As this piece is published, your humble correspondent is en route to Austin, Texas for the 33rd annual SXSW Conference and Festivals – specifically, the 26th edition of the SXSW Film Festival, which has always been one of my favorite places to see exciting new genre movies, documentaries, and crowd-pleasers. SXSW stands out on the festival circuit in one major way: while most film fests offer visiting critics the opportunity to see their movies at press and industry-only screenings, SXSW insists that we see all the movies with the rest of the festival-goers. And that spirit of unity and camaraderie – and the rowdy atmosphere when one is really going over – is part of what makes this festival such a pleasure to attend and cover.
This year’s slate is full of exciting premieres and chances to check out faves from the festival circuit; here are a few I can’t wait to see.
This year’s Opening Night selection is one of the most feverishly anticipated pictures of the year: writer/director Jordan Peele’s follow-up to his Academy Award-winning, commercially and culturally groundbreaking hit Get Out. Based on its trailer, this one looks like a sharp-edged examination of black identity in the Trump era. Or it could just be a really freaky thriller. That’s fine too! Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, and Tim Heidecker star.