By Sean Boelman
In 2020, Austin’s South by Southwest festival was one of the very first victims of the pandemic, with the in-person edition having to be canceled mere days before it was supposed to begin. 2021 saw the festival return with a virtual edition that was quite impressive, but nothing is quite like the in-person festival experience, especially when it comes to SXSW. So in 2022, the festival is back in full force with a hybrid edition emphasizing its in-person offerings. Here are some of the films that you shouldn’t miss when you attend this year’s festival.
The Blind Man Who Did Not Want to See Titanic
SXSW’s Global section always features some interesting and unorthodox films, and there is unlikely to be one more unconventional in this year’s lineup than The Blind Man Who Did Not Want to See Titanic. A shocking, empathetic love story, the film is a slow-burn thriller in all the best ways. It’s the type of quiet film that doesn’t usually gain as much buzz at festivals, but will find appreciation slowly over time.
One of the most popular screening sections at SXSW is the Midnighters section, which includes a combination of messed up horror movies and campy flicks. Brendan Muldowney’s The Cellar is the former, a simply-constructed film that is more about what it doesn’t show than what it does. The film was acquired by Shudder prior to the festival, making it an immediate can’t-miss for fans of the genre.
Diamond Hands: The Legend of WallStreetBets
It can be crazy how fast the documentary field moves, with two movies this year already about the GameStop stock situation that happened just last year. Diamond Hands: The Legend of WallStreetBets is a flashy film that explains what happened and the factors that led to it happening in a way that is both informative and entertaining. And while the eponymous phrase has been meme-ified, this film has some much more interesting implications.
I Love My Dad
With a rare starring role for comedian Patton Oswalt, I Love My Dad is the type of film that is going to make viewers tremendously uncomfortable in all the right ways. It follows a father who is estranged from his son as he resorts to unorthodox methods of trying to reconnect. It’s one of the buzzier films in this year’s festival and will likely find itself with a distribution deal before closing night, so take advantage of this chance to see it early.
Really Good Rejects
Alice Gu’s first documentary The Donut King had its SXSW premiere stolen from it by the pandemic, so it’s nice to see her getting the chance to come back to Austin for her sophomore feature, Really Good Rejects. Telling the story of an unorthodox guitar builder, the film is an absolute must see for any music fan at the festival. And given the size of Austin’s music scene, this is sure to be a highlight of the film festival for many.
The 2022 SXSW Film Festival runs from March 11-19.
The Snake Hole
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