SXSW films offer edgy comedy, genre thrills, Gosling's directing debut

SXSW 2015: What to expect from the film festival, and how to stay up to date

Equal parts new-talent launching pad, comedy showcase and beer-and-barbecue-fueled party, the South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival kicks off its nine-day run in Texas today, as part of the Austin-based extravaganza colloquially known as SXSW.

Along with SXSW's music and tech programming, the fest's film component will screen 145 features, more than 100 of which are world premieres. Among the notable selections are three R-rated comedies — Judd Apatow's "Trainwreck," Paul Feig's "Spy" and Etan Cohen's "Get Hard" — continuing SXSW's tradition of foul-mouthed fun.

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Other offerings include documentaries about comedian Russell Brand and the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs; the directorial debut of actor Ryan Gosling, "Lost River"; and the sophomore feature from "A Teacher" helmer Hannah Fidell, "6 Years."

Genre fans will no doubt be interested in Alex Garland's sci-fi thriller "Ex Machina," starring Oscar Isaac and Domhnall Gleeson, and George Miller's "Mad Max: Fury Road," the reboot starring Tom Hardy as the post-apocalyptic hero made famous by Mel Gibson.

Speaking of nostalgia, the fest also will include a 30th-anniversary restoration of John Hughes' Brat Pack classic "The Breakfast Club."

To keep up with all the SXSW film news — and the latest from the music and interactive scenes — follow along with The Times' live blog at

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