SXSW Day 2

Quite a few films to talk about today.  I watched one last film on the first day and then 4 yesterday, so I’m just going to jump right in.

9 Rides (Matthew A. Cherry, 2016)

While this film did have moments of brilliance when focusing on the experiences of an Uber driver, the film failed at most levels.  The underlying plot seemed forced, and details were muddled about the driver’s reality.  The film was hastily short, and while there were a few moments of breathtaking cinematography, those moments were overshadowed by more moments of no focus or camera shakiness to the point of unwatchablity.  At minimum, the film needed another screenplay review and a few nights to re-shoot some scenes.

Little Sister (Zach Clark, 2016)

I loved this perfect festival film.  Pleasantly quirky, without all the negative connotation that quirk has begun to take on, this film’s depiction of a broken family had me smiling and laughing for its entire run.  Addison Timlin was convincing in her role of a goth metalhead turned nun and a joy to get to know.  While the film lacks the gravitas to be a major player in theaters, I anticipate highly recommending “Little Sister” for years on various VOD services.

The Seer: A Portrait of Wendell Berry (Laura Dunn, 2016)

I’m not sure that this beautifully shot documentary got its intended point across.  I’m also not convinced that that’s a bad thing either.  The film veered from its stated purpose of portraying author Wendell Berry, and instead focused more on the community that he grew to represent, Middle America farmers.  Hearing the plight of the farmer over the past 60 years was more than engrossing enough for a documentary, and the overlaid essay experts from Berry still fit theme.

The Space in Between: Marina Abramovic and Brazil (Marco Del Fiol, 2016)

Marina Abramovic is one of the most fascinating humans on this planet.  I’ve been engrossed watching footage of her doing nothing but sit and stare into people’s eyes.  It should come as no surprise that her enigmatic persona was more than enough to keep me engrossed in an otherwise banal documentary.  That being said, I will revisit “The Artist is Present” again multiple times while “The Space in Between” will end up being a single time viewer for me.

Ovarian Psycos (Joanna Sokolowski and Kate Trumbull-LaValle, 2016)

My favorite film of the festival so far, “Ovarian Psycos” is a great piece of feminism.  We get to know the group of cyclists and the ideals that they stand for.  They provide a loving community for women of color, a group whose rights and protections are lagging far behind due to intersectionality.  Watching the strength that the women get from each other, and their dedication to the community despite personal traumas was endearing.  And as I trans woman, I was very happy to hear them always specify that they were open to all female identified riders despite their name.

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