Five noteworthy films that have come out of SXSW

Cameron Osmond

  • Since its origin in 1994, South By Southwest Film Festival has acted as the launchpad for many important films. This year, Richard Linklater and Jeff Nichols are dropping their much-hyped projects, “Everybody Wants Some” and “Midnight Special,” respectively, at SXSW. Here are four notable movies that have premiered at SXSW in years past.
  • “Attack the Block”
  • Winner of the 2011 SXSW Midnight Screening Audience award, “Attack the Block” centers around a group of teenagers whose night out is interrupted by invading alien predators. John Boyega plays the leader of the gang, Moses, who shows off the on-screen charisma that helped him win a lead role in the newest Star Wars release. The film is delightfully fun, with swashbuckling action and character development that is reminiscent of a Spielberg classic.
  • “Cabin Fever”
  • Finding that the current horror genre was over-saturated with clichés and reboots, newcomer Eli Roth set out to write and direct an original, edgy film. “Cabin Fever” tells the story of a bundle of college graduates who stay in a run-down cabin in the woods and begin to fall victim to a foreign, flesh-eating virus. The film draws comparisons to movies that influenced Roth when he wrote the film, including “The Last House on the Left” and “The Evil Dead,” but the film’s gruesome use of blood and original twists helped differentiate it from its spiritual successors. “Cabin Fever” delivers on scares while still managing to be funny and smart down the stretch.
  • “The Puffy Chair”
  • Shot on a meager budget of $15,000, “The Puffy Chair” is the debut work of Mark and Jay Duplass. The film tells the story of a man who finds a lounge chair identical to the one his father used to sit in, so he travels around the country to bring it back to his father. Along the way there are plenty of funny moments, many of which were improvised by the actors. The film carries weight, acting as an exploration into the psyche of a modern young adult. Although its production may get in the way of the final product at times, the performances by Mark Duplass and his love interest, played by Katie Aselton, provide subtle realism to this piece about a man realizing his personal failures.
  • “Trainwreck”
  • “Trainwreck,” Amy Schumer’s semi-autobiographical comedy, grabbed many critics’ attention at 2015’s SXSW festival. The film, directed by veteran Judd Apatow (“Knocked Up”), lends Schumer room to operate and experiment with a variety of themes, ranging from hook-up culture to feminism. Schumer is hilarious as Amy, and the film points out a major flaw in the film industry: that women are often depicted as damsels in distress. That’s not the case here.