There’s a rich history of monster movies that use giant rampaging creatures as instruments of allegory as well as destruction. The first King Kong explored humanity’s contradictory desires to admire and destroy the natural world. The original Godzilla reshaped Japan’s World War II nuclear trauma into a terrifying vision of destruction. Nacho Vigalondo’s Colossal does the same; envisioning a monster as an expression of addicts’ uncontrollable inner demons. That idea is just about perfect; the execution of that idea, sadly, falls short.
Dozens of movies play at the SXSW Film Festival every year, making it impossible to see all of them in just eight days. Even if you attended the annual insanity in Austin last week, chances are pretty high that you missed at least a few good movies. And if you’re a cinephile who skipped the fest entirely (congrats on your sleep), you might be wondering which films are worth putting on your radar. Lucky for the sleepless and the well-rested alike, we’ve put together a handy list featuring some of the best films from SXSW 2017.
If Colossal isn’t on your radar, it should be. The new film from Nacho Vigalondo (Timecrimes, Open Windows) is his best yet — and the first full trailer hardly does it justice. Featuring an absolutely phenomenal performance from Anne Hathaway, Colossal offers a hilarious, thoughtful and strangely poignant twist on the classic kaiju movie, and is easily one of the most surprising films of 2017.
SXSW really isn’t slouching with this year’s film festival programming (they rarely do), and today brings even more exciting additions to the lineup, including a pair of our most highly-anticipated films of 2017: Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver and Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire. The latest programming announcement also includes several intriguing indies, new films from Joe Swanberg and Evan Katz, and documentaries featuring beloved icons like Bill Nye and the Muppets.
When it comes to ambitious, imaginative sci-fi, Nacho Vigalondo is one of those names people tend to mention. The Spanish director known best for time-travel head scratcher Timecrimes is back with a new movie, this time about a giant monster and the woman who can control it with her mind. Kinda.
For over a decade, Fantastic Fest has been home to some of the most interesting genre films from around the world. It’s where fans of subversive, unique, inventive and truly challenging cinema discover new and exciting filmmakers and share memorable movie experiences. Although the Alamo Drafthouse’s annual festival does include highly-anticipated studio films like Arrival and A Monster Calls, those films are deliberately programmed to coincide with the fest’s smaller genre offerings — these are the titles that remind us that original voices and stories are still out there, that get us excited about the future of cinema, and the ones we’ll be urging fans to seek out and see over the next several months.
The cast for director Nacho Vigalondo’s ambitious new sci-fi project just keeps getting better — in addition to Anne Hathaway, Colossal also stars Tim Blake Nelson and SNL vet Jason Sudeikis, but the latest member of the cast might be the coolest yet: The Guest and former Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens has joined the lineup. Nacho Vigalondo, you had our curiosity, but now you have our attention.
The Hollywood Reporter calls it “Godzilla meets Lost in Translation.” That gives me images of a giant Bill Murray demolishing Tokyo, but no, apparently there are no oversized Ghostbusters in the film, which is titled Colossal. Instead, Anne Hathaway is “set to star” in the project, which will be written and directed by Timecrimes and Open Windows filmmaker Nacho Vigalondo. Here’s the plot description: