Where better to debut your cinematic tribute to the Austin music scene than at the South By Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival, which is based in Austin and each year runs alongside one of the world’s premiere music industry events? SXSW programmers certainly had this question on their minds when they decided to open this year’s festival with Terrence Malick’s Song to Song, which will be screening on the evening of Friday, March 10, per SXSW’s announcement earlier today.
Featuring a cast as star-spangled as the cosmos explored in The Tree of Life and The Voyage of Time (Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, Michael Fassbender, Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett, and Christian Bale will all be making appearances), Malick’s film is one of 2017’s most anticipated titles. We wait with bated breath to see how one of cinema’s preeminent auteurs will bring his trademark ethereality to a new environment, and whether Song to Song will be a valuable addition to the Malick-ian renaissance we’ve been experiencing as of late—within the past six years, the director has doubled the size of his filmography, which spans 40-plus years.
In addition to the opening night film, SXSW also unveiled several other titles that will be screened at the festival, which will run through March 19. These include Eshom Nelms and Ian Nelms’ Small Town Crime, starring John Hawkes as an alcoholic ex-cop in pursuit of a killer; Jennifer Reeders’ “coming of age Muslim melodrama” Signature Move; and in the television department, the screen adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s award-winning novel American Gods.
Below is a list of all the films that were announced along with their respective synopses, courtesy of Deadline.
Director: David Slade
Screenwriters: Bryan Fuller, Michael Green
Synopsis: Adapted from Neil Gaiman’s award-winning novel, American Gods follows Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) and Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) in a magical world where a battle is brewing between the Old Gods and the New Gods.
The Melody of Dust
Director: Viacom NEXT
A musical journey for the HTC Vive. Explore a mysterious world where every object contains a unique melody. Featuring original musical compositions by Hot Sugar, this experience brings you inside the tortured mind of a musician.
Director: René Pérez Joglar
After taking a DNA test, Latin America’s most decorated artist, Rene Perez (AKA Residente) embarks on a global adventure to trace the footsteps of his ancestors and record his latest album.
Director: Jennifer Reeder, Screenwriters: Fawzia Mirza, Lisa Donato
A secret new romance with Alma forces Zaynab to confront her complicated relationship with her recently widowed mother. In this coming-of-age Muslim melodrama, Zaynab copes by taking up Lucha-style wrestling.
Cast: Fawzia Mirza, Shabana Azmi, Sari Sanchez, Audrey Francis, Charin Alvarez, Mark Hood, Molly Brennan
Small Town Crime
Directors/Screenwriters: Eshom Nelms, Ian Nelms
Ex-cop, Mike Kendall, finds the body of a young woman and, in an act of self-redemption, becomes hellbent on finding the killer. While his uncouth, quirky detective style helps break the case, his dogged determination puts his family in danger.
Cast: John Hawkes, Anthony Anderson, Octavia Spencer, Robert Forster, Clifton Collins, Jr.
Song To Song
Director: Terrence Malick
In this modern love story set against the Austin, Texas music scene, two entangled couples—struggling songwriters Faye and BV, and music mogul Cook and the waitress whom he ensnares—chase success through a rock ‘n’ roll landscape of seduction and betrayal.
Cast: Rooney Mara, Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, Natalie Portman
Directors: Jeff Malmberg, Chris Shellen, Screenwriter: Chris Shellen
For the past 50 years, the villagers of a tiny hill town in Tuscany have turned their lives into a play that the entire town writes and performs. Spettacolo is a portrait of this tradition through the eyes of the last man trying to keep it alive.