The 2001 South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference is set to take off on [ March 9th ] before wrapping up on [ March 13th, 2001 ] in lovely Austin, TX. Workshops and professional panels will be the order of the day(s), with our very own Chris Gore doling out the sage advice, and a host of cool new films will also be on display. SXSW has released the details for several confirmed Film Conference pieces, and they are:
[ Bartleby ] ^ World Premiere narrative feature by Jonathan Parker. ^ Crispin Glover is the mysterious Bartleby, hero of Herman Melville’s classic short story “Bartleby the Scrivener,” here set in present day America. An all-star cast tries to discover the meaning and mania behind this misunderstood man. A bizarre backdrop surrounds this comical update and tells a baffling story about tedium and monotony in the modern workplace.
[ The Mad Songs of Fernanda Hussein ] ^ World Premiere narrative feature by John Gianvito. ^ Shot on a hand-to-mouth budget over six years, MAD SONGS is the first American film to chronicle the Gulf War on the home front. This rare epic independent film follows three survivors of tragedy brought on by America’s war effort, resurrecting memories too quickly put behind us.
[ The Trouble With Lou ] ^ Narrative feature by by Pixar animator Teddy Newton and Gregor. ^ This 1950s sex-ed film tells the story of a lonely Italian boy, Lou Romano, and his struggle to quit masturbating. Along the way he finds love, gives up his collection of exotic handcreams and lotions, and becomes the star of his high school caber toss team.
[ Accordion Dreams ] ^ World Premiere documentary by Hector Galan (Dir, eleven episodes of Frontline, Chicano! History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement). ^ The arrival of the European button accordion to Texas gave birth to a new sound that came to define Texas Mexican Music. ACCORDION DREAMS looks at today’s young rebel accordionists who have expanded the musical style to the fringes of rock, blues, and pop while paying homage to its pioneers.
[ Caesar’s Park ] ^ Documentary by Sarah Price (Prod, AMERICAN MOVIE). ^ Drifting through a year of seasonal interviews, Caesar’s Park is a warm, meditative, and very funny portrait of Sarah Price’s Milwaukee neighborhood.
[ Cinéma Verité: Defining the Moment ] ^ Documentary by Peter Wintonick (Co-Dir, Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media). ^ Rich with excerpts from influential verité classics, DEFINING THE MOMENT is a chronicle of the rebel filmmakers of the 50s and 60s who pioneered the raw, gritty and dramatic cinéma verité style.
[ Freestyle ] ^ Documentary by Kevin Fitzgerald. ^ Combining rarely seen found and archival footage with footage filmed in the streets and underground open mikes of New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, FREESTYLE explores the world of rap, providing an inside look into the life, music, and culture of hip-hop.
[ Jerry Wexler: Immaculate Funk ] ^ World Premiere documentary by Tom Thurman (Dir, Ben Johnson: Third Cowboy on the Right, Warren Oates: Across the Border). ^ Featuring rare performance footage and original interviews, IMMACULATE FUNK is a portrait of writer and Atlantic Records producer Jerry Wexler. Featuring Ray Charles, Doug Sahm, Aretha Franklin, Allen Toussaint, Etta James, Willie Nelson, and many other luminaries influenced by Wexler.
[ We Sold Our Souls for Rock-n-Roll ] ^ Documentary by Penelope Spheeris (Dir, The Decline of Western Civilization, Wayne’s World). ^ WE SOLD OUR SOULS is a chronicle of the thirty-city adventures of the most successful rock concert festival tour of the nineties– Ozzfest. Featuring performances by industry icons Black Sabbath, Rob Zombie, Slipknot, Godsmack, and Slayer.
For the latest news on the growing roster of SXSW films, as well as ticket information and a look at the history of the mammoth event, check back with the [ official SXSW site. ]