Denmark’s In a Better World (2011 Golden Globe and Academy Award-winner for Best Foreign Language Film) is arguably the most important film being shown at SXSW this year. Directed by Susanne Bier (Things We Lost in the Fire, After the Wedding), the movie contrasts an idyllic Denmark with a harsh African refugee camp and explores love, revenge, and forgiveness. 6pm Fri, March 11, State Theatre, 719 Congress.
MUSIC OR MUSIC-RELATED FILMS
James Moll’s Foo Fighters covers Dave Grohl’s band’s entire 16-year career. 6pm Tue, March 15, Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress. (World Premiere)
Scenes from the Suburbs teams up Spike Jonze, the director of Adaptation and Being John Malkovich, with Arcade Fire in a match made in heaven. This 35-minute visual companion to The Suburbs album was co-written by Jonze and Win and Will Butler. 1:30pm Mon, March 14, Alamo Lamar A, 1120 S Lamar.
Films from R.E.M.’s Collapse Into Now is a collection of shorts by various directors on the Athens band’s latest (superb) album (check out our review). A Q&A with Michael Stipe will follow the screening. 8:30pm Wed, March 16, Alamo Ritz 1, 320 E 6th.
The world premiere of Outside Industry: The Story of SXSW, directed by Alan Berg, tells you everything you need to know (including the bad and ugly) about the world’s largest music and film festival. 4:30pm Wed, March 16, Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress. (World Premiere)
Billy Bob Thornton’s The King of Luck, a documentary on Willie Nelson, was chosen to close this year’s festival. 7pm Sat, March 19, Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress. (World Premiere)
BEST KEEP-YOUR-HANDS-IN-YOUR-POCKETS PREMIERE
The Pee-wee Herman Show on Broadway, Paul Reubens’ upcoming HBO special, based on his successful Broadway run. 4pm Sat, March 12, State Theatre, 719 Congress.
BEST MOVIE AND CASTING BY AN ACTOR
The Jodie Foster-directed The Beaver. I haven’t seen it, but if the Oscars had a prize for Best Casting, it should be hers. Her co-star plays “a man on a journey to re-discover his family and re-start his life … plagued by his own demons … was successful … now suffers from depression and, no matter what he tries … can’t seem to get himself back on track.” The name of the actor? Mel Gibson. 7pm Wed, March 16, 713 Congress Ave (World Premiere)
BEST STOP-BEFORE-ANIMAL PLANET MOVIE
Rodman Flender’s Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop, chronicles the most trying time of the writer and talk-show host’s career. 1:45pm Sun, March 13, Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress. (World Premiere)
BEST ROMANTIC COMEDY MEANT TO BE READ
I usually hate modern romantic comedies, but Chile’s Fuck My Life, directed by Nicolás López, takes a hilarious unique look at urban Andean love in the time of Facebook. In Spanish with English subtitles. 6:15pm Sun, March 13, Alamo Lamar B, 1120 S Lamar Blvd (U.S. Premiere)
BEST REVIVAL PIC
Buster Keaton’s The Cameraman (1928), hands down. Co-directed by Edward Sedgwick and Keaton himself, it is a hilarious but underrated silent comedy classic. After he lost his own studio to booze, this was his first MGM film; soon after, he would lose all creative control of his films. Meaning: this is the last Keaton film that doesn’t suck. Austin’s jazz-rock band Bee vs. Moth will play the original score live alongside the film. Noon Sun, March 19, Alamo Ritz 1, 320 E 6th.