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The Good, the Bad, and the Weird of the 2017 SXSW Film Festival

The Good, the Bad, and the Weird of the 2017 SXSW Film Festival
From Slashfilm - March 20, 2017

The 2017 SXSW Film Festival is over, and it was an exceptional year for an always exceptional film festival. Its rare to attend a movie fest and leave every single screening with something to talk about, but even the movies that I didnt love have stuck with me in some way or another. This years line-up was a lot of things, but boring was certainly not one of them.

So lets recap everything we saw. Lets run down the best filmsand the best performances, the movies that almost worked and the movies that barely missed the mark, the bad movies you should see for yourself and the bad movies youreally have to see.

The Very Important Bad Movie: Stranger Fruit

Jason Pollocks Stranger Fruit has the noblest ambitions imaginable. It wants to look back beforeBlack Lives Matter, before the protests in Ferguson, and focus squarely on where it all began: the murder of Michael Brown by OfficerDarren Wilson. The filmsets out to prove that Brown was innocent and that Wilson acted in cold blood and that powerful forces aligned to slander the young victimand it accomplishes that. The evidence on display is startling and seemingly impossible to refute. You should immediately do a Google search and find out more because the movie itself isnt very good. There is no cinematic craft on display here, just an angry, righteous, and wholly necessary message assembled with the craft of an unusuallychoppyYouTube video. A snarky, sarcastic, and off-putting narration clashes with every image on the screen. Stranger Fruit is a movie in desperate need of a new editor, someone to help Pollock shape his devastating information into an actual film. This is one of the most important thingsscreened in front of audiences in 2017. It just needs to be rebuilt, and re-edited, from the ground up.

The Big Movie We Didnt See: The Work

Although it made my list of most anticipated movies of the fest, the stars did not align and I was unable to seeJairus McLeary and Gethin Aldous documentary, The Work. And believe me, every single fest-goer I encountered informed me what a huge mistake I had made. Filmed entirely within Folsom Prison during a therapy retreat with level-four convicts, this non-fiction film shook audiences to their core, generated passionate conversations, and took him the top documentary jury award. This is one to keep an eye on.

The Action Scene Thatll Kick Your Ass: Atomic Blonde

The Bad Movie You Should See For Yourself: Song to Song

The Future MidnightClassic: This is Your Death

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