Terrence Malick doesn’t make movies like other filmmakers. He’s not concerned with having a strict script. Heck, he’s seemingly not even concerned with knowing the full arc of a while he’s filming. His process is incredibly fluid, often takes years, and results in movies that can radically transform with each pass in the editing room. You’d think that kind of unpredictability would scare off A-list actors, and yet Malick seems to wrangle together big name casts with unparalleled ease.
Case in point, Song to Song, a drama about the Austin music scene that stars, among many others, Ryan Gosling, Natalie Portman, Michael Fassbender and Rooney Mara. Malick began filming the project years ago at the same time as Knight of Cups, which starred Christian Bale. The latter eventually came out, while its twin film floated around in the Malick’s editing suites. It’s apparently done now, though, and has just been announced as the opening night film of this March’s SXSW Film Festival.
That’s not the only announced title, though it is the biggest. Checkout the initial lineup below, with SXSW announcing many, many more titles at the end of the month.
American Gods (World Premiere)
Director: David Slade, Screenwriters/Showrunners: Bryan Fuller, Michael Green
Adapted from Neil Gaiman’s award-winning novel, American Gods follows Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) and Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) in a magical world where a battle is brewing between the Old Gods and the New Gods.
The Melody of Dust (World Premiere)
Director: Viacom NEXT
A musical journey for the HTC Vive. Explore a mysterious world where every object contains a unique melody. Featuring original musical compositions by Hot Sugar, this experience brings you inside the tortured mind of a musician.
Residente (World Premiere)
Director: René Pérez Joglar
After taking a DNA test, Latin America’s most decorated artist – Rene Perez (AKA Residente), embarks on a global adventure, to trace the footsteps of his ancestors and record his latest album.
Signature Move (World Premiere)
Director: Jennifer Reeder, Screenwriters: Fawzia Mirza, Lisa Donato
A secret new romance with Alma forces Zaynab to confront her complicated relationship with her recently widowed mother. In this coming-of-age Muslim melodrama, Zaynab copes by taking up Lucha-style wrestling.
Cast: Fawzia Mirza, Shabana Azmi, Sari Sanchez, Audrey Francis, Charin Alvarez, Mark Hood, Molly Brennan
Small Town Crime (World Premiere)
Directors/Screenwriters: Eshom Nelms, Ian Nelms
Ex-cop, Mike Kendall, finds the body of a young woman and, in an act of self-redemption, becomes hellbent on finding the killer. While his uncouth, quirky detective style helps break the case, his dogged determination puts his family in danger.
Cast: John Hawkes, Anthony Anderson, Octavia Spencer, Robert Forster, Clifton Collins, Jr.
Song To Song (World Premiere)
Director: Terrence Malick
In this modern love story set against the Austin, Texas music scene, two entangled couples — struggling songwriters Faye and BV, and music mogul Cook and the waitress whom he ensnares — chase success through a rock ‘n’ roll landscape of seduction and betrayal.
Cast: Rooney Mara, Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, Natalie Portman
Spettacolo (World Premiere)
Directors: Jeff Malmberg, Chris Shellen, Screenwriter: Chris Shellen
For the past 50 years, the villagers of a tiny hill town in Tuscany have turned their lives into a play that the entire town writes and performs. “Spettacolo” is a portrait of this tradition through the eyes of the last man trying to keep it alive.