SXSW: "Americanese," "Jam" Reviews

by | March 24, 2006 | Comments

Here are some short reviews of "Americanese" and "Jam," two of South by Southwest’s award-winning films.

Premiering in Austin as part of South by Southwest’s film showcase, Eric Byler‘s second feature, "Americanese," explores the lives of two Asian Americans who part after a long and deeply shared intimacy. Raymond (Chris Tashima), a middle-aged Asian American Studies professor, finds a soulmate in Aurora (Allison Sie), the daughter of Irish and Japanese parents, but can’t make peace with the incongruities she so easily abides, such as her father’s prejudices or the injustices her ancestors endured during the Japanese American internment.

Byler doesn’t shrink from the complexities of the issues he raises and elicits genuine humor and emotion from his accomplished cast. It’s clear, as someone of mixed heritage, he’s had experience navigating feelings of alienation and belonging. To his credit, he draws his characters in measured tones and manages to craft a narrative rich in human frailties and strengths.

"Americanese" was honored twice at South by Southwest, receiving both a Special Jury Prize for Outstanding Ensemble Cast as well as the Audience Award for Narrative Feature.

"Jam," the feature length documentary directed by Mark Woollen, plunges headlong into the world of roller derby, a sport that achieved notoriety and a recent revival in the Bay Area. Filmed over seven years, Woolen follows the efforts of colorful athletes and league organizers who put their money and bodies on the line in a go-for-broke attempt to reestablish the American Roller Derby League.

Unimaginable drama unfolds as sinister figures, aftershocks of the AIDS epidemic, and dotcom mania propels the story forward. Woollen skillfully rides the peaks and valleys, crafting a film that feels at times like a mockumentary filled with actors who easily slide into character. By the end, you’re exhausted and exhilarated and, most of all, revved up to witness the real thing.

"Jam" premiered at South by Southwest, where it was the winner of the Documentary Feature Jury Award.

— Story and photo by Geoffrey Pay

Check out South by Southwest features by Rotten Tomatoes:

Tag Cloud

First Look Fantasy true crime book nature toy story SXSW Ellie Kemper Amazon Ghostbusters SDCC Reality Tarantino San Diego Comic-Con finale based on movie Trophy Talk Film 21st Century Fox Countdown spider-man police drama Trivia Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Pirates Thanksgiving Vudu BET space Paramount Network Trailer American Society of Cinematographers jamie lee curtis TV Chernobyl Sneak Peek YouTube Red Music Cartoon Network Family Polls and Games spinoff TLC natural history Valentine's Day Song of Ice and Fire quibi Syfy Schedule period drama TV Land DC Universe Disney Channel golden globes Pride Month medical drama composers Comedy Central Tomatazos AMC 45 crime drama Emmy Nominations Grammys 2018 dceu unscripted Superheroe CBS All Access Sundance movies Mary Poppins Returns cars Ovation kids Tumblr award winner Election comiccon Winners Mindy Kaling DGA Nat Geo Comic Book Action robots Toys crossover Elton John green book VICE Star Trek justice league Acorn TV mockumentary BBC America Brie Larson Winter TV Binge Guide TCA 2017 Reality Competition elevated horror Year in Review Showtime Quiz GoT Starz Rock MCU Mary Tyler Moore BBC Heroines strong female leads Epix Bravo Premiere Dates comic facebook The Arrangement ESPN spy thriller anthology adaptation New York Comic Con Spike Sony Pictures VH1 El Rey boxoffice Amazon Prime Video game show Crackle Superheroes Cannes Pet Sematary vampires ratings technology LGBT DC Comics singing competition blaxploitation disaster Stephen King witnail CBS The CW Podcast cinemax Western children's TV psycho sports HBO Lifetime Country series YA Emmys CMT Paramount HBO Max Summer TNT TBS talk show 2017 WGN Walt Disney Pictures dragons revenge science fiction harry potter cooking Nickelodeon cults political drama E! war GIFs TCM ABC Family MSNBC Sundance Now Netflix docudrama Shudder 20th Century Fox diversity social media SundanceTV aliens PaleyFest CNN FOX Certified Fresh IFC Films See It Skip It Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Marathons Holidays supernatural doctor who zero dark thirty discovery WarnerMedia Oscars anime adventure what to watch Film Festival biography sequel Spring TV ghosts Super Bowl Biopics 2015 Musicals Creative Arts Emmys Fox News ITV DirecTV Women's History Month serial killer Nominations X-Men Rocky mutant Star Wars Infographic PBS FX Hulu Comedy LGBTQ TruTV Mudbound NBC Kids & Family TIFF A&E USA Network Lionsgate Apple NYCC President Rom-Com Character Guide Disney streaming service Christmas RT21 APB binge Opinion Animation festivals streaming E3 dc Best and Worst Columbia Pictures Box Office historical drama psychological thriller animated sitcom Food Network Horror DC streaming service Fall TV romance politics television MTV Freeform Comics on TV Dark Horse Comics Photos teaser Amazon Prime Set visit Musical Rocketman Captain marvel thriller Video Games 24 frames History Disney Pop richard e. Grant Martial Arts RT History Esquire Adult Swim Warner Bros. Britbox ABC casting 2019 OWN YouTube Premium The Witch Extras Cosplay zombies Masterpiece Mystery Universal Teen Mary poppins Awards Tour Drama IFC Logo 007 USA Anna Paquin crime thriller theme song cops miniseries Watching Series FXX 2016 TCA Red Carpet crime transformers GLAAD Writers Guild of America Interview dramedy Marvel cats Black Mirror CW Seed Awards hist Pixar Calendar travel Shondaland tv talk Sci-Fi Spectrum Originals Lucasfilm National Geographic zombie