Saturday, March 09, 2013

SxSW 2013 - Day 2

Conversations with Danny Boyle

The first session of the day was the interview of Danny Boyle. Danny was very open, and spent the entire time discussing his late start in life directing (he was in his 40's), his previous movies, and plans for the future.

He also discussed and shows some clips from his latest picture, Trance. However, he was unable to show Trance at SxSW because the European Distributor had exclusive rights to its global premier.


As a teaser, here's the trailer for Trance.

Value 4 Value: Just Getting by in New Media

At the completion of the Boyle session, I hoped on the shuttle to the Long Center, to go see my buddy, Adam Curry. As a arrived, I ran into several fellow No Agenda Show listeners, and Adam's wife, Ms. Micky.

Adam discussed his career, and leading into how came upon the Value for Value model, now employed by the No Agenda Show. It was well executed talk, it's too bad that SxSW chose to have it at the Long Center, and Adam didn't have more time to promote it.

Adam Curry

Documentary Shorts 1

Since I was already in the neighborhood, I decided to stay for the first half of the Documentary Shorts. Of the four, I liked the Village, the best. Unfortunately, I had to cut out early, in order to make the Nixon film, back at the Ritz.


This film captures a complete day (dusk to dawn) at Auschwitz, in current times, as it is visited by tourists.

The Village

A short film about a Leper Colony in Southern Brazil established in the 1940's, that is slowly vanishing, since all of the residents are now in their 80's and 90's.

Endless Day

A short narrative about a typical night in the life of a chronic insomniac.

In Hanford

An exploration of the environmental disaster that occurred in Hanford, Washington, as the result of Nuclear Arms Manufacturing.

Our Nixon

During Richard Nixon's administration, 3 of his staff members, H. R. Haldeman, Richard Ehrlichman and Dwight Chapin obsessively filmed their daily experiences with Super 8 cameras. The films were seized by the FBI, as part of the Watergate Investigation, and were subsequently placed in the National Archives, where they sat.

This documentary team went through those archives after 40 years, edited them, and produced an amazing documentary.

Our Nixon Q&A

Our Nixon Trailer

Hey Bartender

This was an interesting documentary on the resurgence of the cocktail, in the wake of the gourmet approach, pioneered by people like Dale DeGoff (who appears in the film). I was surprised at how good this documentary was. It was interesting and entertaining.

Hey Bartender Q&A

Before Midnight

The last film of the day was the premier of Richard Linklater's latest, Before Midnight. It the the third in series of movies, preceded by, Before Sunrise, and Before Sunset. The movies involve encounters between the same two characters (who are played by the same two actors, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy), but are spaced 9-10 years apart in chronology.

One thing struck me as somewhat funny. Earlier in the day, Danny Boyle, had said that when he went back and looked at his films, he like most other directors, had essentially remade the same film over and over again. I had to laugh, because Before Midnight includes long sequences of the two main characters on a leisurely stroll around a Mediterranean Island, discussing their philosophy of life. Watching it, you can't help but think of Slacker.

I had originally gone, because my friend, Graham Reynolds, had done Richard's music, once again. The music however, plays a very subtle, background role. The exact opposite of something like Richard's film, Bernie.

Even though I had not seen the previous two films, Richard's style of storytelling eases you into the story, slowly. I have made a promise to myself, to watch the other two films now.

Friday, March 08, 2013

SxSW 2013 - Day 0 and 1

Day 0

Like the previous 3 years, I spent the day before the start of SxSW at work. Leaving early, I picked up my brother at the airport late in the afternoon, and then headed downtown to get our badges, and bags of shit.

Much to my great annoyance, they did not have sufficient supply of the SxSW Film Books, so I was forced to return for my bag of film shit, on the first day.


After the badge pickup, we met up with some of my brother's current and former co-workers for some beers, followed by dinner the Chuys on Barton Springs Road. I had a fried Avocado, a very interesting dish.

Day 1

James Webb NASA Telescope

Initially, this seemed like a great idea. Even though it was raining, I had come prepared with an umbrella. The presentation was over at the Long Center, however, and I had to take a shuttle to get there.

When I finally saw the display and demos, I must say I was underwhelmed. The entire presentation was dumbed down to the lowest common denominator, and the speaker did not appear to have done any preparation for the talk. He spent the entire time zooming in and out a multiple display setup, with very little explanation.

James Webb Telescope

Bre Pettis Keynote

I headed back to the Convention Center to hear Bre Pettis talk about his 3D Printer company, Makerbot. I had actually met Bre at a Barcamp in Austin about 5 years ago. He was very active in the Maker community. It appears he still is.

I may have to look into buying a 3D printer of my own, in the near future.

Bre Pettis Keynote

Toward the Unification of Physics

University of Texas Physic professor, Steven Weinberg, gave a talk on the recent discoveries of a heavy particle at CERN, that completes the Standard Model. He then went on to discuss what else remains to be done, in order for us to have unified theory of all matter and force.

I found this talk to be interesting, but then again, I was an Engineering Physics major in college. I will say that unlike the NASA presenter earlier in the morning, Professor Weinberg was very comfortable speaking in front of crowds, and his lecture was clearly thought out beforehand, and executed flawlessly.

Awe Inspiring Web Typography You Can Do

I decided to attend this talk with my brother. It was interesting to go to something that was Design oriented, rather than technical.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

Although it was a major feature release, and would be in the theaters shortly after SxSW, I decided to see the Incredible Burt Wonderstone, anyway. The film starred Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Jim Carrey, and Olivia Wilder, with everyone but Buscemi present for the screening.

The basic story line features a pair of aging Vegas magicians, played by Carell and Buscemi, and patterned after Zigfried and Roy, defending their turf against an upstart, street magician, played by Jim Carrey. Carrey's character is an composite of Criss Angel and David Blaine.

Although I found some laughs and chuckles, I recognize that I have a quirky sense of humor, and as a result, don't expect this film to do well, when it is released.

Burt Wonderstone

The Burt Wonderstone Trailer

You can watch the trailer here:

TPB AFK - Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard

My second film of the night was a documentary about the 3 Pirate Bay co-founders, in the days before their trial started. An engaging and interesting story for sure.

The Pirate Bay Away From the Keyboard

The Pirate Bay Trailer

Cheap Thrills

The last film of the night was a narrative about a new dad, facing eviction and a layoff. Drowning his worries in booze, he inadvertently crosses the paths of some psychopaths, looking for some dark and sick entertainment.

Cheap Thrills

Cheap Thrills Trailer