Wednesday, March 21, 2012

SxSW Day 4

Monday, March 12

Star Gazing

There's plenty of opportunity for Star Gazing at SxSW.

In addition to spotting Anthony Bourdain on multiple occasions, other celebrities were here in Austin. Sitting down in the Hilton lobby to finish my coffee, I looked up and noticed Morgan Spurlock. So, I had to take a picture.

Morgran Spurlock

Panels


Art and Advertising: Two Sides of the One Sheet

Honestly, I went to the panel to bide time. It turned out to be about Movie Poster art, and featured a number of designers that still did things the old way. I found the panel surprisingly interesting, and filed away what I learned. (Perhaps this will work for me the same way that auditing a Calligraphy course at Reed College, worked out for Steve Jobs.)


A Conversation with Willem DaFoe

A seeing The Hunter the day prior, I had to attend this Interview session. Willem discussed his entire career, which started with him being a theatrical set carpenter in Milwaukee.

A great interview, and interesting choice for SxSW in particular, because at the end of the session, it was clear that Willen is not Tech savvy, at all.

Willem DaFoe

Keynote: Expanding Our Intelligence Without Limit - Ray Kurzweil

Being a musician, and the owner of a Kurzweil instrument, I admire Ray in many ways. None the less, I think some of his predictions and projections are ridiculous.

Ray did however pepper his talk with many charts and graphs. I'm hoping I'll be able to find the video with this speech, because much of his data about the growth of technology and science industry was very interesting.

Films

Degenerate Art

This documentary was about the artisans who make glass pipes. Business was booming until the US Dept of Justice came down hard on them, starting with the very visible case of Tommy Chong.

As a result, pipe making has been driven underground, in the wake of the legal trouble. Although ostracized by the fine arts glass blower, they still seem to be pushing themselves into newer frontiers with the art form.

The director of this documentary, and one of the featured glass artists, was available after the screening for Q and A.



Getting back in line at the Ritz for Fat Kids, we ran into a guy with wearing one of the Fedex battery suits, for recharging cell phones. Great idea!

Fedex Guy with Recharge Suit

Fat Kids Rule the World

Without posting a spoiler, let me just say that this was another great indie film, out of Seattle. The lead actor, aka the Fat Kid, is thrown into a friendship with a street hustler, and musician. As a result of the relationship, the Fat Kid is able to change his social status in high school




Fat Kids Rule the World

Black Pond

The final film of the day was a dark comedy, from Britain. The film had a similar setup to the film featuring Bill Murray, What About Bob. A pathetic loser befriends a suburban couple. The ensuing relationship walks the line between innocence and creepy, outright stalking.

This smart film manages to keep the proper balance, so that the humor is maintained.




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