sxsw 2022

The South By Southwest Film Festival runs from March 11 to March 20 this year, an in-person event with online screening options. With new films from Richard Linklater and Daniels, a documentary from Ramin Bahrani and a slew of inventive horror films — here’s everything we’re looking forward to watching.

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

Screening Section: Headliners

Nicholas Cage plays a jaded, near-bankrupt version of himself who accepts 1 million dollars to attend a fan’s birthday, only to be recruited by the CIA and roped into a plot that involves him channeling some of his most iconic onscreen characters in an attempt to save himself and his family. This Tom Gormican comedy also stars Pedro Pascal and Tiffany Haddish. 

Everything Everywhere All At Once

Screening Section: Headliners

Six years after their wonderfully weird debut feature, Swiss Army Man (2016), Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, collectively known as the Daniels, are back with Everything Everywhere All At Once, a sci-fi adventure starring Michelle Yeoh. The actress plays Chinese immigrant Evelyn, who sets out to do her taxes but suddenly finds herself tasked with saving the multiverse, in which versions of her include an actress, a chef and a martial arts expert.

The Prank

Screening Section: Narrative Spotlight

When a cruel physics teacher suspects one of her students of having cheated, and subsequently decides to fail her entire class, two friends decide to frame her for murder on social media. Directed by Maureen Bharoocha, whose feature film was the armwrestling comedy Golden Arm, the film stars Rita Moreno in the lead.

Bitch Ass

Screening Section: Midnighters

A horror film in the vein of Candyman, Bill Posley’s Bitch Ass starts in 1980, when Texas children bully and eventually kill an overweight classmate they nickname ‘Bitch Ass’. By 1999, he’s become an urban legend, and another group of students are tasked with robbing his old home as part of a gang initiation ritual. What they don’t know is that he’s been rigging the house with more sinister versions of the childhood games he was bullied for playing. 

2nd Chance

Screening Section: Festival Favourite

Continuing his tradition of chronicling the most impoverished sections of society, director Ramin Bahrani shifts away from the feature film format with a documentary tracing the rise and fall of bankrupt pizzeria owner Richard Davis, who invented the modern bulletproof vest and shot himself 192 times to prove it worked.

Bodies Bodies Bodies

Screening Section: Headliners

Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Pete Davidson, and Lee Pace star in this A24 slasher-comedy about a group of friends who throw a party at an isolated mansion while seeking shelter during a hurricane, only for it to go horribly wrong. Director Halina Reijn’s debut feature Instinct was selected as the Dutch entry for Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards.

Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood

Screening Section: Headliners

From Richard Linklater, the master of cinematic time capsules, comes Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood, an animated sci-fi film set in his childhood home of Houston, Texas. Set against the 1969 Apollo mission to the moon, it tells the story from both, the perspective of the astronauts living it, and that of a child watching it unfold on TV. The film stars Zachary Levi, Glen Powell and Jack Black.

The Cow

Screening Section: Narrative Spotlight

The Cow marks the directorial debut of Eli Horowitz, the co-creator and writer of Amazon Prime Video thriller series Homecoming. A twisted, sinister tale, it follows Kath (Winona Ryder) and her boyfriend who book a remote cabin for a weekend getaway and discover another couple occupying it when they get there. When Kath can’t find her boyfriend and the other woman the next day, she realises that the reason for their disappearance is more frightening than she anticipated.

X

Screening Section: Midnighters

Longtime horror director Ti West returns six years after his last film, In The Valley of Violence (2016), with a story about a group of young filmmakers who head to rural Texas intending to shoot an adult film, but find themselves having to fight for their lives when their hosts discover what they’re doing. The thriller stars Mia Goth, Jenna Ortega and Scott Mescudi.

Fire of Love

Screening Section: Festival Favourites

Two French scientists Katia and Maurice Krafft meet over their shared passion — risking their lives filming volcanoes up close — and die the same way. The documentary, directed by Sara Dosa, traces their love story and adventurous spirits through the hundreds of hours of footage and thousands of photographs they left behind. 

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