Tablet Life & Arts

South by Southwest announces film fest line-up

Austin’s South by Southwest announced the line-up for the film festival Thursday and while there were some disappointments in terms of some of the ballyhooed films out of Sundance -- no Dear White People, no Whiplash -- there are still many movies worth the wait in line.

At the top of the list for the 115-film fest beginning March 7 is Boyhood, Austin director Richard Linklater’s three-hour coming-of-age epic that has been in the works for 12 years. Covering the life of a Texas boy between the ages of 5 and 18, it was one of the most talked-about films at Sundance. Indiewire called it an “incredibly involving chronicle [that] marks an unprecedented achievement in fictional storytelling.”

Ellar Coltrane plays the boy while Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke are his parents.

Right up there in terms of Texas-centric interest is a Q&A with Wes Anderson who will be talking about his anxiously awaited The Grand Budapest Hotel starring Ralph Fiennes, Jude Law, Bill Murray, F. Murray Abraham, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Owen Wilson, and Jeff Goldblum .

Then there’s ex-Texan Mike Judge ( Beavis & Butthead, King of the Hill, Idiocracy) who is bringing along his new HBO series, Silicon Valley, about life in the cyber capital of the Golden State. In a similar vein is Halt and Catch Fire, the AMC series about the early days of Dallas’ Silicon Prairie in the ‘80s, which will also be showing at SXSW. (Unfortunately, the series is shooting in Georgia.)

These screenings expand upon the TV offerings from last year like Bates Motel. It’s obvious that SXSW’s definition of “film” is changing as the technology evolves.

Other highlights:

The Raid 2: Gareth Evans’ Indonesian shot 2011 film The Raid: Redemption is one of the best action films of recent years. His follow-up is supposed to be even more epic.

Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey: Carl Sagan’s ‘70s series about the universe and humans’ place in it was a big hit for PBS back in the day. Now, it has been retooled for the 21st century in a 13-part Fox series with Neil deGrasse Tyson as the narrator.

Veronica Mars: The cult TV show returns in this feature again starring Kristen Bell as the namesake private eye.

Chef: The opening night film is a comedy from Jon Favreau about a chef who loses his job and reinvents himself with a food truck. Robert Downey Jr., Sofia Vergara, Scarlett Johansson, John Leguizamo, Dustin Hoffman, and Bobby Canavale star.

The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz: Another hit at Sundance, this documentary looks at the life of Swartz, a prodigy who became an information activist and committed suicide well before the age of 30.

Predestination: Ethan Hawke stars in this Australian thriller about a government agency that has discovered time travel.

For No Good Reason: Johnny Depp sheds the blockbuster mentality to be the focus of this documentary about his adventures and friendship with artist Ralph Steadman.

Bad Words: Actor Jason Bateman’s directorial debut concerns a guy who exploits a loophole in a spelling bee competition and creates havoc. Bateman, Allison Janney, and Kathryn Hahn star.

Doc of the Dead: A documentary tracing the history of our love affair with zombies in popular culture. It’s from the directors of The People Vs. George Lucas.

Road to Austin: This documentary traces the evolution of Austin as a music capital.

For information about attending, go to