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SXSW Swings Into Action with 'The Amazing Spider-Man' Director

Film fest adds major names plus eight new films to the slate

By Richard Whittaker, 1:12PM, Wed. Feb. 12


For Those About to Rock: The story of Rodrigo y Gabriela: One of eight new films added to the SXSW festival roster today
Image courtesy of Alejandro Meja

Looks like SXSW Film is ready to swing into action: Mark Webb, director of The Amazing Spider-Man, is the final name added to the keynote speaker list, plus eight more movies and some major figures in film make the schedule.

The suitably named Webb is just wrapping up his second Marvel movie with The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Arguably, that's a long way from his directorial debut on (500) Days of Summer, as well as his long career in music videos.

There's also a new series of featured sessions highlighting major figures in modern cinema. Saturday, March 8 kicks off with a conversation with Arrested Development's Jason Bateman about his feature debut Bad Words. Then on March 10, two directors debuting their comedies at SXSW will share a stage, as Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon creator Mike Myers sits down with Jon Favreau, star of opening night film Chef.

If you're feeling a little more dramatic, Saturday also sees Tilda Swinton talking with Eugene Hernandez about her astonishing artistic career, followed on Tuesday by Leonard Maltin quizzing the legendary Robert Duvall.

There's one more unmissable event. It's a very short list of people who worked with both Disney and Hunter S. Thompson, but the revolutionary artist Ralph Steadman has straddled both worlds, and will talk about his new bio-doc, For No Good Reason.

And if you're more excited by seeing films than talking about them, here's eight more titles for your already crowded schedule:

Visions

May the Best Man Win
D: Andrew O’Connor
Screenwriters: Matthew Robinson, Lee Hupfield, Andrew O’Connor
Cast: Whit Thomas, Drew Tarver, Rosa Salazar
World Premiere
Two pranksters compete against each other in a series of increasingly outrageous stunts to win the affections of the girl they’ve both fallen for.

Yakona
D: Anlo Sepulveda & Paul Collins
World Premiere
A river's dreams and memories told from the perspective of the water that runs through it – a visual journey from prehistoric times to the modern era along what is now known as the San Marcos River.

24 Beats Per Second

Big in Japan
D: John Jeffcoat
Cast: David Drury, Philip A Peterson, Sean Lowry, Alex Vincent, Adam Powers
World Premiere
Big in Japan is a comedic rock-and-roll road movie about struggling Seattle rock band, Tennis Pro, who decide to sell their tour-van and head to Tokyo for one last shot at acceptance.

For Those About to Rock. The story of Rodrigo y Gabriela
D: Alejandro Franco Fernández
World Premiere
The amazing and inspiring journey of Mexican guitarists 'Rodrigo y Gabriela' who at a very young age decided to do only what they loved the most: music.

SXGlobal

Last Hijack
D: Tommy Pallotta and Femke Wolting
A true tale of survival in Somalia told from the pirate’s perspective. Combining animation with documentary storytelling.

Festival Favorites

What We Do In the Shadows
D: Taika Waititi & Jermaine Clement
Cast: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Rhys Darby, Jonathan Brugh, Cori Gonzalez-Macuer
From Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement who shared writing, directing and acting duties, What We Do In the Shadows is a hilarious comedy chock full of one-liners that showcases whether you’re immortal or human, life is better with friends.

Special Events

The Doug Benson Movie Interruption
Comedian Doug Benson and a few funny friends take over the theater's front row, providing a live comedy soundtrack to the classic film onscreen.

Hannibal Buress Live From Chicago
D: Marcus Raboy
World Premiere
Hannibal Buress' newest stand-up hour, Live From Chicago, is premiering at SXSW before it's on Comedy Central, March 29.

The 2014 SXSW Film Festival runs March 7-15. Keep up with all our SXSW coverage online at austinchronicle.com/sxsw.

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