Good Morning Austin, March 18: SXSW Film Winds Down

Before the indie bands completely take over SXSW, actors and filmmakers and a 3D enthusiast get in a few last words

Yes, most of the news from SXSW these days is coming from the likes of Jack White and Liam Finn and Ellie Goulding and a thousand indie bands. But back on the film front …

The Dish and the SpoonRead it before the paywall drops: the New York Times goes to Austin and talks to actress Greta Gerwig about her sixth trip to SXSW in as many years, this time for "The Dish and the Spoon" (left). "I'm going to be the Orson Welles of micro-budget cinema," Gerwig tells Mekado Murphy of her early-career SXSW omnipresence. "I've already had my peak and now I'm just gonna get fat." She also says she really wants to play Richard III because she loves deep, twisted male ugliness. (The New York Times)

If you go by the official SXSW title (South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival), the panels are just as important as the screenings. Earlier in the week was a "3D Day," which wasn't a full day but a two-part, three-hour event. indieWIRE talked to its introductory speaker, director/DP/editor Tim Dashwood, about what seems to be a beleagured format these days – and Dashwood naturally thinks stereoscopic cinema is in good shape. The good signs: equipment is getting cheaper and 3D television is coming. But he thinks people need to stop comparing things to "Avatar," and everybody working in 3D needs to share information so that you don't continue to "have lots of people taking gigs that are above their abilities." And I think we can all name a few examples of that … (indieWIRE)

When it comes to documentaries, 2010 may be a tough act to follow. But Sundance and now SXSW have seen their share of acclaimed work – and few films, it seems, has been as well-received this year as Steve James' "The Interrupters." The doc looks at inner-city violence in Chicago; the International Documentary Association calls it "an unusually intimate journey into the stubborn persistence of violence in our cities." The IDA's documentary.org website has a "SXSW Report" on the film's festival reception so far, in anticipation of James' appearance at an IDA "Doc U" event in Los Angeles next Monday. (documentary.org)

Speaking of SXSW docs, the jury prize winner "Dragonslayer" seems to be pretty divisive: for everyone who appreciates director Tristan Patterson's low-tech look at skateboarder Josh "Screech" Sandoval, you can find somebody else mystified at why it won. Mark Olsen definitely isn't the latter camp, since he was one of the jurors who gave it the prize – so the day after he helped award Patterson, Olsen sat down with the filmmaker to talk about a film that was influenced by everything from "River's Edge" and "Suburbia" to MTV's "The Hills." Says Patterson, "I wanted to make a regional film about Southern California that I respond to. It's going to be reality and Euro-art and Flip cams and kids on skateboards." (24 Frames)

Tom McCarthy's "Win Win" is one of the more high-profile SXSW films, with distribution in the works via Fox Searchlight and New York and Los Angeles openings coming on Friday.  IFC.com's Matt Singer loves the film (his review is here), and he sits down with McCarthy and stars Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan and Alex Shaffer for a 10-minute video chat in IFC's Austin studio, which they call "the house." It's all so very indie and quintessentially SXSW: there's a comfy orange couch and a loud rug, a pair of Converse All-Stars (or a reasonable facsimile), a director who doesn't want to give too much away, some interactive questions from people sitting at home in front of their computers, and a batch of punch-drunk and overtired stars turning an interview into a free-for-all of sorts. What more do you want? (IFC.com)