SXSW 2015 Film Themes: The Final Frontier

SXSW, March 2015, USA

Written by Jim Kolmar | February 10, 2015

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What’s in a theme? At SXSW Film 2015, it might just be the final frontier...SPACE!!!

Last year we delivered Neil deGrasse Tyson’s thrilling COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey, and we’re taking things even further this year with a constellation of galactic films.

Nelly Ben Hayoun’s droll Disaster Playground is an eccentric look at how prepared we are for impending threats of asteroids and other inter-planetary projectiles. Featuring interviews with member of SETI, NASA and other luminaries, it poses fascinating question that you might need to know far more than you want to.

In a similar vein, Michael Madsen’s cinematic wonder The Visit considers the protocols needed for our first, arguably inevitable encounter with extraterrestrial life. How would we communicate? What would they want? Conclusions are evasive, but one thing is certain - we’re going to need more than a giant synthesizer.

Van Neistat brings us A Space Program, an ambitious, striking film about an artist and his attempts to launch a handmade quest for the stars. Neistat’s film is a true original that defies easy categorization.

Last Man on the Moon is a tour de force of archival material, dazzling VFX and gripping personal testimony from Eugene Cernan, the titular hero. Directed with an audacious hand by first timer Mark Craig, this British epic views cosmic experience through a distinctly personal prism.

Finally, Planetary takes a philosophical approach and looks at our place in the universe, exploring the idea of interconnectivity and just what makes soft, vulnerable, squishy humans tick in the face of a huge, uncaring universe. Guy Reid’s pensive, sensitive film asks the big questions.

We’ll be back soon with another look at themes bubbling up in the SXSW Film Program. In the meantime, register for your SXSW 2015 badge (save off the walk-up rate by registering by this Friday at 11:59pm CST) and keep watching the skies!