If Ron Nyswaner had limited his debut doc to just celebrating the American acting treasure that is Mary Louise Wilson, that alone would be a joy and well worth seeing. Character actors of her gifts and skills are rare and getting rarer, and he deftly conveys Wilson's love of her art and mastery of it.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus is the most Emmy-awarded TV actress in history, with lead actress trophies for each of her major roles, on Seinfeld, The New Adventures of Old Christine, and her current HBO project Veep. No surprise, then, that she had the crowd laughing at her Monday SXSW session.
Like the protagonist of her film Petting Zoo, Micah Magee grew up in San Antonio, experienced a teenage pregnancy, and despite significant obstacles, landed in an honors program at the University of Texas, where she earned a double degree in film and Plan II. As a teenager without a car, Magee walked to work every day past a small petting zoo.
This is the companion film to Joshua Oppenheimer’s Oscar-nominated The Act of Killing, which focused, unconventionally, on the unrepentant perpetrators of the mid-Sixties Indonesian genocide where, following a military takeover of the government, a million Indonesians were brutally murdered in a Communist purge by uniformed thugs.
Rarely does a filmmaker openly admit to being a propagandist. But such is the case of Van Neistat, who, working in collaboration with artist Tom Sachs, sent two women to Mars and filmed the whole thing. Well … kind of.
When their mother abruptly drives off one morning, five children – ranging from age 1 to 13 – must fend for themselves, uncertain whether she will return. The film follows them through the day, and while that premise might sound a bit bleak, God Bless the Child is really a heartfelt and candid ode to the lazy summer days of childhood.