There’s always so much to see at South By Southwest and we can never see enough. However, we did enjoy a handful of TV and film projects this year and we’re excited to share our thoughts with you. So without further adieu…
Here are the best things we saw at SXSW 2023!
Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie
It turns out that the beloved Canadian actor we all grew up with has never remained “Still.” This Apple TV+ documentary uses archival footage from Michael J. Fox’s television and film career, as well as present day interviews, to tell the icon’s life story. The expert editing weaves together his fictional characters to match his real life journey from the beginning of his career up to now. His battle with Parkinson’s is honestly explored with humor and grit. At one point in the film, Fox falls flat on the street while a fan is passing by saying how great it is to meet him. He quips back, “Yeah, you knocked me off my feet!” without missing a beat. The eternal optimist, Fox and his family face their challenges full on. He fiercely advocates for funding and research to find a cure for Parkinson’s, all the while fighting the assault this disease has taken on his own body. During the Q&A after the film, the kindness Fox showed as strangers shared their personal struggles was genuine and heartwarming. At one point, he even stood to thank the woman signing on stage.
Fox has touched all our lives through the roles he has played, and now he touches us through his own story. You can watch Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie on Apple TV+ starting May 12.
As Jason Bateman stated on stage following the premiere of Air, this is a American business story that they made look like a rock show. Director Ben Affleck assembled a dream team for this film; a cast that displays some of their best work to date. Air is electrifying! It’s an emotional rollercoaster that will have you reminiscing, laughing, crying, and cheering. Read more about the star-studded SXSW premiere here.
Air opens in theaters on April 5.
Beef is a creatively written comedy/ drama that focuses on the lives of two strangers who get into a road rage incident that neither can just let go. The 10-episode series stars Steven Yeun and Ali Wong who both shine in this tale that features not only the chaos caused by their encounter, but also their character flaws that continue to make things worse. The depths that each are willing to go to while seeking revenge will entertain you but also perhaps have you examining your own life. There’s a pretty good chance you’ve over reacted and displayed a bit of fury and vitriol at times in your life. At least I know I have – both on and off the road.
You can stream Beef on Netflix starting on April 6.
Lucky Hank is a story about a professor who cracks. It’s something that I’m sure many teachers and professors have thought about many times. Some have probably even done it. When a student demeans Hank, played brilliantly by Bob Odenkirk, he snaps back telling said student that he must not have tried very hard in high school to end up where he is. And where he is happens to be a mediocre college that clearly Hank has clearly ended up at as well. He’s head of the english department, but he’s still, admittedly, mediocre. Hank is a loser who can’t break the cycle of his disappointing life. Well, not in the first episode anyway. Perhaps by the end of the season we’ll see him rise from the ashes. Perhaps.
You can currently stream Lucky Hank on AMC+.
Pure O is a raw, emotional look at how a form of OCD called Pure Obsessional wreaks havoc on Cooper Ganz’s life. Affecting his loved ones, friends, and often crippling his own mind, we watch his path to understanding unfold in this heartbreaking tale. Touches of laughter are a welcome reprieve throughout the film as well as the beautiful music written by Director and Writer, Dillon Tucker. Landry Bender and Hope Lauren shine in their explorations of women discovering their true selves, while Daniel Dorr’s complex portrayal as Cooper takes the audience through his journey of growth and acceptance. Anyone struggling with anxiety can find themselves in this story. We highly recommend you watch it upon its release.
Kiefer Sutherland is back on TV, starring in another thriller where nothing is what it seems. When we are introduced to Sutherland’s character he’s working as a master of deception in the world of corporate espionage. He is soon framed for murder by a mysterious world-controlling power and as he goes against this power, he finds himself fighting for democracy. Sounds like a perfect series for Sutherland, doesn’t it? Though the character is in the same vein as those we’ve seen him play in the past, this is a storyline we haven’t yet seen. And it will have you on the edge of your seat episode after episode.
Stream Rabbithole on Paramount+ starting on March 28.
A Disturbance in the Force
If you are a Star Wars fan, you absolutely must watch this doc. In fact, as I was telling a non-fan of the franchise about the disastrous (yet amazing) Star Wars Christmas Special, even she got hyped, saying, “Well now I have to watch it!” While real fans of the franchise are aware of the dark secret, the special still remains relatively unknown among the general public. And now, all the questions you’ve ever had about this bizarre two hours of television history will be answered. Through interviews and clips with writers and producers of the special, Star Wars cast members, and those closest to George Lucas (because you know Lucas will NEVER speak about it himself), you will finally learn why and how the “Holiday Special” got made.
Where and when you can watch is TBD.
Want more of the best of SXSW? Check out more posts on Austin.com and SpilltheATX.com
This article written with assistance from Michele Schmidt.
Featured photo via LeMusique / iStockphoto.com