With spring just around the corner, the eyes of the movie world begin to turn to Austin, Texas and SXSW. Now in its 23rd year, SXSW Film has become a key component in the development of movie culture and filmmaking talent, in addition to being a hot source for big budget premieres. Its pedigree is now on par with the biggest and best festivals in the business and is an annual source of delight for cinephiles across the globe.
Part of the charm of SXSW is the thrill of discovery mixed with the hype of the big release. At SXSW, you can see the latest star-studded release and turn around to see the smallest indie in the same day. Over the years, films like the Evil Dead remake and Ex Machina have made their debuts at SXSW, giving audiences a chance to see the films alongside their makers and stars. With announcement of this year’s lineup, there’s plenty to look forward to in this regard, especially for fans of the Cornetto Trilogy.
Edgar Wright’s (The World’s End) latest film, Baby Driver, was announced as one of the headliners for this year’s SXSW film festival. The film stars Ansel Elgort (Divergent) as a getaway driver who is coerced into working for a mob boss. The film is set to make its premiere at this year’s festival prior to its release later this summer. It’s the latest in a long stream of big named gets for the festival and continues the SXSW tradition of showcasing hotly anticipated upcoming releases.
As one of this year’s headliners, Baby Driver is in some good, if somewhat unlikely, company. Also included among the headliners are Terrence Malick’s (Knight of Cups) Song to Song, a love story set amidst the Austin music scene, and Ben Wheatley’s (High-Rise) Free Fire. The inclusion of Baby Driver among these films should speak loudly towards the quality of the film, and is sure to raise its stature in the months leading up to its release.
Wright is a master at playing with tropes in order to reinvent the familiar. His Cornetto Trilogy remains a high-water mark for cinematic deconstruction, with each installment carefully toying with audience expectations and delivering a unique take on the zombie genre (Shaun of the Dead), the police action movie (Hot Fuzz), and the apocalypse (The World’s End). The thought of him playing around in the world of the heist thriller is intriguing enough, but being included in SXSW means it’s time to get excited.
SXSW is known for a well-cultivated festival that honors the best that filmmaking has to offer. Whether it’s an independent film from a new director or the latest from an acclaimed director, SXSW doesn’t just let any movie play at their festival. There’s a base level of quality that should be expected for any announced film, and the fact that Baby Driver not only made the cut but is also a headliner is great news for Wright fans.
For now, the buzz on Baby Driver is growing, and we’ve long been excited for its release. SXSW is only a month and half away, so we’ll know for sure how Wright’s latest film holds up in due time. We’ll keep you posted on any news as it develops.
SXSW film takes place March 10-19 in Austin, Texas.