AUSTIN The joy of any film festival is discovering something new and vital. That happened Sunday at the SXSW Film Festival with the screening of Licks, a coming-into-manhood story set on the rough streets of Oakland, Calif.
Director Jonathan Singer-Vine's tale of a young man coming back home after a two-year stint in prison doesn't go where it might be expected to go, either in where it takes its characters or even in its use of music (it's not wall-to-wall hip-hop). Though some of the acting is rough around the edges (it was the first film for most involved), it has a sense of place that feels authentic and lived in.
Too bad Singer-Vine couldn't really explain himself in the Q&A after the screening. There's definitely some raw talent there.