Wednesday, May 6, 2020

SX11

Out of the 39 entries available from the SXSW 2020 Film Festival on Prime Video, I've watched 23 so far. Free access ends tonight, and I plan to catch as many of the shorts as I can. Here are my Top Picks from the ones I've watched.

For Documentary Features, the standout is My Darling Vivian, dir. Matt Riddlehoover, about Vivian Liberto, Johnny Cash's first wife and the mother of his four daughters. An interesting look into her life without devolving into a hagiography, it includes great interviews and archival footage.

I watched 2 of the Narrative Features, and neither one was outstanding. For Narrative Shorts, here are my favorites so far:

Broken Bird, dir. Rachel Harrison Gordon - engaging story about a biracial girl who gets distracted by disco on her way to womanhood.
Daddio, dir. Casey Wilson - it's always good to be reminded just how talented Michael McKean is as an actor.
Dirty, dir. Matthew Puccini - nice love story that navigates around the shit of life.
Reminiscences of the Green Revolution, dir. Dean Colin Marcial  - this was a surprisingly beautiful film that does a lot in just a few minutes.
Soft, dir. Daniel Antebi - wow with that cinematography and just a tiny glimpse of a life.
Still Wylde, dir. Ingrid Haas - affecting story with talented actors.
Vert, dir. Kate Cox - interesting twist on coming to terms with who you are and who you love.

For Documentary Shorts, I'd recommend the following:

Betye Saar: Taking Care of Business, dir. Christine Turner - straightforward focus on an amazing artist.
Broken Orchestra, dir. Charlie Tyrell - innovative storytelling, though I wanted less talking heads and more of the music.
Modern Whore, dir. Nicole Bazuin - sex positive look at contemporary sex work in the age of #metoo.

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