Four interesting films worth investigating at the SXSW Film Festival this year include: GROW UP, TONY PHILLIPS, THE PUNK SINGER, WHEN ANGELS SING, and ZERO CHARISMA.
GROW UP, TONY PHILLIPS
Writer/Director - Emily Hagins and Cast - Tony Vespe, AJ Bowen, Devin Bonée, Katie Folger, Caleb Barwick
Synopsis - Who doesn’t love Halloween? All of Tony Phillips’ (Tony Vespe) high school friends, apparently. It’s senior year and they’ve now decided that they’re too cool for Halloween. When his older cousin (AJ Bowen) returns home right before the holiday, Tony starts to wonder if he really is the dork everyone thinks he is, or if he’s just ahead of the curve.
Tuesday, 3/12 @ 7:15 PM – Vimeo Theater - World Premiere
Wednesday, 3/13 @ 11:30 AM – Alamo Village
Thursday, 3/14 @ 6:45 PM – Rollins Theater at the Long Center
THE PUNK SINGER
Director - Sini Anderson and Cast - Kathleen Hanna
Synopsis - Kathleen Hanna, lead singer of the punk band Bikini Kill and dance-punk trio Le Tigre, rose to national attention as the reluctant but never shy voice of the riot grrrl movement. She became one of the most famously outspoken feminist icons, a cultural lightning rod.
Her critics wished she would just shut-up, and her fans hoped she never would. So in 2005, when Hanna stopped shouting, many wondered why.
Through 20 years of archival footage and intimate interviews with Hanna, THE PUNK SINGER takes viewers on a fascinating tour of contemporary music and offers a never-before-seen view into the life of this fearless leader.
Sunday, 3/10 @ 10:00 PM – Vimeo Theater - World Premiere
Monday, 3/11 @ 9:15 PM – Alamo Ritz 2
Tuesday, 3/12 @ 7:15 PM – Alamo Village
Wednesday, 3/13 @ 7:00 PM – Stateside Theater
WHEN ANGELS SING
Director - Tim McCanlies and Cast - Harry Connick, Jr., Connie Britton, Chandler Canterbury, Fionnula Flanagan, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett
Synopsis - For thirty years, Michael Walker (Harry Connick, Jr.) has only wanted one thing for Christmas and that’s to forget about it. That is until a mysterious stranger named Nick (Willie Nelson), sells him the home of his family’s dreams with the vague condition that he keeps up with the neighborhood standards. Michael quickly realizes his new street is his worst nightmare. . . Live Oak Lane is world famous for Christmas, complete with eye popping light displays, mounds of fake snow, thousands of visitors and his home as its glorious centerpiece.
Suddenly, Christmas is inescapable – attacking him with massive inflatable Santas, nonstop carolers dropping off decorations and live nativity scenes running rampant through his yard. His contempt for Christmas explodes when pressure mounts from his family (Connie Britton, Chandler Canterbury, Fionnula Flanagan, Kris Kristofferson) and quirky neighbors (Lyle Lovett, Eloise DeJoria) to get into the spirit of the holiday. When Nick returns to question why Michael isn’t fulfilling his part of their bargain, he takes him on a journey to confront his past and save his son from repeating the same mistakes he did.
Sunday, 3/10 @ 3:30 PM – Paramount Theater - World Premiere
Monday, 3/11 @ 7:00 PM – Alamo Slaughter Lane
Friday, 3/15 @ 11:45 AM – Paramount Theater
Director - Katie Graham and Andrew Matthews and Cast - Sam Eidson, Garrett Graham, Brock England, Anne Gee Byrd, Cyndi Williams, Katie Folger
Synopsis - Metal-loving gamer geek Scott Weidemeyer lives with his ornery grandmother and works a lousy job at a donut shop. But every Tuesday night, he is the omnipotent Game Master, guiding his role-players through a tabletop journey of fantasy and adventure. However, when neo-nerd hipster Miles joins his game, Scott begins to resent the admiration Miles receives from the other players. To make matters worse, the health of his grandmother begins to falter, and his estranged mother visits town, reminding Scott of a childhood he’d just as soon forget. Caught in a spiral of rage and delusion, Scott is forced to take drastic steps to reclaim his honor, and his identity as the Game Master.
Monday, 3/11 @ 7:15 PM – Rollins Theater at the Long Center - World Premiere
Wednesday, 3/13 @ 7:00 PM – Rollins Theater at the Long Center
Friday, 3/15 @ 11:00 AM – Topher Theater at Zach Scott
Photo one: Vincent James Prendergast and Brian Losoya. Image courtesy of Zero Charisma. Photo Credit: Sloan Breeden. Second Photo: Andrew Matthews and Katie Graham Photo Credit: Sloan Breeden.