SXSW Film officially came to an end last Saturday. Over the duration of the festival, I managed to catch close to 30 films. Here are the best of those I saw during the last leg of the fest.
How To Die In Oregon
How to Die in Oregon can be described with one word, heavy. The documentary follows a small group of people involved in the legal assisted suicide program in Oregon. Given the subject matter, you can imagine the controversy. At times it’s hard to watch, but How to Die in Oregon definitely serves as a fantastic conversation starter.
Foo Fighters: Back and Forth
Documenting the rise of the Foo Fighters from their beginning to now, this film plays out like most episodes of Behind the Music. Still, this is one Foo Fighters fans will enjoy.
Before the film screened Dave Grohl and his bandmates introduced it. Afterwards, they managed to melt the faces of a small crowd with an awesome show at Stubb’s. It was a great followup to the film.
Hobo With A Shotgun
A few years ago, Robert Rodriguez held a contest in which submitters were asked to create a grindhouse trailer. The winner, announced at SXSW that year, was Hobo With A Shotgun. Fast-forward to today, and we have a feature length version of Hobo starring none other than the always-great Rutger Hauer. The film is fast, violent and a great midnight movie to take in with friends and a couple of drinks.
Probably one of the most talked-about films over the past few months is the Jodie Foster directed The Beaver. Mel Gibson stars as a man suffering from massive depression who finds the only way to truly express himself is through a beaver hand puppet. However, as things start looking up, the persona he has created through the beaver begins to take over.
This is a genuinely good film. Mel Gibson turns in a performance that’s honest and believable. It’s unfortunate that many prefer to focus on his personal issues and allow them to overshadow the greatness that is this film. One can only hope audiences will be able to look past the artist and see the art when this one is finally released.
All in all, this SXSW was pretty fantastic. The film selection was top notch, and the filmmakers were never dull. This definitely ranks as one of the best SXSW film festivals I’ve had the pleasure of attending since my first in 1998. The next one can’t come soon enough!