Eric P. Nelson's 2021 SXSW Picks

  • March 16, 2021
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Having never been to SXSW before, I almost completely ignored the opportunity to attend online because of how overwhelming the choices were. Imagine going somewhere new, and everything you like is there, all at the same time. Now you have to choose what to see. I was close to giving up, then got excited when they announced the Comedy Festival lineup. Then I dove right in. Here are a few things I'm looking forward to and things you might be intersted in looking into in the near future. 

SXSW Comedy Festival

Come on, live stand up comedy from some of the country's most well known comedy clubs? How can this not be a great way to spend my next few evenings. Acme Comedy Club in Minneapolis to Zanies in Chicago and the Laughing Skull in Atlanta, these are clubs I've only ever heard about and now they are all going live for SXSW. Lots of new names, to me, and a few comics I've heard of, which is really exciting to catch the next wave of great comedians. Plus a few live tapings of podcasts Improv4humans and Doug Loves Movies! A Daily Show correspondants discussion and a Boundary Breaking Women in Comedy special event will round out the comedy side of the festival this year. 

Alien On Stage

Coincidentally, I am at the tail end of rewatching the Alien franchise and heard about this documentary. A bunch of bus drivers put on a homeade production of Alien and for some reason it gets some traction. Very excited for this one. For some reason, if I were a British bus driver at this moment in time, I'm sure I would have been trying to figure out how to make a xenomorph costume out of garbage bags.

**James Cameron, director of the follow up movie Aliens, will be speaking at SXSW about underwater exploration, I'm really hoping someone asks him for a comment on this doc. 

Witch Hunt

It's present day, witches are real, and witchcraft is illegal. I'm pretty sure there will be a deeper meaning and many paralells to the real world in this movie, but it just sounds like a solid horror movie. I just can't figure out what BWI will mean, on that jacket...Bad Witch Investigator? Oh wait, I bet it's Bureau of Witchcraft Investgation. I bet that's it. I'll make an edit after I watch the film, I know you're dying to know. 

Edit 3.18.21: Yup, it was the Bureau of Withcraft Investigations. 

Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free

Tom Petty at work on his masterpiece, Wildflowers. Previously undiscovered 16mm footage of the process featuring Rick Rubin, the whole gang of Heartbreakers, insight from Adria Petty, and all the magic that went into making that incredible album. There was nothing like a Tom Petty concert when ANYTHING from Wildflowers kicked in, everyone in attendance would immediately loose their bananas. 

Filmmaker in Focus: Mary Wharton on TOM PETTY, SOMEWHERE YOU FEEL FREE