Big Fat Independent Movies

Sending Off SXSW Film 04

Reel Shorts Two

D: Various

SXSW has always boasted some terrific shorts programming, but two of the under-30-minute films here are so good they ought to be picked up and turned into minifranchises: Peter Craig's "The Climactic Death of Dark Ninja," in which a pack of pint-sized filmmakers take to the woods behind their parents' house and attempt – oh, how they attempt! – to shoot the title film is nothing less than a masterpiece of subtle comic timing. Kids are a pain to work with, sure, but somehow Craig and his crew manage to wrangle a half-dozen of 'em into a 12-minute short that wouldn't be out of place on SNL (back when they regularly showed short films and were, you know, funny). Jeremy Saulnier's "Crabwalk" is the other comic gem here, a gleeful, giddy poke at jobless slackers everywhere. Macon Blair's note-perfect portrayal of a young bum in training should be frighteningly familiar to anyone who has lived in Austin for more than a year, but far more bearable since you don't have to buy this loser a beer. High marks as well to David Holbrooke's "Time for a New God," a smart, Rabbinical look at what's up with The Man Upstairs.

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at austinchronicle.com/sxsw. For scheduling on the go, here's a SXSW Film Pocket Guide, which includes the handy Film Grid. Sign up for our South-by-specific newsletter at austinchronicle.com/newsletters/ for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest Tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

READ MORE
More by Marc Savlov
Phoenix Forgotten
Missing teens and mysterious lights in this found-footage sci-fi film

April 28, 2017

The Devil's Candy
Heavy metal and Satanism in a rural Texas town

April 21, 2017

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)