We’re a few weeks away from this year’s Sundance Film Festival, but lo and behold, Austin, Texas’ own South by Southwest Film Festival is already firing up their grill. Today, they’ve gone ahead and dropped a handful of early world premieres that will whet a number of cinephiles appetites when the whole shebang begins on Friday, March 10th.
Opening up this year’s festivities will be Terrence Malick’s Austin-set love story, Song to Song. Starring Rooney Mara, Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, and Natalie Portman, the film follows two entangled couples chasing varying kinds of success through a rock ‘n’ roll landscape of seduction and betrayal. It should be just lovely.
“Terrence Malick is a world class revered cinematic poet,” says Janet Pierson, Director of Film. “His work is a treasure trove of talented actors and vision. Set in the Austin music scene, Song to Song couldn’t be a more perfect Opening Night film for SXSW. While these titles are just a taste of what SXSW 2017 will offer, they reflect the range of work we are known for, from newcomers and auteurs to pop entertainment in traditional cinema, episodics and now VR.”
One of the other major highlights is the highly anticipated debut of David Slade’s new series American Gods, which is based on Neil Gaiman’s award-winning novel and stars Deadwood villain Ian McShane. The story takes place in magical world where Old Gods and the New Gods battle one another like regular everyday jerks.
Consult the rest of the titles below, and stay tuned for the rest of the feature lineup, due out Tuesday, January 31st.
American Gods (World Premiere)
Director: David Slade, Screenwriters/Showrunners: Bryan Fuller, Michael Green
Adapted from Neil Gaiman’s award-winning novel, American Gods follows Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) and Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) in a magical world where a battle is brewing between the Old Gods and the New Gods.
The Melody of Dust (World Premiere)
Director: Viacom NEXT
A musical journey for the HTC Vive. Explore a mysterious world where every object contains a unique melody. Featuring original musical compositions by Hot Sugar, this experience brings you inside the tortured mind of a musician.
Residente (World Premiere)
Director: René Pérez Joglar
After taking a DNA test, Latin America’s most decorated artist – Rene Perez (AKA Residente), embarks on a global adventure, to trace the footsteps of his ancestors and record his latest album.
Signature Move (World Premiere)
Director: Jennifer Reeder, Screenwriters: Fawzia Mirza, Lisa Donato
A secret new romance with Alma forces Zaynab to confront her complicated relationship with her recently widowed mother. In this coming-of-age Muslim melodrama, Zaynab copes by taking up Lucha-style wrestling.
Cast: Fawzia Mirza, Shabana Azmi, Sari Sanchez, Audrey Francis, Charin Alvarez, Mark Hood, Molly Brennan
Small Town Crime (World Premiere)
Directors/Screenwriters: Eshom Nelms, Ian Nelms
Ex-cop, Mike Kendall, finds the body of a young woman and, in an act of self-redemption, becomes hellbent on finding the killer. While his uncouth, quirky detective style helps break the case, his dogged determination puts his family in danger.
Cast: John Hawkes, Anthony Anderson, Octavia Spencer, Robert Forster, Clifton Collins, Jr.
Song To Song (World Premiere)
Director: Terrence Malick
In this modern love story set against the Austin, Texas music scene, two entangled couples — struggling songwriters Faye and BV, and music mogul Cook and the waitress whom he ensnares — chase success through a rock ‘n’ roll landscape of seduction and betrayal.
Cast: Rooney Mara, Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, Natalie Portman
Spettacolo (World Premiere)
Directors: Jeff Malmberg, Chris Shellen, Screenwriter: Chris Shellen
For the past 50 years, the villagers of a tiny hill town in Tuscany have turned their lives into a play that the entire town writes and performs. “Spettacolo” is a portrait of this tradition through the eyes of the last man trying to keep it alive.