This year's SXSW music film lineup is big on troubled geniuses.
Brett Morgen's Kurt Cobain documentary Montage of Heck, which uses a trove of home movie footage to tell the tale of the Nirvana leader who ended his own life in 1994. More on that later this week.
On Sunday, Bill Pohlad's Brian Wilson movie Love & Mercy had its American premier. The movie takes a two-pronged approach to avoid standard biopic cliches in recounting the story of the Beach Boys leader. Paul Dano plays Wilson during the '60s period when the songwriter quit touring with his family band to listen - and reto the sounds in his head. And John Cusack plays the older Brian when he meets his Cadillac saleswoman future wife Melinda (Elizabeth Banks) while under the thumb of controlling crack pot psychologist Dr. Eugene Landy, played with evil panache and a demonic wig by Paul Giammati.
On Sunday morning, Wilson, Polhad, who produced 12 Years A Slave, and Cusack sat down at the W Hotel to talk up the film.

Pohlad, who makes his directorial debut, took the two-part approach, he said, in part to avoid "the trap of the traditional biopic." To Cusack, that made sense because "no one story can tell one man's life." He called Wilson, who has a new album, No Pier Pressure, coming out in April 7 and will play the Mann Center on June 29, "a real survivor in a way, to go through what he went through." His own affecting and effective performance, he said, was the result of paying attention to "sensitivity and feeling" rather than Wilson's specific personal tics, though he also said that Melinda Wilson "showed me a picture of him in the 1980s, and I do look like him then."

Cusack said he immersed himself in listening to Wilson at work on the Pet Sounds and Smile sessions, and also "greedily" hung out with Wilson and his wife to prepare. He did not, however, consult with Dano, who sings versions of Beach Boys songs like "God Only Knows" in the movie, which also uses original recordings.
Wilson said as shooting began he was worried that "I'm [wasn't] strong enough to handle where the movie was coming from.... I was scared as hell to see myself as a drug addict." But he called revisiting his classic recordings, with many scenes shot in the actual Los Angeles studios where Pet Sounds was cut "exhilarating."
Love & Mercy is scheduled to open in theaters on June 5.

Previously: SXsports: Charles Barkley, Ronda Rousey and Serge Ibaka Follow In The Mix on Twitter here