If you haven’t heard yet, this Friday will be the first day of the 2017 SXSW Festival here in Austin, Texas. As per the last few years, I’ll be there first-hand as an official member of the press not only giving you reviews on the hottest films screening, but I’ll also have a few other treats for you during this fest. Before I preview some of that, let’s talk a little bit about some of the titles that’ll be playing at this year’s fest.
The worst thing about film festivals is that there’s always so many great films playing but you can’t physically see all of them at once. At this point, I’m scheduled to see around 14-15 films during the fest. I have no idea how I’m going to do it (I saw 11 movies at last year’s fest), but by God I’m going to try. The films that I’m looking forward to the most are comedies like James Franco’s The Disaster Artist, which tells the story of the making-of Tommy Wiseau’s The Room which should be really funny. And then there’s a potential indie-classic-in-the-making with Noël Wells‘s directorial debut Mr. Roosevelt, which I have really high hopes for. Wells is a remarkably talented actress/comedian who’s been seen on SNL and Aziz Ansari‘s brilliant Netflix comedy Master of None, and I have a feeling that she’s about to break out on her own with Mr. Roosevelt.
Some of the other big premieres include the world premiere of Edgar Wright‘s Baby Driver, which could be a runaway success at this year’s fest. The film has a great cast in Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, Kevin Spacey, and others in this remarkable fun-sounding film. Edgar Wright has always been a personal favorite of mine for years, and while it was disappointing that he didn’t get to do Ant-Man for Marvel, I’m hoping that this original film by the British filmmaker will have been worth the wait.
There’s a lot of great documentaries playing this year, like the potentially very powerful and socially conscious Stranger Fruit, which tells the story of Michael Brown and the impact of his death in Ferguson, Missouri and throughout the world. That will be a tough one to sit through, but one of the most important of this year’s fest. On the world premiere side, we have a charming little doc by Frank Oz telling the story of the Muppets, and Josh Greenbaum has made a film called Becoming Bond that sounds just as delightful. The latter tells the story of George Lazenby, who as you know played James Bond for only one movie, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and walked away from a six-picture deal and millions of dollars. The film sounds wildly unique in that it’s half documentary and half narrative, with actors acting out Lazenby’s life story. I’m really looking forward to that one.
Luckily, this helps me segway into some of the really cool stuff I get to do this year. Since I’m a member of the press, I’m offered to do some really cool stuff in and around the fest. As with last year, I’ll be covering the Texas Film Awards this Thursday night, and I’ll publish my report from the red carpet as well as interviews from this year’s recipients/presenters. But looking at Becoming Bond, I have the privilege of sitting down and talking with Mr. Lazenby, Mr. Greenbaum, and Josh Lawson, who plays Lazenby in the narrative sequences of the film. This is really exciting to do, and I can’t wait to share with you that interview as well as my thoughts on the film. I also have other interview opportunities that are just as exciting, but they are pending and not yet confirmed.
That closing sentence segways into my next point I’d like to make before I wrap up this preview. If you’d like to follow the latest updates by me from SXSW. I recommend following me on my social media platforms. The best places to follow me for the latest updates (other than the official Twitter and Facebook pages) would be from my personal Twitter profile, @MrJakeSalinas. I’ll be tweeting quite a bit from the fest, so I’ll let you know right then and there on what the latest is for me in terms of interviews, screenings, panels, and so on. Those will also be the best places to follow when I let you know on the status of these pending press opportunities.
Thank you very much for reading not only this article but every single one of them before. I wouldn’t have gotten here without your readership and your loyalty, and I’ll be forever grateful to you for helping me get here. I plan on this being a very successful and exciting festival, and I hope my coverage of the fest will do justice to all that’s happening. Thank you once again for reading, and be prepared to hear from me later on in the week.