Best of SXSW 2019

Below are some of my favorite movies and music from SXSW 2019. Overall it was an excellent year for movies. While there was still a ton of good music, SXSW has definitely gone back to its roots and has deemphasized appearances by really big names.

Comedies/Narrative

Good Boys – If you liked Superbad you’ll probably like this. Instead of kids in high school this is a rude and crude comedy focused on a trio of 6th graders. This is really funny but it will probably offend some. It is produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. This doesn’t open until August.

Long Shot – A romantic comedy starring Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron. He is very Set Rogen-y (clearly I like Seth Rogen).

Booksmart – Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut about 2 graduating high school friends realizing they spent too much time studying and not enough time partying. They try to make up for lost time, partying and havoc ensues and lessons are learned. Funny and touching.

Sword of Trust – Marc Maron in an improvisational comedy. Maybe I partially liked it because I’ve been listening to his podcast for years.

The Art of Self Defense – A very dark comedy starring Jesse Eisenberg. He enrolls in Karate school to learn how to stand up for and defend himself

Villains – A couple of thieves run out of gas and stop by the wrong house looking for a ride. This is a well written comedy/thriller with lots of good plot twists.

Documentaries

The River and The Wall – This movies shows half a dozen people going 1200 miles along the U.S./Mexico border from El Paso to the Gulf of Mexico. Due to varying terrains they at various times ride bikes, horses and canoes. The scenery is amazing and this is a movie worth watching on a big screen in a movie theater. The movie show’s how various animal habitats/environments will be destroyed if a wall is built and that for much of the border a wall is unnecessary as the border at those place is uncrossable

For Sama – An amazing documentary showing life in Aleppo, Syria as the Syrian civil war dragged on. The film covers five years as a woman struggles to live, love and raise a baby in a war torn environment through film that she shot. This is at times very tough to watch.

Running With Beto – A close up and personal look at the Senate campaign by Beto O’Rourke

Knock Down The House – An in depth look at he 2018 campaigns of 4 insurgent democrat women (including Ocasio-Cortez)

Amazing Grace – A concert film of Aretha Franklin recording a 1972 gospel album. Here is link to an article of why this doc took so long to see the light of day: https://www.vulture.com/2018/12/the-story-behind-aretha-franklins-delayed-doc-amazing-grace.html

Best Music (many of which you’ll never have heard of)

  • Sweet Crude
  • Madison Cunningham
  • Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians
  • Small Glories
  • Seratones
  • Steve Earl and the Dukes
  • Boyz II Men (they sang a couple of songs at the Q&A after the movie Long Shot)
  • Gina Chavez
  • Gaelyn Lea
  • Broken Social Scene
  • Quiet Company

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