Previews of Previews

From giant spiders to rioting Russians, there is a film for all interest groups.

Upstream Color

Between the combination of the buzz this film got at Sundance and the cryptic trailer, this is a must-see.

A young woman is abducted and seemingly brainwashed via an organic material harvested from a specific orchid. She later meets a man and after the two fall for each other, they come to realize he may also have been subjected to the same process. The two search urgently for a place of safety within each other and struggle to assemble the fragments of their wrecked lives as they are unknowingly drawn into the life cycle of a presence that permeates the microscopic world, moving to nematodes, plant life, livestock, and back again.

Director: Shane Carruth

Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer

Theses ladies made international news with their public protest again President Putin, but the story goes beyond what was aired on CNN.

Filmed over the course of six months, this film tells the incredible story of three young women: Nadia, Masha and Katia. As members of the feminist art collective Pussy Riot, they performed a 40 second “punk prayer” inside Russia’s main cathedral. This performance led to their arrest on charges of religious hatred and culminated in a trial that has reverberated around the world and transformed the face of Russian society forever. Moving from farce to tragedy and back again, the film explores how political and religious forces contrived to make an example out of three young artists who stepped out of line. Are you a ready for a “Pussy Riot”?

Director: Mike Lerner, Maxim Pozdorovkin

Loves Her Gun

This is the lowest budget feature at SXSW directed by local UT professor Geoff Marslett.

Allie leads an unfocused life with no job and a lame boyfriend. So it’s no surprise when she hops on the next bus (well more of an RV full of karate rockers) to Texas after being attacked on the streets of New York. Seeming to improve as she settles into the slower-pace of Austin, her fears continue to haunt her. She quickly falls into Texas gun culture as a means to feel safe. She walks the fine line between reasonable self-preservation and paranoid withdrawal. Can she maintain healthy relationships, or will the weapons she uses to protect herself cause her problems worse that the ones she was fleeing?

Director: Geoff Marslett

And there are so many more! Big Ass Spider  – title speaks for itself, Grow Up, Tony Phillips – GSD&Mer Irene Georghiades worked on this one, and of course, Dave Grohl’s documentary Sound City.