For all our coverage of SXSW Film 2017, click here.
What a great South By Southwest it was. There were some truly incredible premieres, some mild disappointments, and a truly excellent television pilot shown at this year’s festival. Here’s almost everything else I saw there this year (we’ll have some reviews of the SXSW films showing at the Boston Underground Film Festival coming later this week), excepting the one movie I walked out of, A Critically Endangered Species, whose first 30 minutes had experienced a combo of pretentious and boring that I didn’t exactly find palatable.
Swipe or use your ← → (arrow) keys
Sweet Jesus, this surprise Cannes hit is absolutely fantastic. Director Michael O’Shea has crafted a coming-of-age horror psychodrama for the ages; a sparse and quiet film featuring lots of blood, two brilliant performances by its young leads, and Carpenter-esque droning synths brought to you by Pharmakon. The Transfiguration is about a teenage boy named Milo (Eric Ruffin), who lives in the New York City projects with his brother and is absolutely obsessed with vampires. This obsession ranges from the typical (having stacks of vampire movie VHS tapes scattered around his room) to the horrific (feeding on unsuspecting people all over the city), and his life’s thrown all into jeopardy when a girl (Chloe Levine) enters his life and becomes close to him. O’Shea is not one for easy answers- what you bring to the film will ultimately be what you see in it- and there are a number of possible interpretations for exactly why Milo’s acting the way he is, or the choices that O’Shea makes in his casting and his writing. Regardless of interpretation, there’s one certainty about its quality: The impressive talents put on display by Ruffin and Levine, who disappear into their roles and take the film from merely good to great. The Transfiguration is utterly brilliant, and there’s much more to be said about it in the future, when it hits Boston screens in April.