If I had to come out swinging for anything at SXSW, it would have to be Simon Rumley's (The Living and the Dead) new film, Red, White & Blue (review). It's far and away my favorite of the fest thus far, which is odd because usually I don't assign a favorite label to things that make me feel physically battered and emotionally bruised afterwards. But I can't help but respect a film that can pull that off without ever being outright exploitative. So, if you're at SXSW, keep an eye out for it. If not, know that we here at Cinematical will definitely be keeping an eye out for news on the distribution front.

Cinematical: When you were first coming up with Red, White & Blue, what was your sales pitch, so to speak, to producers and friends wanting to know about it?

Simon Rumley: I guess when I first wrote it, I was looking to do a specific story about this girl who used her body as a weapon. I did a few drafts of that and it didn't really work, so I thought that if it was going to work, it would have to be a character study first and foremost. And then once we have sympathy for the character, you can take it other places. So once I had that worked out myself, it became a bit more clear in my mind how it would progress and then the structure came.

By the time I had finished writing the script, in my own mind it was a slacker-revenge movie. The first half is very much a Richard Linklater / Larry Cohen film and then the second half becomes a lot harder and more extreme. So that's actually how I ended up selling it to people, as 'slacker-revenge'. And some people would say, 'slasher-revenge? What's so cool about that?' and I was going, "No, Slacker!" and they'd go, 'Oh, that's interesting.' Really I figured there aren't any other slacker-revenge films around, so I took two elements from stuff I like in films and put them in one.