Why Top 45?

These are the things that float to the top of my list of activities that I want to do for the year 2012 when I am 45 years old. The list is comprised of things that I have either never tried or have wanted to try and just didn't have the courage or time to do it. Follow along and watch my progress and feel free to comment or add words of encouragement to help keep me going for the next 365 days!

Friday, March 23, 2012

SXSW Day 4 Recap

     Day 4 was a Monday and since 1. Andy wasn't going downtown early and 2. Nicole's grandfather, Pedro, was leaving, we decided to have lunch at Phil's Burger place and I opted to see movies at the Alamo Village satellite venue.  Boy was I spoiled!  It is was so easy to see three movies all in a row because a. lines were a LOT shorter than downtown and b. you stand in line inside the theater so the badges really do seem to make a difference.

Movie Reviews
Beauty is Embarrassing
Director: Neil Berkeley
Screenwriter: Neil Berkeley, Chris Bradley, Kevin Klauber
Raised in the Tennessee mountains, Wayne White started his career as a cartoonist in NYC. He quickly found success as one of the creators of the Pee-wee's Playhouse TV show which soon led to more work design some of the most arresting and iconic images in pop culture. Recently his word paintings featuring pithy and and often sarcastic text statements finely crafted onto vintage landscape paintings have made him a darling of the fine art world. The movie chronicles the vaulted highs and crushing lows of an artist struggling to find peace and balance between his professional work and his personal art. This is especially complicated for a man who struggles with the virtues he most often mocks in his art...Vanity, ego and fame. 
My Review-
I truly loved this documentary.  I came away from this film feeling so happy and hopeful and uplifted.  I actually saw it twice and enjoyed the Q & A with Wayne himself.  I think what struck me the most about it is that Wayne just keeps on going as an artist, even when things get him down, he just keeps on trucking along.  It also appears that he has a good life with his family and that they support one another in their endeavors.  Check out the trailer below because it really sum up the documentary, but only gives a preview of the films greatness.  Make note of how Matt Groening and Todd Oldham describe Wayne...really spot on in my opinion.

The Hunter
Director: Daniel Nettheim
Screenwriter(s): Julia Leigh - Novel, Alice Addison- Screenplay, Wain Fimeri - Original adaptation
THE HUNTER is the story of Martin, a skilled and ruthless mercenary sent into the Tasmanian wilderness on a hunt for a tiger believed to be extinct. Hired by an anonymous company that wants the tiger’s genetic material, Martin arrives in Tasmania posing as a scientist. He proceeds to set up base camp at a broken-down farmhouse, where he stays with a family whose father has gone missing. Usually a loner, Martin becomes increasingly close to the family; however, as his attachment to the family grows, Martin is led down a path of unforeseen dangers, complicating his deadly mission.
My Review-
This movie was a sweet surprise!  I wasn't sure if I was going to like it based on the description but the movie ended up being a good mix of thrill, suspense, personal connections. loss and intrigue.  I have always liked Willem Dafoe, at lease in most movies and I was super excited when I knew Sam Neill would be in it.  The scenery is amazing just to take in too so I would say many senses or tweaked during the 101 minutes of the film.  Trailer from the movie below:

Decoding Deepak
Director: Gotham Chopra
Screenwriter: Gotham Chopra
Film-maker and journalist Gotham Chopra spends a year following his father and spiritual icon Deepak Chopra, separating the man from the myth with a raw honesty only a son can have. What starts as decoding of Deepak becomes an examination of himself, and possibly an allegory of a world trying to make sense of itself.
My Review-
I really enjoyed this documentary because of the intimate portrait of a father and son.  That the father and son are Deepak and Gotham Chopra was sort of secondary to me.  In my opinion, Gotham explored and age old question of and son or daughter trying to come to grips with who their parents are and how they may see themselves in their parents and vice versa.  The trailer below gives a good intro to the documentary and I highly recommend seeing it to anyone even if you are not a Deepak Chopra fan.

SXSW Recap, half down, half to go.  Boy it was a busy week!!!

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