The Best and Worst Films of SXSW 2014

AUSTIN, TX: The conference portion of the SXSW Film Festival has drawn to a close (though films will continue to run through the weekend), so alas, your film editor’s time in the lovely city of Austin is just about over. This year’s was an intriguing and entertaining slate, lacking the kind of breakout hits I’ve seen here in years past, but nonetheless filled with films that you’ll want to seek out in the weeks and months to come. Here’s a quick jaunt through the 15 movies I saw there; check out the rest of our continuing SXSW 2014 coverage here.


The Dance of Reality
Within the first 20 minutes of The Dance of Reality, we encounter an elaborately costumed little person, a mother who sings all of her dialogue operatically, copious male nudity, and a (literal) chorus of amputees. Welcome back to moviemaking, Alejandro Jodorowsky! This is the El Topo creator’s first film in over two decades, and his freak flag certainly hasn’t deteriorated in the interim; he lets it fly proudly in this autobiographical mash-up of confession and surrealism. His style is not my particular brand of vodka, but if you like what he does, you’ll find a whole lot of it here. (You know who you are.)