Genre-oriented midnight films heavy on horror and sci-fi; shorts lineup to include Spike Jonze and Arcade Fire
Aliens, urban teenagers, disease, psychosexual horror, skateboarding, terrorism, nudity and a hobo with a shotgun have now been added to the lineup at the South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival, SXSW organizers announced on Thursday.
Those themes and characters are part of the festival's two midnight feature programs, Midnighters and SXFantastic. The programs are heavy on horror, sci-fi and genre films, and make up a slate which festival producer Janet Pierson calls "the bloody, beating heart" of SWSW.
The five films in the Midnighters series are "Attack the Block," a British adventure that stars Jodie Whitaker and deals with a teenage gang fighting an alien invasion; "The Divide," with Michael Biehn, Milo Ventimiglia and Rosanna Arquette trying to get along at the end of the world; "Hobo with a Shotgun" (left), with Rutger Hauer as the title character; "Insidious," a film about possession with Patrick Wilson and Barbara Hershey; and "Phase 7," an Argentinian film about an apartment building quarantined because of a flu outbreak.
The SXFantastic section, which is programmed by Fantastic Fest, consists of "Cold Sweat," about South American terrorists whose organization is disbanded; "George the Hedgehog," whose title character is "a skateboarding hedgehog … tormented by neo-Nazi skinheads, mad scientists and a drooling, flatulent clone of himself"; "Kill List," a British horror film from Ben Wheatley; "Little Deaths," which SXSW describes as "a psychosexual horror anthology" focusing on the themes of sex and death; and "The FP," about rival groups battling to control a town by competing at a dancing video game.
The festival also announced 150 short films that will screen in twelve different shorts programs. The shorts include "Scenes from the Suburbs," a 30-minute collaboration between director Spike Jonze and the band the Arcade Fire; Kevin, a look at Austin musician Kevin Gant from director Jay Duplass; "Library of Dust," from directors Ondi Timoner and Robert James; and international shorts from Italy, Bangladesh, Poland, Hong Kong and Northern Ireland, among other countries.
The full lineup of shorts, and additional information, can be found at www.sxsw.com/film.
South by Southwest has already announced its main feature lineup, which includes the opening-night screening of Duncan Jones' "Source Code," and the premiere of director Jodie Foster's "The Beaver," with Mel Gibson.
The film festival runs from March 11 through March 19 in Austin, Texas.