Since it began showing films in the early 1990s, South by Southwest has been home to some amazing world premieres. From huge blockbusters to stunning indie gems and documentaries, SXSW has provided film fans with a wide variety to choose from. Here are some of the world premieres from SXSW you should make it a point to see.
Air Guitar Nation (2006)
A wise person once said, to err is human, to air guitar, divine. The air guitar is one of the most universal forms of communication in the world. It is a sign of joy, excitement, and celebration. It is also something that some people take very seriously. This silly documentary follows top air guitarists in competitions that span the globe.
Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop (2011)
The controversial split between NBC and O’Brien is one of late night television’s most infamous incidents. The documentary follows O’Brien after he was legally prohibited from appearing on the internet, television, or radio. The film is not so much about the comedy (though it is unsurprisingly hilarious) but about the long time talk show host’s need to keep performing.
21 Jump Street (2012)
Not all remakes are just soulless cash ins. And even if they are, that does not mean they cannot be good. Channing Tatum is great in a movie that never takes itself too seriously or relies on the source material. The film perfectly mixes nostalgia and satire and remains funny the entire time. It may have been unnecessary, but it was a lot of fun.
Short Term 12 (2013)
Brie Larson’s first leading role is a memorable one. The future Captain Marvel plays a woman named Grace Howard. The intimate film follows Grace who is the supervisor of a group home for troubled teenagers. Filled with strong performances and writing, the film was one of the best of 2013. Despite the critical accolades, it was largely ignored by the larger awards.
A Quiet Place (2018)
One of the greatest cinema experiences of my life are the opening moments of A Quiet Place. The audience quickly learns that no one is safe and danger can come at any time. Its great characters and fantastic creature design only add to the fun. The movie uses sound in a way other horror films have tried to do but have failed at.
SXSW is March 16 – March 20. Tickets and a full lineup can be found here.
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