SXSW 2018 is upon us. Here are 10 films, without Tomatometers to guide us comfortably, premiering at this year's fest that you can bet on.
Relaxer - Joel Potrykus
Dogged to deteriorate ‘til he clobbers the unclobberable, Abby can’t flee his dent in the couch til he bests his brother’s bet to beat level 256 of Pac-Man. The stakes are, in that Potrykus way, only as strong as the disillusioned hero can envisage. Sleepless, stagnating, running on processed dairy, Abby’s obstacle might be Potrykus’s most menacing yet.
Don’t Leave Home - Michael Tully
Michael Tully’s first feature since the low-dose nostalgia trip Ping Pong Summer leaves comfort for myth and mystery, a curiosity and obsession that leads an artist away from the hearth.
Field Guide To Evil - Anthology
This ”Global dark folklore anthology” features shorts from The Lure director Agniezka Smoczynska, Goodnight Mommy’s directing duo Severin Fiala & Veronika Franz, Berberian Sound Studio’s Peter Strickland, Baskin’s Can Evrenol --. I don't need to go on.
Galveston - Mélanie Laurent
Pizzolato, of True Detective Season 1 fame & True Detective Season 2 infamy, has adapted his novel Galveston for the screen. That would usually signal another barely-seething manifestation of toxic masculinity on film, but slickened femme Mélanie Laurent directs and, I hope, wanes his brooding flame to a cool with sangfroid.
Thy Kingdom Come - Eugene Richards
This is a weird one. Eugene Richards a ‘videographer’ on Mallick’s universally panned To The Wonder, has collected footage he shot on that film with unscripted “interviews” between Javier Bardem and the townspeople, chiefly prison inmates, into some hodgepodge docu-fiction hybrid. I’m skeptical it’ll work, but curious enough to watch and see if it does.
Jinn - Nilja Mu’min
“A shape-shifting, pepperoni-loving, black teenage Instagram celebrity explores her identity and sexuality in the midst of her mother’s conversion to Islam.”
Sadie - Megan Griffiths
Megan Griffiths (Eden, The Night Stalker) spent 2017 directing two episodes of HBO’s Room 104, and an episode of Animal Kingdom and Graves. She keeps growing, and with Sadie she has a strong foundation to shape: the premise of a girl at war with her mom at home -- while her dad’s away at war.
Paradox - Daryl Hannah
Daryl Hannah makes her feature directorial debut with a surreal, time-blending, western musical?
6 Balloons - Marja-Lewis Ryan
A single night’s effort to rush a heroin addict to a detox center, this little comedy accumulated some star power somewhere along the road to production. Dave Franco and Abbi Jacobson lead, Franco as the addict brother and Jacobson as the aiding sister.
Shotgun - Hannah Marks & Joey Power
Maika Monroe and Jeremy Allen White star as the young couple in a new relationship that’s propelled into seriousness when one contracts a fatal illness. Will tragedy drive you closer together than you might’ve without? I’m rooting for these directors I’ve never heard of.