Top Five: The SXSW Film Festival

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Last week, we gave you our picks for the best bets at the SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin, which is becoming a hot ticket to rival the flagship music festival. Today we look forward to the SXSW Film Festival (March 11 - 20), which for years has been Texas' highest profile film-industry conference.

And while early reports suggested that SXSW's biggest premiere this year would be Jodie Foster's The Beaver, with comeback-hopeful Mel Gibson as a man who combats his depression with a beaver hand puppet, we're happy to say there are several much more intriguing films in the offering (though unfortunately Austin-area resident Terrence Malick won't be screening his much anticipated Tree of Life--boo).

Click ahead for our top five picks.

5. Outside Industry: The Story of SXSW

You're at SXSW; why not check out the documentary?

Outside Industry

is the story about how four slackers created arguably the biggest music-industry event in the world. Directed by Alan Berg, owner of Arts+Labor, an Austin based film production company, and a faculty member at the University of Texas School of Journalism.

Wednesday March 16 4:30PM Paramount Theatre 713 Congress Ave


A black comedy about a high school English teacher who teams up with a female student to exact revenge on the students who abuse him psychologically and physically. This one looks chock full of those daring and cringe-worthy moments we expect from directors that are under the radar and fearless. Directed by Clay Liford, a graduate of the University of Texas film program and the director of previous film festival favorite

My Mom Smokes Weed


Saturday March 12 4:30PM Rollins Theatre 701 West Riverside Dr

3. Beginners

We were sold on


from the beginning of the above trailer, as Oliver (Ewan McGregor) gives a house tour to "Arthur" the Jack Russell terrier. In the film, Oliver is coping with the loss of his father Hal (Christopher Plummer), who came out of the closet at age 75 to finally get his life started. Also stars Mélanie Laurent of

Inglourious Basterds

as Oliver's burgeoning love interest. It's directed by Mike Mills, who has previously made a number of music videos, commercials, short films, documentaries, and the feature film


(2005). Expect this screening to be packed.

Monday March 14 6:45PM Alamo Ritz 1 320 East 6th St

2. Taken By StormTaken By Storm

profiles artist Storm Thorgerson, who for more than three decades has been the creator of some of the most iconic album covers in rock, most notably for Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Peter Gabriel, Muse and the Mars Volta. Thorgerson famously insists that digital manipulation be kept at a bare minimum--that as much as possible, the image be created "for real."

Friday March 11 9:00PM Alamo Ritz 1 320 East 6th St

1. Source Code

Much like Christopher Nolan's


, Duncan Jones' new sci-fi thriller

Source Code

presents an outrageous premise and asks audiences to accept it on its own terms, and then sit back and watch the fireworks. Probably the most high-profile screening of the fest, the film is about a soldier (Jake Gyllenhaal) who wakes up in the body of an unknown passenger on a doomed Chicago commuter train. He finds out he's been sent on a mission to find the train's bomber as part of a secret experimental computer program that enables individuals to assume another person's identity in the last 8 minutes of their life. Can you work with that? Art Attack is a big fan of Jones' first feature


. Plus, Jones just happens to be the son of David Bowie. As in


, we'll be suppressing the urge to hum a bit of "Space Oddity" while Gyllenhaal's character is receiving instructions from his military superiors.

Friday March 11 7:00PM Paramount Theatre 713 Congress Ave

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