Browsing: SXSW 2016

Film Festival in a valley of violence

As a filmmaker deeply associated with horror, the idea of a Ti West revenge western set in the 1890s may cause some to do a double take. However, by the time the film’s wonderful animated opening credit sequence concludes it’s crystal clear that In a Valley of Violence is a Ti West film through and through. West’s signature is all over the film, from his dialogue-driven interactions and blood-soaked gore to his trademark humor and visual style. That’s not even to mention the film’s magnificent score, top-notch performances, and layered emotional undercurrents. In A Valley of Violence isn’t just a strong candidate for West’s best work. It’s one of the best westerns the genre has seen in years.

SXSW 2016 i am the blues 1

At one point in Daniel Cross’ I Am the Blues one of the many musicians is casually reminiscing on what music has meant to him. Just as he wraps up his tale, he looks up at the camera and casually mumbles, “There’s always a story behind the song.” That one quote is probably the best summary of the entire…

SXSW 2016 hush 1

I came to the horror genre late. There’s a story that involves Killer Klowns and a terrified little boy, but that’s a story for another time. The experience led me to miss out on years of genuine scares because once you become an adult, it gets a lot harder to be scared. Regardless of the frequency…

SXSW 2016 american fable 1

It can be really nice to go into a film blank. No expectations, no idea, no concern. It’s the way we most classically enjoy stories. Someone just starts talking and you listen, letting them aurally guide you on a journey to some mystery location. So I urge you, don’t read this review, at least not yet. Go against…

SXSW 2016 DEM_9502.psd

Full disclosure, Jean-Marc Vallée has never really done anything for me as a filmmaker. I thought Dallas Buyers Club had some nice performances but was bland overall and Wild was frustratingly grating and I never understood the love that it received. His films struck me as…

SXSW 2016 loev 1

When I moved to Boston for college I remember hearing about a weird law that precluded more than four women from sharing the same residence. The story went that as soon as a house hit that magic female number it was deemed a brothel. It was something that people laughed about. What an absurd and antiquated…

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