SXSW 2014 Wrap Up: World premieres, directorial debuts, and more!

South by Southwest 2014 felt even larger this year with additions of Keynote speakers, its countless conference events, and of course, the music. South by Southwest is truly the convergence of all things talent and nothing showcases this better than the vast array of films screened this year.With 133 feature films screened across 10 venues, 11 screens, and over 9 days, SXSW 2014 has come to a close. This year saw, as with many years in the past, a great collection of headliners, festival favorites, filmmaker debuts, and oddball favorites.

Signing off from Austin, TX, see y’all next  year! If you missed any of our coverage of SXSW, check out the links below:

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Bad Words
Directed by Jason Bateman
In his directorial debut, Bateman pulls little punches. In a script that strings along profanity like letters in a spelling bee challenge word, most will cringe, others will laugh, and a few will cringe while laughing. It’s raucous, offensive, and niche… (read the full review)

Chef
Directed by Jon Favreau
Oscar Wilde once wrote that life imitates art; the way in which people live their lives are often based on their expressions through the latter.Chef, through Favreau’s eyes in meta-fashion… (read the full review)

Fort Tilden
Directed by Sarah-Violet Bliss and Charles Rogers
Zeitgeist may be a bit ambitious for Fort Tilden, which is more content with bludgeoning viewers with an onslaught of oversimplification and contrived contemptibility . Whether one agrees or not with the popular views of Millennials, SXSW’s Grand Jury Award Winner for… (read the full review)

Frank
Directed by Lenny Abrahamson
Late in the movie, Frank (Michael Fassbender), the eponymous musician, exclaims in an attempt to be accepted that he’s made his “most likeable song” yet. Frank explores with eccentric, odd ball delight the personal sources of creativity… (read the full review)

Guest, The
Directed by Adam Wingard
From the writer and director of sleeper hit, You’re Next, Simon Barrett  and Adam Wingard bring another energetic crowd pleaser. The Guest makes for a great midnight movie, playing like an old-fashioned action/slasher thriller that features a twisted, creepy… (read the full review)

Harmontown
Directed by Neil Berkeley
Spawning from the popular podcast and controversial behavior of Community showrunner Dan Harmon, Harmontown is an intimate look into his inner workings through his relationship with the people around him. As with him, his relationships are complex. The film explores his simultaneous narcissism and self loathing as well as his core motivations for writing. It’s an honest film about a man who reaches out to the people on the fringes of society much like himself… (read the full review)

Infinite Man, The
Directed by Hugh Sullivan
Relationships and time travel are often tied together and with good reason. Relationships are a natural source of conflict, and time travel lends itself well metaphorically to the lengths people will go for one another. The Infinite Man irreverently… (read the full review)

Joe
Directed by David Gordon Green
A popular view is that humanity is unfit for this world. It has been examined many times throughout art. In the Larry Brown novel, Joe (1991), David Gordon Green adeptly utilizes rural syntax and naturalistic setting to express heady… (read full review)

Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter
Directed by David Zellner and Nathan Zellner
Stories mean everything to people. It’s a means of connecting to each other as well as ourselves. From social dications to fantastical narratives, stories permeate society and can be crushing, liberating, or isolating. Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter is an odd… (read the full review)

Oculus
Directed by Mike Flanagan
People have always been fascinated by mirrors. Something about the ability to see ourselves is utterly unsettling, making it a natural focal point for horror films. Oculus operates as a mind bending, gasp inducing film that’s as clever as it is scary… (read the full review)

Only Lovers Left Alive
Directed by Jim Jarmusch
Inspired by Mark Twain’s Extracts from Adam’s Diary, Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive beautifully explores love and living after immortality siphoned away any semblance of life. Beautifully shot and wonderfully performed, the film eschews… (read the full review)

Predestination
Directed by Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig
Effective time travel films must be able to set clear, established rules and be a means of achieving greater, emotional weight . Without the two, a film can be eviscerated by plot holes or become an unruly, empty spectacle. Predestination, an adaptation of… (read the full review)

Space Station 76
Directed by Jack Plotnick
Space Station 76 begins with a narration musing on the impermanence and isolation of asteroidal paths. It’s the overarching metaphor in a film that is hilariously set in a nostalgic, 1970s version of the future and populated with hurt, dysfunctional… (read the full review)

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