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SXSW to showcase new Raimi and Demme Works

March 2, 2009

SXSW announced two new additions to the schedule today – both of which are very exciting (there goes my schedule!)


Director Sam Raimi (Spider-Man series, Evil Dead trilogy) will debut a work-in-progress version of Universal Pictures’ horror film Drag Me to Hell, the long awaited return to his roots in the genre. The film, which stars Alison Lohman and Justin Long, is an original tale of a young woman’s desperate quest to break an evil curse. Raimi will be in attendance to introduce the screening at midnight, Sunday, March 15, at the Paramount Theatre.

Universal Pictures’ Drag Me to Hell also stars Lorna Raver, Dileep Rao, David Paymer and Adriana Barraza. The horror film is written by Sam Raimi & Ivan Raimi, produced by Rob Tapert and Grant Curtis and executive produced by Joe Drake and Nathan Kahane.

The story follows Christine Brown (Alison Lohman), an ambitious L.A. loan officer with a charming boyfriend, professor Clay Dalton (Justin Long). Life is good until the mysterious Mrs. Ganush (Lorna Raver) arrives at the bank to beg for an extension on her home loan. Should Christine follow her instincts and give the old woman a break? Or should she deny the extension to impress her boss, Mr. Jacks (David Paymer), and get a leg-up on a promotion?

Christine fatefully chooses the latter, shaming Mrs. Ganush and dispossessing her of her home. In retaliation, the old woman places the powerful curse of the Lamia on Christine, transforming her life into a living hell. Haunted by an evil spirit and misunderstood by a skeptical boyfriend, she seeks the aid of seer Rham Jas (Dileep Rao) to save her soul from eternal damnation. To help the shattered Christine return her life to normal, the psychic sets her on a frantic course to reverse the spell. As evil forces close in, Christine must face the unthinkable: how far will she go to break free of the curse?


Jonathan Demme (Rachel Getting Married, Neil Young: Heart of Gold) will premiere his new Neil Young performance film, Neil Young Trunk Show, on Saturday, March 21, at the Paramount Theatre.

I am broken hearted that I can not be at the Neil Young Trunk Show. Seriously – that is killing me. At least I’ll have Raimi.

Trunk Show: a traveling display of unique goods, packed and unpacked along the way. In Neil Young’s case it’s a display of soul in the musical and spiritual sense. Jonathan Demme presents Neil Young Trunk Show with Young in the middle of a stage full of personal icons, at times alone in the center of a circle of his beloved acoustic guitars, at others in the midst of a handful of much-beloved musicians Ben Keith, Rick Rosas, Ralph Molina, wife Pegi Young and Anthony Crawford.

There are delicately offered piano/guitar/voice numbers like “Ambulance Blues” and “Mexico”; mesmerizing electric travelogues into the artist’s psyche (“No Hidden Path”); searing, chaotic anthems like “Hurricane” and “Spirit Road”; and rarely performed pieces, like “Harvest” that provide glimpses of Young’s less public persona. Shot with a mix of video and film cameras, mostly hand-held, the NYTS follows the assembling and presenting of a concert in breathtakingly intimate fashion, catching lighter moments backstage and between songs with Neil, the band and the crew.

Onstage, at times using dramatically long takes, Demme allows the audience to experience Young opening up his heart song by song, and then blowing it all away in heated, uninhibited displays of rock and roll power. Presented by Clinica Estetico and Shakey Pictures, Neil Young Trunk Show is produced by Elliot Rabinowitz, Jonathan Demme and Bernard Shakey.

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