As a kid in Chicago, director William Friedkin liked to frighten little girls with scary stories. When he grew up, he scared the rest of us with a little girl — Regan MacNeil, who is possessed by the devil in his horror classic The Exorcist.
And in The French Connection, he put knots in our stomachs with one of the great movie chases in American cinema.
John Ford's 1956 film "The Searchers" is one of the finest of the great director's career. And with its overtones of racism, it's also one of his most complicated. In the movie, Ethan Edwards (John Wayne) goes on a years-long quest to find his niece, Debbie, who has been abducted by Comanche Indians. As the search drags on, his hatred for the Comanche intensifies, and by the time he finds Debbie (Natalie Wood), fully integrated into the Comanche Nation, he doesn't know whether to save her or kill her.
In 1998, writer/director David Riker explored New York City’s Latin American immigrant population through the anthology film “La Ciudad,” a film striking for its documentary-like feel. Although he planned to follow up that film with another narrative feature about the US-Mexico border, the wealth of information and research he came across led him to change some of the preconceived notions he had about la frontera.
Diana Nyad is an athlete obsessed, but what's so unusual about that? Athletes are supposed to be obsessed. But to say Diana Nyad is a woman obsessed, now that's what makes her story so compelling, even worthy of a movie. And that movie was recently given several special screenings at SXSW.
Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät (Pertti Kurikka's Name Day), a punk band from Finland, is the subject of the documentary "The Punk Syndrome," which won the SXGlobal Audience Award at this year's SXSW Film Festival.
The documentary provides a sincere and honest look at the lives of the four band members, who are all adults living with varying degrees of mental intellectual disabilities.
The band is made up of Pertti Kurikka (guitar), Kari Aalito (vocals), Sami Helle (bass) and Toni Välitalo (drums).
Repeat visits are in store this year for two San Antonio high schools at the South By Southwest Film Festival. You'll have an opportunity to show your support at a public screening of these and other Texas High School Shorts on Saturday, March 16, 6 p.m. at Austin's Carver Museum Boyd Vance Theater.
The quietly moving rural drama “This Is Where We Live,” follows the friendship that develops between August Sutton, a young man with cerebral palsy, and Noah, a local handyman hired to help August’s family around the house. Their relationship eventually changes the family dynamic and lessens the burden on the matriarch, Diane, who’s been carrying the family on her shoulders for years.
What would you do if you were told by one of your oldest friends that you might not see her alive again? That’s the premise of Austin-based director (and high school teacher) Sean Gallagher’s debut feature, “Good Night,” co-produced by Gallagher and one of the film’s stars, fellow Austinite Jonny Mars (“The Happy Poet,” “A Teacher”).
In the movie, Leigh (Adriene Mishler) and Winston (Mars) play a reasonably happy married couple, even though Leigh’s terminal illness is putting tremendous stress on the marriage and their finances.
Chris Eska’s film “The Retrieval” is about a young boy sent to turn in a wanted man to a dangerous gang of bounty hunters. Filmed in rural Texas, the movie stars young Ashton Sanders as Will, and Tishuan Scott as Nate, the wanted man. The two form a close bond in the film, yet Will’s knowledge that he may have to betray that friendship casts a shadow over their relationship and adds tension to the narrative.