I shared the following last June: “I regard all raves of all films shown at South by Southwest as highly suspect. Way too many easy-lay geeks attend this Austin-based festival, and when they see something half-decent they all go ‘wheee!…we’re totally in love with this film and the filmmakers and distributors who allowed us to see it early because this makes us look necessary and important in the overall scheme!'”
Yes, I tend to trust Variety‘s Justin Chang as a rule or at least most of the time, but even Chang, I fear, might be affected by the SXSW ether. Yes, Trainwreck was wildly praised last year and I wound up feeling the same way, but I’ve been to SXSW and it’s just too much of a celebration of itself. Almost every movie finds some kind of love there. Too much generosity can be a bad thing.
Chang on Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some: “This is the rare mainstream movie that, rather than treating its characters’ sex drives as an opportunity for crass cynicism or mindless vulgarity, wears its libido bravely, and thoughtfully, on its sleeve.
“The double-punctuated title is not only a reference to a classic song by Van Halen (one of many artists crowding the wall-to-wall soundtrack, including Blondie, the Knack and the Sugarhill Gang), but also an affirmation of the appetites — for sex, for fame, for victory, for sex — that course through these young men’s veins. And the movie suggests, not without self-awareness or criticism, that this innate lust for life, and the natural competition that it engenders, are essential components of the American male birthright.”