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Tag: Music Festivals (1-10 of 11)

SXSW: A Jimi Hendrix movie without Jimi Hendrix music?

In his directorial feature debut Jimi: All Is By My Side, John Ridley attempts the seemingly impossible. By zeroing in on the year before guitar giant Jimi Hendrix (played with grace by Outkast’s Andre Benjamin) skyrocketed into fame, Ridley — who just won the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for 12 Years a Slave — tells the man’s story without the aid of his legendary music. (Hendrix’s estate refused, like it did with past directors such as Paul Greengrass and the Hughes brothers, to grant rights to the music.) Asked how Ridley will battle the reflexive disappointment Hendrix fans might feel about the prospect of a biopic without “Hey Joe” or “Purple Haze,” he says you simply don’t. “If there are folks who just want the music, there are record stores and they should absolutely go out and do that,” said Ridley in anticipation of the U.S. premiere Wednesday night at SXSW. “You can’t battle folks who come in with a certain mind-set about a film. There’s always going to be folks, like look at 12 Years, I wish I could go to a lot of folks and say, ‘I’m not trying to preach to you about history, I’m not trying to indict you if you happen to be white, I’m not trying to victimize if you’re black, it’s a beautiful story.'” READ FULL STORY

SXSW: 2014 Jury and Special Award winners announced


The South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival announced the winners of this year’s Jury and Special Award winners in a ceremony held Tuesday night in Austin, Texas, and hosted by comedian Jerrod Carmichael (Neighbors). Among the winners are Richard Linklater’s Boyhood (Louis Black “Lone Star” Award) and True Detective (Excellence in Title Design).

Check out the complete list of winners below:


SXSW: Marshmallows unite at 'Veronica Mars'


Seven years and a famous Kickstarter campaign in the making, Veronica Mars finally made its grand jump from small to big screen on Saturday afternoon at the SXSW festival. Rob Thomas’ movie, brisk and fun and full of throwback love to the cult series, opens with Kristen Bell’s Veronica leaving a thriving life in New York City when her forever flame Logan (Jason Dohring, fine as ever) is suspected of murder. Her trip home to Neptune, Calif., coincides with her high school’s 10-year reunion, an event she’d penciled in years ago to studiously avoid. For fans of the series—and if you’ve never indulged, you’ve got a delightful binge ahead of you—it was a joy to see the old gang back together. The great folks behind Wallace, Dick, Weevil, Mac, Piz, Madison, Deputy Leo, and Best Dad Ever Keith Mars were all in Austin to celebrate, and treated the enthusiastic audience to a loose Q&A after the screening.

“This is such an extra special experience because it’s so humbling to know that the reason we’re here is because of you guys and because of all of our Kickstarter friends,” said Bell. In a humble nod to Kickstarter fans’ generous support, Chris Lowell (Piz) said, “I’m just shocked that I’m either on this stage or in the film. I thought I was going to have to be the $10,000 backer to have a speaking line.” When one fan asked Thomas, the man behind both the TV show and movie, when we might expect a stage version of  Veronica Mars, the director joked, “I’m working on the book for the musical right now.”

Of all the afternoon’s adorable moments, none topped Enrico Colantoni’s (Keith) response to being asked how it felt to reunite with on-screen daughter Veronica after all this time. “She was this big, and then she was this big,” Colantoni said of Bell, gesturing to chest height and then chin height. “But like any parent will tell, it doesn’t matter how old they get, you still can’t not look at them like they were”—he paused, to lower his hand back down—”this big.” And then Veronica and her Dad—yeah, yeah, yeah, you may know them as Bell and Colantoni—had this very dear, slightly teary hug. Marshmallow melt.

SXSW: Fest opens with world premiere of Jon Favreau's 'Chef'

The SXSW Film Festival kicked off last night in Austin with the world premiere of Jon Favreau’s Chef, an easygoing charmer about a man rekindling his bonds with both his craft and young son. The movie, which Favreau wrote, directed, and stars in, marked what was clearly a personally reinvigorating return to his indie roots. Inspired by foodie gems like Eat, Drink, Man, Woman, Big Night, and Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential, Favreau has made a shaggy dog story about a creatively frustrated chef who opens a food truck after losing his restaurant job. He hits the road with his sous chef (John Leguizamo, at his grooviest) and his 11-year-old son (charming newcomer Emjay Anthony), making beautifully-filmed pit stops in foodie meccas New Orleans and Austin. (And did the Austin audience ever appreciate the hometown doting.) Sofia Vergara plays Favreau’s ambivalent ex, and there are cameos from friends-in-high-places Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, and Dustin Hoffman.

Favreau was joined on stage by Leguizamo, Anthony, and Oliver Platt (who plays a food blogger whose harsh review at the beginning of the story sends the chef into a tailspin) after the screening for a Q&A. When asked about the theatrical release of the film (it opens on May 9), Favreau sounded relaxed about its box office chances. “It’s going to be swimming in those same shark-infested waters as Iron Man did…and it’s not Iron Man.”

SXSW: 'Wild Canaries' motion posters for the screwball comedy starring Sophia Takal, Alia Shawkat, Jason Ritter -- EXCLUSIVE


There are two types of people in the world: chaos muppets and order muppets.

For Wild Canaries writer/director Lawrence Michael Levine, an order devotee, his wife, actress and director Sophia Takal is the chaos variety. “It can be very, very funny sometimes for the two of us to be in a living situation together. I think that was something he wanted to explore in a comedy,” Takal told EW. Levine agrees: “Sophia is just so funny and wacky in our everyday life and I really wanted to do a movie that would show that off.”

The result? Wild Canaries — a screwball murder mystery in the vein of The Thin Man series, about a newly engaged couple Barri and Noah (played by Takal and Levine) who both react to the death of their elderly downstairs neighbor in different ways. Barri suspects murder. Noah thinks that’s insane.

“It’s really based on our dynamic. Our real dynamic,” she said. Barri enlists her roommate Jean (Arrested Development’s Alia Shawkat) to aid in the amateur investigation. Everyone is suddenly a suspect — from their deceased neighbor’s son (Kevin Corrigan) to the suave, hipster building owner (Jason Ritter) — and relationships become more fraught than ever as the riotous, high-stakes caper evolves.

“[Levine] wrote it right before we got married, so I think a lot of commitment phobia is in there, too,” Takal says about the film, which is premiering at SXSW. Levine says, “I think a lot of those anxieties that exist as you approach marriage — fear of being betrayed, fear of making a mistake, thinking long and hard about if you really trust somebody — these were things that were on my mind. So when I started to write a murder mystery, the one I came up with reflected those fears.

Adds Takal: “We’re exploring things that are relatable but also couching it in a fun mystery.” READ FULL STORY

SXSW: 11 must-see movies on the menu in Texas

Now in its 27th year, SXSW is like the late bloomer who stuns his parents by announcing his basement-based online venture is now worth a million bucks. The Austin, Texas-based festival isn’t glamorous, like Cannes, or corporate, like Toronto, or even insistently anti-Hollywood, like Sundance. Compared to its more-pedigreed rivals, SXSW is simply more chill. It puts the festive back in festival — there’s a giant music and growing interactive element as well — and artists of all sorts are eager to come to the party. Jimmy Kimmel Live will broadcast there for a week. Lady Gaga will drop in. Wes Anderson is swinging by with The Grand Budapest Hotel.

This year’s SXSW, the 21st edition with a film slate, features 89 world premieres, as well as several titles that will be showing in the U.S. for the first time. All in all, there are 133 feature-length movies to see, which is especially overwhelming since the festival opens Friday night and lasts just nine days. But here are 11 world premieres you shouldn’t miss: READ FULL STORY

SXSW: Check out an exclusive clip from cult actor doc 'That Guy Dick Miller' -- VIDEO


If you’re a fan of Roger Corman or Joe Dante then you’re probably also a fan of Dick Miller, who is something of a fixture in both their filmographies.

And even if you’re not, there’s a very good chance you’re at least familiar with his face, given that the veteran character actor has appeared in more than 150 films and TV shows, including The Terminator, both Gremlins movies, and Star Trek: Next Generation. READ FULL STORY

SXSW: Aaron Paul has a 'Hellion' on his hands -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO


For about 20 seconds, Hellion seems like it might be a quiet, introspective portrait of two young boys in Southeast Texas — lyricism in the vein of David Gordon Green’s George Washington or Terrence Malick’s, well, everything. Malick’s longtime producer Sarah Green and modern auteur Jeff Nichols even produced it.

Then the motorcycle engines start revving and the atonal dawn sounds turn to screaming guitars. Hellion is something else. Hellion is heavy metal lyrical.

In Kat Candler’s film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and will also be featured at SXSW, Aaron Paul plays Hollis, a grief-stricken widower and mostly absentee father to two young boys. The eldest, Jacob (the beguiling Josh Wiggins) is a troublemaker and the younger seems to be on the same path. Nothing is easy for this family, and things just continue to go downhill for them when the state steps in.

EW has an exclusive clip of Hellion’s explosive opening. Not even Jesse Pinkman was this angry.


SXSW: 'Newsroom' star John Gallagher Jr. wishes his girlfriend was in Berlin in 'The Heart Machine' -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO


Cody suspects his girlfriend is lying to him. After all, he’s in Brooklyn, Virginia is an ocean away in Berlin, and they fell in love over the Internet. Who knows if she’s as committed to this relationship as he is — they’ve never even met in person! For all he knows, she could be…  secretly living in New York?

In The Heart Machine, which premieres tomorrow at SXSW in Austin, Tex., The Newsroom‘s John Gallagher Jr. plays Cody, who begins to unravel when his suspicions about Virginia become paranoid obsessions. House of Cards‘s Kate Lyn Sheil is his elegant girlfriend, who professes her love for Cody but is more inclined to keep things online-only for the time being. Is Cody being reverse-Catfished, bamboozled by an actual girlfriend who prefers things at a distance? Or is he simply sabotaging the only real relationship he’s ever had?

Writer/director Zachary Wigon wrote the screenplay after his own relationship survived and thrived during a long-distance spell but then fell apart when they were reunited in the same city. “When she came back, I was struck by how incompatible the two of us were, thinking, ‘Who is this person, and what did they do to the person I was dating over Skype?'” Wigon explained. “And that relationship ended, but I started thinking, ‘What if you had a person who preferred a relationship over Skype to a relationship in person?'”

Click below for the exclusive teaser for The Heart Machine, adapted and expanded from Wigon’s 2012 short, Someone Else’s Heart: READ FULL STORY

SXSW: Nick Damici on his new horror-drama 'Late Phases' -- EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS


Over the past few years, actor Nick Damici has faced off against bloodthirsty virus victims (Mulberry Street), vampires (Stake Land), and cannibals (last year’s terrific  We Are What We Are). So what’s next on the agenda for the New York-based thespian and excellent cook? That would be werewolves.

In acclaimed director Adrián García Bogliano’s new horror-drama Late Phases, Damici is a war veteran whose son (Ethan Embry) forces him to move into a retirement community beset deadly animal attacks. “I play a blind 70-year-old guy who moves into a retirement community upstate,” elaborates the actor. “First night he’s there, a werewolf attacks him. And then it’s war — the blind guy against the werewolves.” READ FULL STORY

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