogied off with the Best Individual Performance award. David Robert Mitchell’s Myth of the American Sleepover received a best ensemble award for its cast of youngsters adrift in Detroit. A party will be held to celebrate David’s victory as soon as his parents leave town.

The audience had different preferences. They named Jim Bigham and Mark Moormann’s look at a band of mentally and physically challenged musicians, For Once in My Life, best documentary feature. You can fill in your own Tropic Thunder-inspired quip here before going away to be thoroughly ashamed of yourself. It was also popcorn containers in the air for Brotherhood. Will Canon’s thriller about a fraternity hazing that goes very wrong was named best narrative feature. Makes us feel better about those Greek letters branded on our butt.

The full list of winners is after the jump. Click on the titles for trailers where available.

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The Great SXSW 2010 Preview Dump: Documentary Features Competition

March 11, 2010

It’s a cliché that truth is stranger than fiction. It’s also a sign of our creative bankruptcy that we’re opening up this paragraph with such a hoary old fossil. Surveying the field in SXSW’s nonfiction film competition, however, is to look upon a group that’s bursting with eccentric characters—the guru of Ecstasy, anyone?—and hot button issues. This year, the jury can expect to be taken from Beijing to Afghanistan to Sierra Leone to a world in one man’s backyard. Time to switch the brain into its “on” position. Click on the titles to watch trailers.

Read our SXSW Headliners Preview.
Read the first part of our SXSW Spotlight Premieres preview.
Read the second part of our SXSW Spotlight Premieres preview.
Read our SXSW Narrative Features Competition preview.

Beijing Taxi

In the Chinese capital of Beijing, the taxi-drivers are notoriously garrulous, willing to discuss anything from politics to what’s for dinner with their passengers. Filmmaker Miao Wang uses these characters as the lens through which to view a changing nation opening its doors for the 2008 Olympics. The trauma of accelerated redevelopment is seen through their windshields. Don’t forget to tip.

Camp Victory, Afghanistan

Our exit strategy in Afghanistan involves educating the country’s nascent army in how to keep their lawless country under the boot-heel. That task is down to the U.S. National Guard, who Carol Dysinger followed as they trained a green battalion in the ways of martial law. She captures inexperienced military men facing fresh challenges, as well as the unlikely friendships forming between teachers and students. Heartwarming.

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Trailerama: War Don Don

March 5, 2010

Following years of civil war, Sierra Leone seeks some kind of reconciliation through a specially convened war crimes tribunal. At the heart of the trial is Issa Sesay, a member of the Revolutionary United Front accused of war crimes ranging from use of child soldiers to sexual violence. Rebecca Richman Cohen‘s film isn’t just a real courtroom thriller. It also asks questions about whether the international community is truly prepared to find justice when the crimes are beyond belief. Screening at this year’s SXSW Film Festival.