A guide to SXSW Film 2013 

click to enlarge Nick Cassavetes' Yellow. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • Nick Cassavetes' Yellow.

Even if you don't have $650 to buy a film badge (which would allow you to enjoy nine days of movies and five days of panels and Q & A sessions), you can still take advantage of this year's screenings and premieres at Austin's South by Southwest. All you have to do is be at the theater at least 15 minutes before each screening, cross your fingers, and pray that there is still room available (preference given to badge holders). I did it in previous badge-less years more than once, and you could too. The individual tickets cost $10 and believe me — it's worth the drive. Here's some of my picks:

SHORTEST LONG FEATURE
Unhung Hero (world premiere)
Dir. Brian Spitz
7pm Fri, Mar 8
Topfer Theatre at ZACH
1510 Toomey Rd
• The real story of poor Patrick Moote, whose girlfriend rejected his marriage proposal on national TV during a UCLA basketball game for reasons that confirm the fact that "size doesn't matter" is a myth.

BEST RECORDED MOVIE
Sound City
Dir. Dave Grohl
9:30pm Fri, Mar 8
SXSatellite: Alamo Village
2700 W Anderson Lane
• Foo Fighter frontman and former Nirvana drummer Grohl takes us back to the legendary L.A. recording studio used in the making of Nevermind, Neil Young's After the Gold Rush, Rage Against the Machine, and many other classics.

FILMMAKERS UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Yellow
Dir. Nick Cassavetes
10pm Sat, Mar 9
Violet Crown 1 & 2
434 W 2nd
• Kiss of the Damned
Dir. Xan Cassavetes
11:45pm Tue, Mar 12
Topfer Theatre at ZACH
1510 Toomey Rd
• The two latest films by the children of John Cassavetes (arguably the father of American independent cinema) and Gena Rowlands (who has a role in Yellow, the trippy story of a substitute experiencing a parallel reality). Kiss of the Damned is a dark, erotic vampire story.

TWICE THE MAN AND TEN TIMES THE WOMAN THE AVERAGE JOE WILL EVER GET
I am Divine (world premiere)
Dir. Jeffrey Schwarz
9:15pm Sat. Mar 9
Alamo Ritz 1 & 2
320 E 6th
• The story of Divine (Harris Glenn Milstead), the world's coolest and funniest drag queen immortalized in Pink Flamingos, Hairspray and eight other films directed by John Waters.

HOTTEST PLACE TO GET HIGH
Spark: A Burning Man Story (world premiere)
Dir. Steve Brown, Jessie Deeter
5:15pm Sun, Mar 10
Vimeo Theater
201 Trinity
• A behind-the-scenes look at a key time in the history of Nevada's annual Burning Man celebration.

WORST DIAGNOSIS
Milo
Dir. Jacob Vaughan
9pm Sun, Mar 10
Alamo Ritz 1 & 2
320 E 6th
• If you suffer from chronic stomach pain, don't despair: it could be worse. Like having a demon baby living in your colon.

IT COULDN'T GET ANY WORSE
Hours (world premiere)
Dir. Eric Heisserer (writer of A Nightmare on Elm Street remake)
9pm Sun, Mar 10
Topfer Theatre at ZACH
1510 Toomey Rd
• A man trapped in a hospital with his dead wife and their newborn baby on a ventilator during Katrina, with no electricity. Let any son of a bitch top that.

WILDEST SCHOOL BREAK EVER
Spring Breakers (U.S. premiere)
Dir. Harmony Korine (Gummo)
9:30pm Sun, Mar 10
Paramount Theatre
713 Congress
• Selena Gomez and three other bikini-clad chicks hanging out with an unrecognizable James Franco as a gangster who shows them the best spring break ever.

ILLEGAL JUSTICE
Downloaded (world premiere)
Dir. Alex Winter
6:15pm Sun, Mar 10
Paramount Theatre
713 Congress
• The history of Napster, which changed, saved, or ruined the music industry, depending on who you ask.

BIGGEST MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE
An Unreal Dream: The Michael Morton Story (world premiere)
Dir. Al Reinert (dir. of Oscar-nominated doc For All Mankind and screenwriter of Apollo 13)
7pm Mon, Mar 11
Topfer Theatre at ZACH
1510 Toomey Rd
• The true story of a man who, wrongly convicted of killing his wife in front of their son, was freed by a Bexar County judge after 25 years thanks to the Innocence Project and newfound DNA evidence.

BEST DOC, SCIENTIFICALLY SPEAKING
Hawking (world premiere)
Dir. Stephen Finnigan
7pm Mon, Mar 11
Paramount Theatre
713 Congress
• A look into the amazing life of renowned british scientist Stephen Hawking.

BADDEST COP OUT OF RETIREMENT
Go For Sisters (North American premiere)
Dir. John Sayles
6:45pm Mon, Mar 11
Stateside Theatre
719 Congress
• Edward James Olmos stars as retired LAPD detective Freddy Suárez, hired by a parole officer to take the son of her parolee away from Mexican thugs on the other side of the border. The cast includes the always wonderful SA's own Jesse Borrego.

WHITE RIOT
Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer
Dir. Mike Lerner, Maxim Pozdorovkin
9:30pm Tue, Mar 12
Stateside Theatre
719 Congress
• The story of Pussy Riot's Nadia, Masha, and Katia, whose 40-second "punk prayer" landed them in jail in once-a-KGB-officer-always-a-KGB-officer Vladimir Putin's Russia.

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