SXSW Film

Daily reviews and interviews

SXSW Film

Paper Covers Rock

D: Joe Maggio; with Jeannine Kaspar, Sayra Player, Juliet Stills

Paper Covers Rock is, at its breaking heart, a simple three-hander: Sam (Kaspar), a woman recovering from a failed suicide attempt; Ed (Player), her well-intentioned but domineering sister; and Sam's young daughter Lola (Stills), who Sam yearns to get back and whose absence defines and drives her descent back into despair. Depression in cinema is often an excuse for mawkishness or shrill overacting, but director Maggio uses it here quietly, delicately, and to debut his philosophy of incidental film: an anti-Dogme 95, where narrative truth is everything. This lends an uncomfortable realism, as the supposedly healed Sam unravels. As Sam, Kaspar captures the fragility of the truly despairing, and her almost wordless performance makes every step of her self-destructive path plausible and heartrending without ever being overblown. If Maggio wanted to make a fearless and touching movie, he managed it.

Friday, March 14, 2:30pm, Alamo Ritz

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 Screens Reviews
SXSW Film
SXSW Film Reviews: 'Reality Show'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

Andy Campbell, March 15, 2013

SXSW Film
SXSW Film Reviews: 'Scenic Route'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

Leah Churner, March 15, 2013

More by Richard Whittaker
Holiday Viewing: <i>Doctor Who</i> at Christmas
Holiday Viewing: Doctor Who
Which are the best (and worst) of the BBC classic's Xmas specials?

Dec. 11, 2017

Other Worlds Austin Review: <i>Defective</i>
OWA Review: Defective
Canadian dystopia keeps you on your toes

Dec. 9, 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)