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SXSW Film: The Big Short Misses the Mark

8:42 pm Mar. 14, 2016

By John Laird

Short films are an interesting subject. In a world where most want to consume any measure of entertainment as fast and efficiently as possible, the “short” aspect seems as though it would be as viable as ever. As far as I know, it may be, but “The Big Short” panel didn’t manage to shed any measure of light on the thought.

Moderated by Anne Thompson (Editor-at-large, Hollywood/Indiewire) and with

SXSW Film: The State of Diversity in Independent Films is As Expected

6:39 pm Mar. 14, 2016

By John Laird

Heading into a panel titled “The State of Diversity in Independent Film”, I definitely wondered why it was even a thing. After all, if diversity exists anywhere in regards to “Hollywood”, it’s definitely through independent channels.

Well, sure enough, that turned out to be exactly right. The panel, which was moderated by Kimberly Jones (Screens/Book editor, Austin Chronicle) and featured directors Matthew Cherry, Logan Kibens and Sudhanshu Saria, was

Growing up with Louis Black and Leonard Maltin

5:23 pm Mar. 14, 2016

By John Laird

Louis Black (managing editor, SXSW Staff/Austin Chronicle) and Leonard Maltin (famed critic), two very recognizable names when it comes to film, had a little hangout session today at SXSW.  If that sounds rather casual, it’s because their “discussion” was simply a charming re-telling of how the two became friends long ago in some suburbs far away from Austin, Texas.

The pair met in 1962, when Black noticed that Maltin

SXSW Film Review: “Best and Most Beautiful Things”

5:11 pm Mar. 14, 2016

By Jane Kellogg Murray

It was a quote by Helen Keller that brought filmmaker Garrett Zevgetis to her former school, Perkins School for

the Blind: “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen

SXSW Film Review: “Born To Be Blue”

1:15 pm Mar. 14, 2016

The life and career of jazz musician Chet Baker could easily be turned into a mini-series. He had several defining eras to his career and they’re all fascinating in different ways. Canadian filmmaker Robert Budreau

SXSW Film review: ‘Artist & Repertoire’

11:58 am Mar. 14, 2016

In the music industry, an A&R person works to discover and sign new artists to a record label. Once signed, they help to oversee albums, securing producers and special guests to help make the project

SXSW Film review: ‘Kill Me Please’

11:28 am Mar. 14, 2016

“Kill Me Please” is gorgeous.

It’s a slow-burn teenage slasher flick, where most of the action takes place off-screen, creating an electric tension throughout.

Bia, the protagonist, is a 15-year-old girl living in Barra da Tijuca, in the

SXSW review: ‘Don’t Think Twice’

11:11 am Mar. 14, 2016

Improvisational comedy can make some people uncomfortable. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it is — maybe it’s the playfulness and lack of shame on the part of the performers. Maybe people who don’t like

SXSW Film review: ‘Slash’

7:56 pm Mar. 13, 2016

Austin-based filmmaker Clay Liford’s latest feature film had its world premiere at SXSW this afternoon to a packed crowd that included many cast and crew members. A broader adaptation of his own 2012 short film, “Slash” stars Michael Johnston (MTV’s “Teen Wolf”) as Neil, an awkward 15-year-old who spends nearly all of his free time writing fan fiction.

In case you’re unfamiliar, the world of “fan fic” is comprised of stories