Film #5

Written and directed by Daniel Stemm, A Necessary Death follows Gilbert Toma, a student working on a film for his final thesis. His intentions are to find a person who is not only suicidal, but has also set a date to go through with ending their life. Gilbert wants to follow them around, learn about their life, their struggles, what have you, right up until the point where they actually commit suicide. Joining Gilbert are his two friends/production buddies, Valerie and Mike, as well as their camera operator, Daniel.

Film #4

Produced by Judd Apatow (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Superbad), Forgetting Sarah Marshall stars one of the producer's regulars (Jason Segel, who also penned the screenplay) as a TV music composer who is madly in love with his "hot actress" girlfriend. (Her name is Sarah Marshall, obviously.) But when Sarah dumps Peter for a preening British rock star, the sensitive slob of a guy goes into an emotional tailspin.

Film #3

I first encountered author Harlan Ellison's writings in Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine, when I was in high school. I enjoyed his "Watching" series of movie essays, and in fact I still do -- I have the collected book of them, and I sometimes reread them when I want to remind myself of certain things I like about film criticism. So naturally I was excited about Dreams with Sharp Teeth, Erik Nelson's documentary about Ellison that screened at SXSW this week. I wasn't disappointed, but obviously I was already a fan of the author.



Film #2

An unapologetically funny, gooey, gory, silly, slathering bloodfeast, Dance of the Dead is a full-bore party movie. If the idea of rocket-launched zombies rioting in an apocalyptic graveyard doesn't make you giggle, there is no hope for you.

Film #1

The Promotion is a very small, very funny, and oddly warm-hearted flick. Starring Sean William Scott and John C. Reilly; it was written and directed by first-timer Steve Conrad ... and if it comes out in 2008, then it will definitely end up in my top ten of the year.
For all of our SXSW 2008 coverage, head over here.