SXSW 2023: Citizen Sleuth, Last Stop Larrimah, The New Americans: Gaming a Revolution | Festivals and Awards

Larrimah is an outpost in the Australian outback with a population of 11. Wait, not 10. Yes, it’s a murder story in a small town where everyone who lives there literally knows everyone who lives there. It’s almost one Agatha Christie story of that someone in the room must have done it. Produced by Mark Duplass & Jay Duplass, “Last Stop Larrimah” opens as a story in a strange, simple part of the world, only to push and reveal the strange strife, hatred, and histories among these people. Who killed Paddy Moriarty? Believe it or not, half the town can be considered reasonable suspects.

Thomas Tancred divides his true story into five chapters, but they are not distinct enough. I think there is a better way of making the film, maybe focusing one at a time on the main suspects like the unforgettable Fran, who sells meat pies from miles around the distance between people, or Barry, the pub owner who is always kicking. Paddy from too much drunkenness. Arguments about dogs, lots of booze, and general hostility lead to Paddy’s disappearance and presumed death, but this is a study of a region rather than a whodunit. It’s one of those well-made films that reveal the small towns you pass through on your way to a place that also holds secrets. And some of it involves murder.

It’s not a true crime documentary per se, though Ondi Helmsmanof “The New Americans: Playing a Revolution” actually includes some white-collar nonsense that can be called criminal. Timoner has a lot of information in his documentary about the financial madness that has happened since everyone was given a check during the pandemic at a time when they could dump money in the stock market just by using their phones. The director of “We Live in Public” Interested in how technology will impact finance in the 2020s, using a meme-driven approach to tell the story of what a revolution is, shifting power from Wall Street to everyday Americans. Timoner’s film suffers by trying to do too much too quickly, cramming too many ideas into one film in an effort that almost overwhelms the viewer instead of educating them.

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