March 21, 2011
Interactivity and You: Which TRIBE do you BELONG to?
The showcase combines documentary storytelling with digital technology. It begs the question: What Tribe Do You Belong to?
Through the eyes of eight style-conscious music fans from My Tribe Is My Life, an interactive web-doc examines their distinctive worlds in a way that allows you the viewer to see the impact of the Internet’s impact on their interpersonal relationships and how they construct their personal identity.
As a player in this interactive experience, you can choose an avatar and find out about the Internet’s impact on you, allowing you to engage in an analysis of virtual networks and to question attitudes about these new social realities.
You will encounter eight diverse characters and have the opportunity to observe them as they go about their day-to-day activities. Through a series of questions, you will be invited to think about the role of the Internet in your own life. When you create an avatar, you can personalize its style, characteristics, accessories, etc., as well as comment on the film and chat with other participants.
The 8 Characters include: Patrick, a Goth loner who lives in his parents’ basement, and has built up a network on a forum dedicated to “vampire” style; Heythem, who organizes reggae parties, and views Facebook as the post-modern address book; Jimmy, a rapper in Abitibi, and a member of Quebec’s hip hop community; Janis (a.k.a. DJ Monochrome), an insurance broker by day and a passionate player in Quebec’s electro music scene by night; Laurianne from Sayabec in the Gaspé, who refines her Goth ethos in daily forum discussions; Sébastien, a Goth dandy/loli and a great admirer of the Japanese Harajuku culture, who regularly uploads photos of himself in his exquisitely constructed clothing ensembles; Pierre-Luc from St-Félicien, a provocateur through his “public private diary,” which has become his Facebook profile; and Shana, an emo teenager from Maliotenam on the North Shore, who derives her sense of identity through her friends, live chat rooms and a penchant for lip-synching videos.
To each his “tribe:” Goth, emo, reggae, rap, vampire. . . . Music is often more than a simple cultural product; it can be a means of constructing identity. Online social networks allow Web users to share music, information, images and feelings; in seeking out their own “kind,” they can discover a tribe that speaks to them. And, in exchange for expressing themselves through sharing and posting, they hope to receive comments, opinions and gestures of approval, all of which serves to validate their identity.
The film trailer can be found here.
March 21, 2011 in America The Free, Arts & Creative Stuff, Conference Highlights, Entertainment/Media, Events, On Mobile & Wireless, On Technology, On the Future, Social Media, WBTW, Web 2.0 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
March 14, 2011
Photographer Kurt Markus is Visionary Filmmaker Behind It’s About You
Kurt Markus, whose work as a still photographer has put him in the front ranks of contemporary American visual artists, is the visionary filmmaker behind It’s About You. The film will premiere as one of the featured selections chosen for the 2011 SXSW® Film Conference and Festival at the Alamo Ritz 1 at 6:30 PM on Saturday, March 12, 2011 in Austin, Texas, followed by a Q+A session with the filmmakers and John Mellencamp.
It’s About You, an American Documentary Showcase selection, will be featured at the Nashville Film Festival next month. Nashville screenings are set for Sunday, April 17 at 8 PM and Monday, April 18 at 3 PM, both at the Regal Cinema in Green Hills.
Shot in Super 8 during the course of John Mellencamp’s six-week 2009 summer tour with Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson. It’s About You chronicles the recording of No Better Than This, Mellencamp’s T Bone Burnett-produced album at three historic locations utilizing a single microphone and a mono tape recorder more than a half-century-old. This film is far removed from the conventions of standard-issue “rockumentaries” and serves as a think piece about the battering of American society by globalization and greed and the transitory nature of its cultural touchstones.
Markus was assisted in the project by his son Ian Markus, now a film student at the University of Montana. The filmmakers participating in a panel discussion entitled “The Making of It’s About You, A Super 8 Documentary” at the Austin Convention Center Room 13AB that starts at 5 PM.
Father and son followed Mellencamp to 26 cities in 18 states where they documented not only Mellencamp’s musical performances but also the context of these shows as economic upheaval and diaspora have changed American lives and landscapes. The film conjoins Mellencamp’s songs with images of a nation wracked by malaise and decline with contemplative narration written and voiced by the elder Markus.
It’s worth noting that Mellencamp’s journey is the film's leitmotif but that the artist is never specifically interviewed; there are virtually no “talking heads” seen or heard in the naturalistic piece. This is not a retrospective film with interviews. It is of the moment.
The film visits the nation’s past through the prism of Mellencamp’s historically resonant recording venues: The First African Baptist Church in Savannah, GA where runaway slaves were hidden on their journey to Spanish-controlled Florida and to Sun Studio in Memphis where Mellencamp stood where Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Howlin’ Wolf had before him. A recording session in Room 414 of San Antonio’s Gunter Hotel with Mellencamp in the same corner of the room where blues legend Robert Johnson had recorded “Come On In My Kitchen” and “Cross Road Blues” among others more than 70 years earlier is another highlight of No Better Than This.
Markus, who was born in Montana and still lives in that state, made his mark in landscape, figure study, celebrity, fashion and travel. The Cowboy Hall of Fame, Hills Gallery, Halsted Gallery, Staley-Wise Gallery, Gallery have mounted exhibitions of his work for Contemporary Photography and Galleria Photology. Markus published several monographs, including After Barbed Wire, Buckaroo, Dreaming Georgia, Boxers, Cowpuncher, and Dune.
March 13, 2011
2011 TED Prize Winner: Changing the World One Photograph at a Time - #TED
Being a passionate photographer myself and having lived and traveled to some of the pockets where JR shot hundreds of images for a 'wish' he had for the world, I couldn't help but be a little more than intrigued by his project which just won the TED Prize last week in Long Beach, CA.
So, who's JR? He is a photographer whose career began when he found a camera in the Paris subway. In his first major project, in 2001 and 2002, JR toured and photographed street art around Europe, tracking the people who communicate their messages to the world on walls. His first large-format postings began appearing on walls in Paris and Rome in 2003. His first book, Carnet de rue par JR, about street artists, appeared in 2005.
In 2006, he launched “Portrait of a Generation,” huge-format portraits of suburban “thugs” from Paris’ notorious banlieues, posted on the walls of the bourgeois districts of Paris. This illegal project became official when Paris City Hall wrapped its own building in his photos.
His wish for the world? I wish for you to stand up for what you care about by participating in a global art project, and together we'll turn the world...INSIDE OUT."
Here's the idea: to participate.create a large-scale participatory art project that transforms messages of personal identity into pieces of artistic work. Everyone will be challenged to use black and white photographic portraits to discover, reveal and share the untold stories and images of people around the world. These digitally uploaded images will be made into posters and sent back to the project’s co-creators for them to exhibit in their own communities.
People can participate as an individual or in a group; posters can be placed anywhere, from a solitary image in an office window to a wall of portraits on an abandoned building or a full stadium. These exhibitions will be documented, archived and viewable virtually. Visit www.insideoutproject.net to participate.
Below is an exhibit of some of his work held at a gallery in Long Beach, the weekend after the TED Conference finished.
In the gallery, which was free to all attendees, you could have your photo taken and within minutes, you were given a larger than yourself piece of paper with your mug shot, replicating what he has been doing in developing countries. It's symbollic of his project and the idea is to plaster your image somewhere to expand his idea and he hopes, to change the world.
The TED Prize is designed to leverage the TED community’s exceptional array of talent and resources and is awarded annually to an exceptional individual who receives $100,000 and, much more important, “One Wish to Change the World.”
March 13, 2011 in America The Free, Arts & Creative Stuff, Conference Highlights, Europe, On Africa, On Australia, On China, On East Africa, On Education, On France, On Germany, On Innovation, Photography, South America, United Kingdom, WBTW | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
March 09, 2011
French Filmmaker Previews URBAN WOLF
I had an opportunity to meet URBAN WOLF director LAURENT TOUIL-TARTOUR in Los Angeles this past weekend, a French filmmaker whose new film premiered recently on Sony’s multiplatform website Crackle.
URBAN WOLF is a 15 part international mystery thriller that first premiered at last year’s Comic Con and the AFI Digifest, and won the award for Best Drama at this year’s ITV Festival. The story is told in a cutting-edge visual style with no dialogue.
URBAN WOLF is a prime example of the emergence of digital media as a platform for premium content as well as unique distribution and monetization strategy. URBAN WOLF is creating new models for production, sponsorship and content strategy for media companies and consumer brands.A few links:
February 24, 2011
Swerve Connects People to Great Things To Do
At the LAUNCH Conference in San Francisco this past week, I interviewed Swerve's John Magdziarz about their iPhone app. Swerve connects people to great things to do. Serving up thousands of events in cities across the U.S., Swerve is for anyone who wants to get out and do something – a couple planning a date night, a group of friends looking for a club party, or a businessperson attending a conference or networking event.
Swerve offers listings for Music & Nightlife; Food & Drink; Speakers & Networking; Art & Museums; Get-togethers; Deals; and Facebook public events. Swerve also makes it easy to share event details and gather friends through social networking services such as Facebook and Twitter, all while on-the-go from your mobile device. John explains in the video below and shows us a demo on an iPad.
February 24, 2011 in America The Free, Arts & Creative Stuff, Entertainment/Media, Europe, Events, On Mobile & Wireless, Social Media, Travel, Videos, WBTW, Web 2.0 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
February 21, 2011
David Silverman on Animation and the Tuba
Most known as the animator for directing numerous episodes of the animated TV series The Simpsons, as well as The Simpsons Movie, David Silverman walked out onto the TEDxBerkeley stage playing a tuba last Saturday.
He gave a very funny historical summary of the tuba and why he started playing it as a teenager.
The main reason that he started playing the tuba is that he thought it would be funny.
He learned how to draw all the instruments in the orchestra and showed a number of his sketches from piano books ranging from Alfred publishing to tuba characters and Bart.
The video of his talk and tuba playing should be up on the TEDxBerkeley site sometime in the next couple of weeks.
February 12, 2011
Sutton's Classic San Francisco Heart
Jeremy Sutton is a Bay Area friend of mine who has an amazing ability to beautifully capture things, people and the world digitally.
An artist at heart, he spends most of his time dancing up a storm when he's not 'creating.'
I wanted to share a heart that he painted called Classic San Francisco, commissioned by the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation, which is currently in display in Union Square, at the corner of Powell and Geary Streets, in downtown San Francisco through October 2011.
February 02, 2011
SXSW Film Announces 2011 Features Lineup
The South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival just announce the features lineup for this year’s Festival, March 11–19, 2011 in Austin, Texas. The 2011 lineup continues the SXSW tradition of tapping into the cultural zeitgeist, highlighting emerging talent and breakthrough performances and supporting first-time filmmakers. The Midnighters and SXFantastic feature sections, along with the short film program, will be announced next week.
Over the course of nine days, 130 features will screen at SXSW 2011. The program consists of 60 World Premieres, 12 North American Premieres and 16 U.S. Premieres. These films were selected from a record 1,792 feature-length film submissions composed of 1,323 U.S. and 469 international feature-length films. SXSW saw a 23% increase in its overall submissions over 2010, with a record number of nearly 4,900 total.The festival’s main competition categories once again find eight Narrative Features and eight Documentary Features, vying for their respective Grand Jury Prizes. New for 2011, films in competition will also be eligible for screenplay, editing, cinematography, music and acting awards.
The Narrative Feature Competition includes: 96 MINUTES, directed by Aimée Lagos, A Year in Mooring, directed by Chris Eyre, American Animal, directed by Matt D'Elia, Charlie Casanova, directed by Terry McMahon, FLY AWAY, directed by Janet Grillo, HAPPY NEW YEAR, directed by K. Lorrel Manning, Natural Selection, directed by Robbie Pickering and Small, Beautifully Moving Parts, directed by Annie J. Howell & Lisa Robinson.
The Documentary Feature Competition includes: A Mouthful, directed by Sally Rowe, Better This World, directed by Katie Galloway & Kelly Duane de la Vega, The City Dark, directed by Ian Cheney, DRAGONSLAYER, directed by Tristan Patterson, FIGHTVILLE, directed by Michael Tucker & Petra Epperlein, Kumaré, directed by Vikram Gandhi, LAST DAYS HERE, directed by Don Argott & Demian Fenton and Where Soldiers Come From, directed by Heather Courtney.
The final panel and conference lineup will be announced on February 15. Visit http://www.sxsw.com/film for more information and updates.
The 2011 SXSW Film Festival will feature:
Director & Writer: Aimée Lagos
Four young lives. One night. One terrifying event. These 96 minutes will change everything.
Cast: Brittany Snow, Evan Ross, Christian Serratos, J. Michael Trautmann, and David Oyelowo
A Year in Mooring
Director: Chris Eyre, Writer: Peter Vanderwall
In his first leading dramatic role, Josh Lucas walks an isolated line between solitude and redemption. This quiet cinematic journey tells a of tale grief, solace and peace. Cast: Josh Lucas, Ayelet Zurer, James Cromwell, Jon Tenney, Taylor Nichols (World Premiere)
Director & Writer: Matt D'Elia
Jimmy - eccentric, delusional, dying - feels betrayed when roommate James gets a job. During one night of drinks, drugs and women, a classic battle of wills ensues as James prepares for work and Jimmy goes mad. Cast: Matt D'Elia, Brendan Fletcher, Mircea Monroe, Angela Sarafyan
Charlie Casanova (Ireland)
Director & Writer: Terry McMahon
A ruling class sociopath knocks down a working class girl in a hit-and-run and uses a deck of playing cards to determine his fate. Cast: Emmett J. Scanlan, Leigh Arnold, Damien Hannaway, Ruth McIntyre, Tony Murphy (World Premiere)
Director & Writer: Janet Grillo
A poignant yet humor filled story about a single mother of a teenager with autism, confronting her child’s future. What will sustain her daughter, and herself? A parent/child love story, when love means letting go. Cast: Beth Broderick, Ashley Rickards, Greg Germann, JR Bourne, Reno (World Premiere)
HAPPY NEW YEAR
Director & Writer: K. Lorrel Manning
A war torn marine returns home to face his fiercest battle yet --- the one against himself.
Cast: Michael Cuomo, JD Williams, Monique Gabriela Curnen, Tina Sloan, Alan Dale (World Premiere)
Director & Writer: Robbie Pickering
When a dutiful, albeit barren, housewife discovers that her ailing husband has an illegitimate son, she sets out to find the young man and reunite him with her husband before he dies.
Cast: Rachael Harris, Matt O'Leary, Jon Gries, John Diehl (World Premiere)
Small, Beautifully Moving Parts
Directors & Writers: Annie J. Howell & Lisa Robinson
Technology-obsessed Sarah Sparks is pregnant and ambivalent, afraid she relates better to machines than to people. Looking for answers, she hits the road in search of her estranged mother, now living off the grid. Cast: Anna Margaret Hollyman, André Holland, Sarah Rafferty, Susan Kalechi Watson, Mary Beth Peil (World Premiere)
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION
This year’s 8 films were selected from 808 submissions. Each film is a World Premiere.
Films screening in Documentary Feature Competition are:
Director: Sally Rowe
Considered a rising star of haute cuisine, Paul Liebrandt found his career stalled in New York’s austere environment post 9/11. Paul struggles over the next decade as he tries to make his way back to the top. (World Premiere)
Better This World
Directors: Katie Galloway & Kelly Duane de la Vega
Two childhood friends from Midland, Texas cross a line that changes their lives forever. The result: eight homemade bombs, multiple domestic terrorism charges and a high stakes entrapment defense hinging on a controversial FBI informant. (World Premiere)
The City Dark
Director: Ian Cheney
The film chronicles the disappearance of darkness, following astronomers, cancer researchers, ecologists and philosophers in a quest to understand what is lost in the glare of city lights. (World Premiere)
Director: Tristan Patterson
Killer Films presents the transmissions of a lost kid, falling in love, in the suburbs of Fullerton, California. Featuring skateboarding, the usual drugs, and stray glimpses of unusual beauty.
Directors: Michael Tucker & Petra Epperlein
A documentary about the art and sport of fighting: a microcosm of life, a physical manifestation of that other brutal contest called the American Dream. (World Premiere)
Director: Vikram Gandhi
A documentary about a man who impersonates a wise Indian Guru and builds a following in Arizona. (World Premiere)
LAST DAYS HERE
Directors: Don Argott & Demian Fenton
The film follows middle-aged rocker Bobby Liebling, lead singer of the cult hard rock/heavy metal band Pentagram, as he leaves his parents' basement in search of the life he never lived.
Where Soldiers Come From
Director: Heather Courtney
From a snowy small town in Northern Michigan to the mountains of Afghanistan and back, the film follows the four-year journey of childhood friends and their town, forever changed by a faraway war. (World Premiere)
Big names, big talent: Headliners bring star power to SXSW, featuring red carpet premieres and gala film events with some major and rising names in cinema.
Films screening in Headliners are:
Director: Takashi Miike, Writers: Shoichirou Ikemiya & Daisuke Tengan
Distressed by the Lord’s murderous rampage, top Shogun official Sir Doi secretly calls on esteemed samurai Shinzaemon Shimada to assassinate the evil Naritsugu. Outraged by Lord Naritsugu’s vile acts, Shinzaemon willingly accepts the dangerous mission. Cast: Koji Yakusho, Takayuki Yamada, Yusuke Iseya, Goro Inagaki, Masachika Ichimura
Ain't It Cool News 15th Anniversary Screening
Harry Knowles will curate a surprise screening in honor of the 15th Anniversary of his popular cult website Ain't it Cool News.
Director: Jodie Foster, Writer: Kyle Killen
Two-time Academy Award® winner Jodie Foster directs and co-stars with two-time Academy Award® winner Mel Gibson in an emotional story about a man on a journey to re-discover his family and re-start his life. Plagued by his own demons, Walter Black was once a successful toy executive and family man who now suffers from depression. No matter what he tries, Walter can’t seem to get himself back on track…until a beaver hand puppet enters his life. Cast: Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, Anton Yelchin, Jennifer Lawrence, Cherry Jones (World Premiere)
Conan O'Brien Can't Stop
Director: Rodman Flender
Did Conan O'Brien go on tour to connect with his fans or fill a void within himself? Rodman Flender’s documentary captures an artist trained in improvisation at the most improvisational time of his career. (World Premiere)
Director: Greg Mottola, Writers: Simon Pegg & Nick Frost
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost reunite as two geeks who meet an alien named Paul (Seth Rogen) on a pilgrimage to America’s UFO heartland. Their road trip will alter our universe forever. Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Blythe Danner, John Carroll Lynch, with Sigourney Weaver, and Seth Rogen as Paul (North American Premiere)
Director: Duncan Jones, Writer: Ben Ripley
When soldier Captain Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) wakes up in the body of an unknown man, he discovers he’s part of a mission to find the bomber of a Chicago commuter train. In an assignment unlike any he’s ever known, he learns he’s part of a government experiment called the “Source Code,” a computer program that enables him to cross over into another man's identity in the last 8 minutes of his life. Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, Jeffrey Wright (World Premiere)
Director & Writer: James Gunn
In this outlandish dark comedy, James Gunn has created what is perhaps the definitive take on self-reflexive superheroes. Cast: Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler, Kevin Bacon, Michael Rooker
Director: Tom McCarthy, Writers: Tom McCarthy & Joe Tiboni
Tom McCarthy, acclaimed writer/director of The Visitor and The Station Agent, once again explores the depths and nuances of human relationships in his new film about the allegiances and bonds between unlikely characters. Cast: Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan, Bobby Cannavale, Jeffrey Tambor, Burt Young, Melanie Lynskey, Alex Schaffer, Margo Martindale, David Thompson
Shining a light on new documentary and narrative features receiving their World, North American or U.S. Premieres at SXSW.
Films screening in Spotlight Premieres are:
A Bag of Hammers
Director: Brian Crano, Writers: Brian Crano & Jake Sandvig
An offbeat comedy about two misfit best friends incapable of growing up, whose direction is tested by an abandoned child, worn beyond his years; together they invent the family they've always needed. Cast: Jason Ritter, Jake Sandvig, Chandler Canterbury, Rebecca Hall, Carrie Preston (World Premiere)
Director: Jeff Myers
In an effort to rekindle his Christmas spirit, Jack decides to spend this season as Santa Claus, but the role of Kris Kringle is more complex than he thinks. (World Premiere)
Writer & Director: Mike Mills
When Oliver (Ewan McGregor) meets the irreverent and unpredictable Anna (Mélanie Laurent) only months after his father Hal (Christopher Plummer) has passed away, this new love floods Oliver with memories of his father who – following 44 years of marriage – came out of the closet at age 75 to live a full, energized, and wonderfully tumultuous gay life. Cast: Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Mélanie Laurent, Goran Visnjic, Kai Lennox (U.S. Premiere)
Bob and The Monster
Director: Keirda Bahruth
A highly compelling portrait of outspoken indie-rock hero Bob Forrest, through his life-threatening struggle with addiction, to his transformation into one of the most influential and controversial drug counselors in the US today. (World Premiere)
Director: Joseph Kahn, Writers: Joseph Kahn & Mark Palermo
A downtrodden 17-year-old girl is sent to detention where she must survive a slasher film killer and save the world in time for prom. Cast: Josh Hutcherson, Dane Cook, Shanley Caswell, Spencer Locke, Aaron David Johnson (World Premiere)
Director: Anne Buford
From a basketball academy in Senegal, to the high-pressure world of American prep schools, the film documents the extraordinary personal journeys of four particularly tall West African Muslim teenage boys with NBA dreams. (World Premiere)
Director: Sara Terry
Victims and perpetrators of Sierra Leone’s brutal war come together for the first time in an unprecedented reconciliation program of grassroots truth-telling and forgiveness ceremonies.
Fubar: Balls to the Wall (Canada)
Director: Michael Dowse, Writers: David Lawrence, Paul J. Spence
Documentarian Farrel Mitchner explores the lives of headbangers Dean Murdoch and Terry Cahill. Cast: Paul J. Spence, David Lawrence (U.S. Premiere)
Girl Walks Into a Bar
Director & Writer: Sebastian Gutierrez
A sharp-witted comedy that follows a group of apparent strangers in interlocking stories taking place in ten different bars during the course of one evening in Los Angeles. Cast: Carla Gugino, Zachary Quinto, Danny DeVito, Josh Hartnett, Rosario Dawson (World Premiere)
Director & Writer: Ti West
Hotel clerks by day, amateur ghost hunters by night, the last two employees of the historic Yankee Pedlar Inn set out to prove that their place of business is as haunted as its reputation.
Cast: Sara Paxton, Pat Healy, Kelly McGillis (World Premiere)
It's About You
Director: Kurt Markus
First-time filmmakers, photographer Kurt Markus and son, Ian, document John Mellencamp’s 2009 summer tour and recording of his latest album. This film celebrates the visual beauty and power of Super8 film and the human voice. (World Premiere)
Director & Writer: Alex Munt
A pop-art film based on the novel “Living Between Fucks” by Cry Bloxsome. It follows Goodchild, a young writer back home for his ex-girlfriend's funeral, The Dead Girl. Love, Loss & Desperation.
Cast: Toby Schmitz, Bianca Chiminello, Gracie Otto, Septimus Caton, April Rose Pengilly
The Other F Word
Director: Andrea Blaugrund Nevins
When the most anti-authoritarian among us become the ultimate authorities... we might just have to use The Other F Word. (World Premiere)
Directors: Victor Köhler & David Dworsky
The first real testimony of the digi-creative revolution. It's an 80 minute global journey capturing how digital technology and mindset has transformed the concept of art and culture.
(North American Premiere)
Directors: Dan Geller & Dayna Goldfine
Apple. Intel. Genentech. Cisco. Atari. This film tells the story of a handful of risk-takers who alongside visionary entrepreneurs created these revolutionary companies, and in the process ignited the industry known as venture capital. (World Premiere)
Director: Billy Corben
A colorful portrait of Miami's pot smugglin' scene of the 1970s, populated with redneck pirates, a ganja-smoking church, and the longest serving marijuana prisoner in American history.
Directors: Dan Lindsay & T.J. Martin
A volunteer coach helps a neglected inner-city football team in their quest to win the first playoff game in the high school's history. (World Premiere)
Yelling to the Sky
Director & Writer: Victoria Mahoney
As her family falls apart, seventeen year old Sweetness O’Hara is left to fend for herself in a neighborhood where her survival is uncertain. Cast: Zoe Kravitz, Jason Clarke, Antonique Smith, Gabourey Sidibe, Tim Blake Nelson (U.S. Premiere)
YOU INSTEAD (Scotland)
Director: David Mackenzie, Writer: Thomas Leveritt
Two rival musicians find themselves handcuffed together at the world renowned music festival, T in the Park, where they are both scheduled to perform. Cast: Luke Treadaway, Natalia Tena, Sophie Wu, Ruta Gedmintas, Kari Corbett (North American Premiere)
Innovation and creativity from new and emerging feature filmmakers, showcasing raw talent in documentary and narratives of varying premiere status.
Films screening in Emerging Visions are:
Director & Writer: Dustin Guy Defa
A humorless loner attempts to win the admiration of a drifter with his debut performance at the local comedy club. Cast: Kentucker Audley, Eléonore Hendricks, Annette Wright, Allison Baar
The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye
Director: Marie Losier
A portrait of the life and work of ground-breaking performance artist and music pioneer Genesis Breyer P-Orridge (Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV) and his wife Lady Jaye, centered around their sexual transformations for their “Pandrogyne” project. (North American Premiere)
Director & Writer: Evan Glodell
A love story with apocalyptic stakes. Cast: Evan Glodell, Jessie Wiseman, Tyler Dawson, Rebekah Brandes, Vincent Grashaw
The Catechism Cataclysm
Director & Writer: Todd Rohal
Father William Smoortser drops his bible into a toilet at a rest stop just before embarking on a day-long canoe trip, breaking loose all glorious hell. Cast: Steve Little, Robert Longstreet, Walter Dalton, Miki Ann Maddox, Koko Lanham, Rico
Caught Inside (Australia)
Director: Adam Blaiklock, Writers: Adam Blaiklock & Matt Tomaszewski
A surfing holiday turns deadly when a group of friends fight over a beautiful woman. Cast: Ben Oxenbould, Daisy Betts, Sam Lyndon, Simon Lyndon, Peter Phelps (North American Premiere)
Director: Jarred Alterman
Artist Christiaan Zwanikken resurrects deceased wildlife by reanimating the skeletal remains with servomotors and robotics. He breeds these new species in a 400-year-old monastery in Portugal, restored from ruins and converted into his laboratory. (North American Premiere)
The Dish & The Spoon
Director: Alison Bagnall, Writers: Alison Bagnall, Andrew Lewis
In this poignant comedy, Rose (Greta Gerwig), reeling from her husband's affair, collides and forms an unexpected bond with a marooned teenager from England (exciting newcomer Olly Alexander) in a boarded-up Delaware beach town. Cast: Greta Gerwig, Olly Alexander, Eleonore Hendricks, Amy Seimetz, Adam Rothenberg (World Premiere)
Fuck my life (Chile)
Director & Writer: Nicolás López
Love in the times of Facebook is worst than love in the times of cholera.
Cast: Ariel Levy, Lucy Cominetti, Andrea Velasco, Paz Bascuñan, Leonor Varela (U.S. Premiere)
Director & Writer: Sophia Takal
An intimate friendship between two women dissolves as they are drawn into an irrational, destructive spiral of jealousy and paranoid fantasy in this haunting examination of the female psyche.
Cast: Kate Lyn Sheil, Sophia Takal, Lawrence Michael Levine (World Premiere)
THE KEY MAN
Director & Writer: Peter Himmelstein
Bobby Scheinman is an insurance salesman struggling to provide for his family. Enter Vincent and Irving, two con men who convince Bobby to join them for a moneymaking scheme that quickly spirals out of control. Cast: Jack Davenport, Hugo Weaving, Brian Cox, Judy Greer, Ben Shenkman
Director: R. Alverson, Writers: R. Alverson & Colm O'Leary
Ike (Will Oldham), an Evangelical Christian, befriends Sean, an Irish immigrant, and attempts to ensure his salvation. A meditation on the allure and limitations of modern utopian belief. Cast: Will Oldham, Colm O'Leary, Thomas Bowles, Walter Scott, Roxanne Ferris (North American Premiere)
No Matter What
Director & Writer: Cherie Saulter
The story of Nick and Joey, two best friends living in the crumbling landscape of rural Florida, whose lives and friendship are changed by the journey to find Joey’s mother. Cast: Matt Webb, Waylan Gross, Amy Seimetz (World Premiere)
Our Day Will Come (France)
Director: Romain Gavras, Writers: Romain Gavras & Karim Boucherka
Two outcast redheads set off on a roadtrip of hate, violence and self-destruction. The time for revenge has come... Cast: Vincent Cassel, Olivier Barthelemy (U.S. Premiere)
Director: Gustavo Pizzi, Writers: Gustavo Pizzi & Karine Teles
What's the importance of luck in life? Is luck part of the craft? Cast: Karine Teles, Camilo Pellegrini, Dany Roland, Otavio Muller (North American Premiere)
Director & Writer: Michael Tully
A reclusive sports hustler returns home to his family farm after years of absence to reunite with his two eccentric, unhinged and emotionally damaged brothers. Cast: Robert Longstreet, Onur Tukel, Michael Tully, Rachel Korine, Mark Darby Robinson
Director & Writer: Joe Swanberg
Filmmaking and life converge around a werewolf film. Cast: Kate Lyn Sheil, Ti West, Amy Seimetz, Joe Swanberg, Jane Adams (North American Premiere)
Director: Dave Boyle, Writers: Dave Boyle, Joel Clark, & Goh Nakamura
Musician Goh Nakamura is hired to teach TV actor Danny Turner how to walk and talk like a rock star for his new movie. Cast: Goh Nakamura, Chadd Stoops, Lynn Chen, Mary Cavett, Joy Osmanski (World Premiere)
Director & Writer: Kyle Smith
Ten friends gather to play an annual game of touch football in this real-time comedy.
Cast: Morgan Beck, Adam Benic, Kerry Bishé, Troy Buchanan, Tom DiMenna (World Premiere)
Director & Writer: Andrew Haigh
A one-night stand that becomes something else, something important - a (sort of) love story between two guys trying to take control of their lives. Cast: Tom Cullen, Chris New (World Premiere)
LONE STAR STATES
Texas proud! Documentaries and Narratives with a special connection to the Lone Star State.
Films screening in Lone Star States are:
Director: Aaron Rottinghaus, Writers: Aaron Rottinghaus & Josh Danziger
Young love is derailed by a rare psychological disorder known as icd-10 F24. Cast: Olesya Rulin, Josh Danziger, Michael Bowen, Bruce McGill, Joey Lauren Adams (World Premiere)
Director & Writer: Aaron Burns
Sad, fat, black, latino, nerd. It doesn't get any worse than that. Cast: Austin Marshall, Devyn Ray, Tiger Sheu, Danny Trejo, Jeff Fahey (World Premiere)
Director: Turk Pipkin
Filmmaker Turk Pipkin’s promise to help build the first high school for a remote African community connects Americans and Kenyans in this true story. (World Premiere)
Five Time Champion
Director & Writer: Berndt Mader
A film about love, hope, petty theft, adultery, and the boundless opportunities presented by science. Cast: Betty Buckley, Dana Wheeler Nicholson, Jon Gries, Ryan Akin, Robert Longstreet
INCENDIARY: The Willingham Case
Directors: Steve Mims & Joe Bailey, Jr.
Cameron Todd Willingham: A martyr for anti-death penalty activists, a 'monster' for right-wing politicians and a flash point for an astonishing twenty-first century fight between science and folklore. (World Premiere)
Inside America (Austria)
Director & Writer: Barbara Eder
A portrait of six teenagers during their senior year at Hanna High School in Brownsville and “a relentless, downbeat but convincing indictment of a small Texas high school.” Cast: Raul Juarez, Aimeé Lizette Saldivar, Zuleyma Jaime, Luis De Los Santos, Carlos Benavides, Patty Barrera
My Sucky Teen Romance
Director & Writer: Emily Hagins
In a culture that is currently overrun with romanticized vampires, it is up to four geeky teenagers to defend their friend and beloved sci-fi convention from a group of very real, blood-thirsty vampires.
Cast: Elaine Hurt, Patrick Delgado, Santiago Dietche, Lauren Lee, Tony Vespe (World Premiere)
Otis Under Sky
Director: Anlo Sepulveda, Writers: Anlo Sepulveda, Anis Mojgani, Roberta Colindrez
Otis is a socially inept web artist who struggles to connect with people. He falls into unrequited love with Ursula, and his world is turned upside down. Cast: Anis Mojgani, Roberta Colindrez, Tony Jackson, Jacqueline Leal, Ruth Sepulveda (World Premiere)
Director & Writer: Clay Liford
A high school teacher is severely beaten by his own students. Too embarrassed to inform the authorities, he plots his own revenge. Cast: Nate Rubin, Alicia Anthony, Alex Karpovsky, Jonny Mars, Tony Hale (World Premiere)
24 BEATS PER SECOND
Showcasing the sounds, culture and influence of music and musicians, with an emphasis on documentary.
Films screening in 24 Beats Per Second are:
Benda Bilili! (France)
Directors: Renaud Barret & Florent de La Tullaye
Ricky dreams of making Staff Benda Bilili the best band in Congo Kinshasa. Roger wants to join these stars of the ghetto. Together, they must avoid the pitfalls of the street and believe in music. (U.S. Premiere)
Director: James Moll
The definitive documentary of the last great American rock n’ roll band: chronicling Foo Fighters’ 16 year history from their first club gigs to the recording of their new album in Dave Grohl's garage.
Le Tigre: On Tour
Director: Kerthy Fix
A concert film that follows a feminist electronic band across 4 continents and 10 countries and provides an unusual peek behind the curtain of the contemporary pop machine. (World Premiere)
Live at Preservation Hall: Louisiana Fairytale
Director: Danny Clinch
The film documents the collaboration between New Orleans's legendary Preservation Hall Jazz Band and American rock band My Morning Jacket, demonstrating the power of Preservation Hall to inspire a whole new generation of musicians. (World Premiere)
Love Shines (Canada)
Director: Douglas Arrowsmith
Love Shines follows Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith as he makes his latest studio album with legendary producer Bob Rock. (U.S. Premiere)
NYMAN IN PROGRESS (Germany/England)
Director: Silvia Beck
A documentary about composer and artist Michael Nyman, who at 65, surprises the world with a new insight into his creativity. (U.S. Premiere)
Outside Industry: The Story of SXSW
Director: Alan Berg
Four guys living on next to nothing created a music event in the hopes of giving bands a way of connecting with music insiders. The result was the biggest music industry event in the world.
Sound It Out (England)
Director: Jeanie Finlay
A documentary portrait of the very last record shop in Teesside. A distinctive, funny and intimate film about men, the North of England and the irreplaceable role of music in our lives. (World Premiere)
Taken By Storm: The Art of Storm Thorgerson and Hipgnosis
Director: Roddy Bogawa
Real? Surreal? Iconic? Impossible? The album art of Storm Thorgerson is so far deeply embedded into our psyche, it’s hard to believe it all came from one mind. (World Premiere)
UPSIDE DOWN: THE CREATION RECORDS STORY (England)
Director: Danny O'Connor
The definitive and fully authorized documentary of the highs and lows of the UK's most inspired and dissolute independent record label - Creation Records. (North American Premiere)
A diverse panorama of international filmmaking talent, including premieres, interactive documentaries and shorts.
Films screening in SX Global are:
Director & Writer: Assaf Tager
In a post-industrial world people are no longer able to dream. Sarah, the single surviving dreamer, sets out to the only place that can provide answers to her strange night visions: the dream factory.
Cast: Sarah Adler, David Fire, Liron Levo, Nicole Veronica (North American Premiere)
Director: Janus Metz
Following a group of Danish solders on a 2009 tour of Afghanistan, Janus Metz’s acclaimed documentary is a gripping, visually stunning probe into the psychology of young men in the midst of a senseless war.
Beats of Freedom (Poland)
Directors: Leszek Gnoinski & Wojciech Slota
A captivating film about the birth of rock music in Poland.
El Ambulante (Argentina)
Directors & Writers: Eduardo de la Serna, Lucas Marcheggiano and Adriana Yurcovich
A traveler arrives at a village and proposes to make a feature film - but only the villagers will act in the film.
El Bulli - Cooking in Progress (Germany)
Director: Gereon Wetzel
The starred chef Ferran Adrià is known as the best, most innovative and craziest cook in the world. Every year, the restaurant closes for six months and Adrià and his creative team retire to their cooking laboratory in Barcelona, to create a new menu for the following season. Everything is allowed – except copying themselves.
Heaven Hell (Czech Republic)
Director: David Calek
A documentary film dealing with human diversity that doesn't necessarily lead to hell even though it might seem like that from the outsider's point of view. (U.S. Premiere)
IDFA DocLab presents: New Documentary Narratives
For the third year in a row, SXSW has invited IDFA DocLab (www.idfa.nl/doclab) to organize a panel and a special live cinema screening. IDFA DocLab is the new media program of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. Since 2008, IDFA DocLab showcases the many new and unexpected forms of documentary storytelling made possible by digital technology. In Europe, the program has become a platform for transmedia and multiplatform projects, ranging from interactive webdocs to documentary media art.
My Life With Carlos (Chile/Germany/Spain)
Director: German Berger-Hertz
The film chronicles the journey of a son (director German Berger-Hertz) trying to learn the truth about his father, who was killed in 1973 in Pinochet's Chile.
Reindeer Spotting (Finland)
Director: Joonas Neuvonen
Without moralizing the film shows the real life of a group of friends in the Arctic Circle, dabbling in petty crime and hard drugs. Disturbing, brutal and beautifully honest. Trainspotting in Santa Land.
(North American Premiere)
Self Made (England)
Director: Gillian Wearing
A diverse group of British people respond to an ad from artist Gillian Wearing. Taking part in an experiment with Method acting, they find themselves for the first time confronting their innermost personal truths.
Viva Riva! (Democratic Republic of Congo)
Director & Writer: Djo Tunda Wa Munga
The first major film out of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the story follows fast-living hustler Riva. While being pursued by Kinshasa’s dangerous underworld, Riva finds himself inextricably drawn to a gangster’s seductive, kept woman. Cast: Patsha Bay, Manie Malone, Hoji Fortuna, Marlene Longage, Diplome Amekindra, Alex Herabo (U.S. Premiere)
WAY OF THE MORRIS (England)
Directors: Tim Plester & Rob Curry
Filmmaker Tim Plester journeys from the English village green to the killing fields of The Somme, in search of a connection with the much-maligned native dance traditions that run deep in his blood. (World Premiere)
Acclaimed standouts and selected previous premieres from festivals around the world.
Films screening in Festival Favorites are:
Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey
Director: Constance A. Marks
Elmo is one of the most beloved characters among children across the globe. Meet the unlikely man behind the puppet - the heart and soul of Elmo - Kevin Clash. Narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, this documentary includes rare archival footage and offers a behind-the-scenes look at Sesame Street and the Jim Henson Workshop.
CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS (France)
Director: Werner Herzog
Filming in 3D, Herzog captures the wonder and beauty of one of the most awe-inspiring sites on earth.
Director & Writer: Max Winkler
Sam Davis convinces his former best friend to spend a weekend with him to rekindle their friendship at an elegant beachside estate but he is forced to realize how complicated love and friendship can be. Cast: Michael Angarano, Uma Thurman, Reece Thompson, Lee Pace, Jake Johnson
The First Movie (Canada/England)
Director: Mark Cousins
What’s it like to be a child in war – not when the conflict is raging, but when the war tide is out, as it were, when kids are telling stories or playing games?
Director: Spencer Susser, Writers: Spencer Susser & David Michôd
Loud music. Pornography. Burning shit down – just a few of Hesher’s favorite things. And it’s just this kind of anarchy that’s needed to shake the burdens of sorrow from a boy and his father.
Cast: Natalie Portman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rainn Wilson, Devin Brochu, Piper Laurie
How to Die in Oregon
Director: Peter D. Richardson
The film tells the complex stories of terminally ill Oregonians, their families, doctors and friends, as they decide whether to end their life by lethal overdose under Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act.
In a Better World (Denmark)
Director: Susanne Bier, Writer: Anders Thomas Jensen, based on a story by Susanne Bier and Anders Thomas Jensen
Golden Globe® Award winner and Academy Award® nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, and told from the two very different worlds of an idyllic Danish town and an African refugee camp, a doctor and his family are faced with conflicts that force them to make difficult choices between revenge and forgiveness. Cast: Mikael Persbrandt, Trine Dyrholm, Ulrich Thomsen, Markus Rygaard, William Jøhnk Nielsen
Director & Writer: Denis Villenueve
Academy Award® nominee for Best Foreign Language Film and adaptation of Wajdi Mouawad’s acclaimed play, Incendies tells the story of two siblings who set out to the Middle East to understand the life of their deceased enigmatic mother, who has left them with a mystery only they can piece together. Cast: Lubna Azabal, Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin, Maxim Gaudette, Rémy Girard
Page One: A Year Inside The New York Times
Director: Andrew Rossi
Unprecedented access to the New York Times newsroom yields a complex view of a media landscape fraught with both peril and opportunity.
POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold
Director: Morgan Spurlock
Morgan Spurlock (Oscar nominee, Super Size Me) explores the world of product placement, marketing and advertising in POM Wonderful Presents: THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER SOLD, a film fully financed through product placement.
ROAD TO NOWHERE
Director: Monte Hellman, Writer: Steven Gaydos
Illusion is the First of all Pleasures. Cast: Shannyn Sossamon, Tygh Runyan, Dominique Swain, Cliff De Young, Waylon Payne
Sound of My Voice
Director: Zal Batmanglij, Writers: Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling
A young couple infiltrate a cult that meets in the San Fernando Valley. Cast: Brit Marling, Christopher Denham, Nicole Vicius
Director: Errol Morris
Errol Morris further redefines and pushes the boundaries of documentary film with the tale of Joyce McKinney and the infamous “Case of the Manacled Mormon."
Director: Azazel Jacobs, Writer: Patrick deWitt
A moving and often funny film about a big kid in a small town that doesn’t seem to have room for anyone who is different. Cast: Jacob Wysocki, John C. Reilly, Creed Bratton, Olivia Crocicchia, Bridger Zadina
Wasted on the Young (Australia)
Director & Writer: Ben C. Lucas
An incident at a high school party sets off a dramatic chain of events and two brothers must place their lives at the mercy of popular opinion. Cast: Oliver Ackland, Adelaide Clemens, Alex Russell
Live Soundtracks, cult re-issues and much more. Our Special Events section offers unusual, unexpected and unique film event one-offs.
Films screening in Special Events are:
Directors: Edward Sedgwick & Buster Keaton, Writer: Clyde Bruckman
Buster Keaton plays a bumbling street photographer who tries his hand as a newsreel cameraman to impress a girl. Austin jazz/rock band Bee vs. Moth plays their original score live. Presented in partnership with the Alamo Drafthouse. Cast: Buster Keaton, Marceline Day, Harold Goodwin, Sidney Bracey, Harry Gribbon
Director: Michael Dowse, Writers: Dave Lawrence, Paul J. Spence, Michael Dowse
SXSW presents the cult classic Fubar to celebrate the screening of SXSW 2011 Official Selection, Fubar: Balls to the Wall. Cast: Dave Lawrence, Paul J. Spence, Gordon Skilling, Andrew Sparacino, Tracy Lawrence
The National Parks Project (Canada)
A stunning collection of short films that represents the breadth of Canada's artistic talent and diversity of the country’s landscape, as it’s never been seen before. Cast: Sarah Harmer, Cadence Weapon, Bry Webb, Melissa Auf der Maur, Sam Roberts (U.S. Premiere)
Red Riding Hood - Special Screening
Director: Catherine Hardwicke, Writer: David Leslie Johnson
Catherine Hardwicke will be present for Q&A following this special screening of her latest film, on Thursday, March 10 at midnight. In the film, a werewolf terrorizes a small village, especially when the people discover that, by day, the beast could be anyone. And one young woman discovers that she has a unique connection to the wolf that makes her both suspect…and bait.
Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman, Billy Burke, Shiloh Fernandez, Max Irons
The Rime of the Modern Mariner (England)
Director & Writer: Mark Donne
A documentary set to a spellbinding live musical score - which examines the nature of relationship between a nation state and the seas in a globalized world. Cast: Mark Donne, Carl Barat (The Libertines), Anthony Rossomando (The Klaxons) (U.S. Premiere)
January 26, 2011
Peter Guber: How to Use Storytelling to Build Relationships for Life
Film producer and Mandalay Entertainment CEO and Chairman Peter Guber is a man of passion. He inspires people by sharing his stories about success and failures. He's well known for a number of Hollywood successes but most noted ones include Rain Man, Batman, The Color Purple, Midnight Express, Gorillas in the Mist: The Story of Dian Fossey, The Witches of Eastwick, Missing and Flashdance, all of which have led to more than 50 Academy Award nominations.
"You can't look at failure as something that cripples you, you have to look at failure as your partner, because with it comes great opportunities," says Peter.
"Stories are not the icing on the cake, it's the cake - it's everything," he adds. "Stories are the way we make sense of our world." And what are stories made of? Stories are our dreams he reminds and adds, "hits are not born in the head, they're born in the gut and the heart. The idea is when you're trying to get someone to do something, you need to connect to them viscerally and emotionally."
How do you create relationships for life? he asks. What is key he asserts is telling Purposeful stories. You first must have a purpose, and with conviction and heart, you then "tell" that story in a way that will motivate your audience to action. It's a combination of having great content, passion and purpose.
He then talks about motivation. He quotes Arianna Huffington and says he feels the same way about motivation and getting things done. To really get something done, you must get into the same room with the other person, breathe the same air as the person and then be congruent.
In other words, don't go into the room unless you really show up....show up and be congruent, because if you're not congruent and not in alignment, including the minute details, such as your breathe, your audience will know.
Once you're congruent and you're ready to to motivate, it's key, he says, "to motivate yourself first." "When you walk into the room and before you open your mouth, you're already telling your story. Your intention shows up first, long before your words do."
He encourages us to rethink our roles and what business we're in. He says that we're all in the Emotional Transformation Business. It's our job to transform, motivate and move people to action. Clients don't want to just be called clients, they want relationships. They want connection.
Connection starts with the dance you do the moment you walk in the room. Once you're in the room with an audience, they don't want a conversation, they want an 'experience.' Make the emotional connection first, not second.
He moves into the topic of preparation and presentations, encouraging people not to use notes when they give a presentation. He says he likes notes because they provide a good reference point to refer back to, but not to have it as the basis of your presentation. Once you begin your talk, he says you should speak from the heart and just see what comes out of you, "be spontaneous and let the canvas open up in front of you."
The key to get action from your 'story' is not just to be purposeful but to also have an end goal. All purposeful storytelling has a Goal. Peter says, "your role is not to hide it but to pride it. If you hide it, people will know and not trust it." In other words, the more generous your goals are, goals that include the "we," where they win too, they're much more likely to take the risk and dive in.
He also emphasizes the importance of Transparency in your story. It's important that your goals are completely transparent because people will feel and know what your true intention is.
Peter tells a touching story about a call he received from Nelson Mandela after he got out of prison, who called him directly to ask for his help. Mandela's mission was to come to the states to have two parties, with the following goal in mind: to get businesses and entrepreneurs involved in willingly helping South Africa through their transition.
Peter talks about the transparency and congruency of his pitch and because his pitch was authentic and with purpose, people opened up their wallets and moved to action. He said with conviction that if the world doesn't get involved, that "we" will keep their dreams in prison.
The fourth key component to storytelling is Interactivity. "The best storytelling is interactive," he says. It's not a monologue, it's a dialogue. When it's a dialogue, you metabolize it, you get your audience to own it in their bodies.
He tells people to Surrender Control. Peter says, "you're not in control of what your audience is going to do and how they're going to feel. When you surrender control, magic happens. When they own what you tell them, they pay it forward.
They become advocates for your proposition and then, they become your army. And, when you surrender control, you create space for them to come forward and act on their own. Detach yourself from judgment and just trust that the rest will take care of itself - that's part of the elegance of it, he says.
Now for the Story itself. Finding stories is easy, he says. "They're everywhere. There's no magic in it - stories are everywhere, they're the stories of our lives. They're all around us - use your nose, your eyes and your ears. It's really that easy." He says, "no gift from me to you, you already have it. It's the way we're all wired."
When we discover what our story is or what one we want to use, he says, "ask yourself, is it generous. Is it congruent with who you are? Is it transparent? Is it authentic?"
Stories live in your head - that's an experience. Stories live in your heart - that's an experience. Peter says that when the stories come from your own experience and we are reliving that expeirence in real-time in front of people, they will feel it. That's what I mean by us being in the "emotional transformation business," he says. "If you really own that story, then you will move people." The Methodology of the Tell is What Makes the Difference.
Wherever there is emotion, there's a story. In other words, there must be an emotional palette when you engage with someone. Essentially, you're trying to get people to Go on a Journey with you. He says, "I always look for a place where I can connect to a story I hear."
The stories we hear and that we tell ourselves are bits and pieces of data that we metabolize and soon, we become those stories. The narrative that we tell ourselves over and over again are the reality and belief systems we create. In other words, create empowering stories that inspire and invoke change for the better. "Tell a better story than the stories you hear around you. Don't we owe that to ourselves?" says Peter.
He reaffirms with conviction and passion: do it, enjoy it, own it and tell your story from that place and the story will be paid forward.
Photo Credit: UCLA School of Theatre and Television. Second image credit: http://janecanstant
November 28, 2010
Pointillism Lovers Shown at de Young's Post Impressionist Exhibit
Three of my favorite post-impressionist artists are currently filling several rooms at the de Young Museum in San Francisco.
In from Musee d'Orsay in Paris, which I've been to at least a dozen times, I saw pieces I had never seen before, likely because when I was at d'Orsay, those particular paintings were on exhibit elsewhere in the world.
A pet peeve I have with American museums (though I feel this on the west coast more than I have in Chicago or New York), is how controlled and structured the whole process is. In Europe, they encourage people to come to museums often, make tickets so inexpensive anyone can, and offer packages so people can come and go as they please as often as they want to -- again, all to support in-depth education around art and culture, something we just don't value as a culture the same way the Europeans do. Enuf said, but I had to say it.
For this exhibit, I had to get a ticket online in advance for a specific time since they're selling tickets in 90 minute increments. Then, I had to wait in a long line at my designated time and of course they're hoping that I'll be out in my 90 minute slot since the 6:30 pm, 7 pm and 7:30 pm crowds were on my heals. Lastly, the security guards are over-the-top. In Europe, they have security guards in the museums of course, but they're not so anal about having your foot a half inch over the line.
I'm looking at the depth of paint texture I'm thinking. I'm looking at the fine cracks in the canvas and marveling over their attention to detail I'm thinking. Several people pointed out later in a conversation about this, that it's perhaps because Americans don't have as much respect for art as our European counterparts, so there's a greater need to throw more security and regulations and rules and structure our way. What a way to live.
Despite the fact that I was one of hundreds in a cattle line going through the exhibit, and it was far too crowded, the collection was incredible, so much so that I ended up with books at the end, something I haven't done in years. And, I took notes....partly because I planned on writing about it and partly because the pieces were so fabulous. I was also introduced to new paintings and new artists I hadn't encountered before.
Throughout, I paid close attention to The Pointillist Technique (or Pointillism), which is often integrated in hundreds of other techniques and periods, whenever I visit museums. While there were clearly other techniques in these post-impressionist masterpieces, there were a large number of Pointillist paintings. And nearly all of them are French.
I came across Henri Edmond Cross' (1856-1910) Madame Hector France (see painting far left), which was exhibited at the 1891 Salon des Independants and a smaller piece of his called Hair from 1892, which looked like an impressionist version of Cousin Itt.
Paul Signac's (1863-1933) Women at the Well also used strong Pointillist techniques as did the colorful and vibrant seascapes of Belgian George Lemmen.
One I particularly like is Lemmen's Beach at Heist, completed in 1891, which was apparently influenced by Seurat. Lemmen's paintings were also shown at the 1887 Salon des XX in Brussells.
I absolutely love the simplicity of Seurat's The Circus Sketch, done in 1891.
While it was an oil on canvas, you almost feel as if it could have been a pencil sketch.
Another painting worth mentioning is Camille Pissaro's (1831-1903) Pont Boieldieu Rouen Sunset Misty Weather, a 1896 oil on canvas. Pissaro uses a combination of pointillist techniques and strong, short thick impressionist and post-impressionist strokes.
Seurat's Study for a Sunday on La Grande, a series done in the mid-1880s, consists of three small paintings all presented in white frames. There's beautiful detail in all of them, and if you look closely enough (with your foot a half inch across the line), you can see fine cracks in the original canvas.
There was quite a bit of Seurat in the exhibition, who was clearly influenced by the Pointillist style, but he also mixed techniques in many of his paintings. For example, his Model standing facing the front or study for the models is a series of paintings where he used miniature dots to give the paintings more depth, but added some 'flecks' in one of them, which almost look like tiny leaves daintily painted in different shades of periwinkle blue.
I was re-introduced to Theo van Rysselberghe (Belgian - 1862-1926), who like his Belgian counterpart, also did a number of seascapes. Sailing Boats & Estuary from 1887 was a seascape with very few colors - he used soft muted colors such as creams, blues and only a smattering of orange, red and green for the protruding dock.
He belonged to the Belgian avande-garde group Les XX (The Twenty), who adopted the Neo-Impressionist method of transcribing light through vibrant flecks of pure color. He also painted The Man at the Tiller in 1892 using the same technique.
Charles Angrand (1854-1926) did a piece called Couple in the Street in 1887 which combined the pointillist technique with short quick strokes in neutral earth-tone colors, again only infusing tiny fragments of color (red, green and blue), which he scattered into the background every so subtly.
A woman standing next to me was 'freaked out' by the piece and found it eerie, so much so she quietly shrieked her distaste for it to her boyfriend.
But, I love the complex mish-mash of colors and wildness of it.
It's an oil on board and I noticed that the signature on the painting looked like it read Hanker although frankly, I'm not clear on Lautrec's authentic signature since the two paintings to the right of it had none and the signature on the painting on the very end of the same row looked like it said FL.
You can't have a post-impressionist exhibit without Paul Cezanne (1839-1906), whose Portrait of Madame Cezanne warmed me through his choice of colors alone (done 1885-1890).
He mixed muted gray blue with sage gray blue with cream gray blue with mustard/saffron gray blue and all of just worked like Cezanne's paintings always do.
I was introduced to a new artist - Ker-Xavier Roussel (1867-1944) whose painting The Terrace from 1892 was in a room not far from the works of Maurice Denis (1870-1943), who mixed smooth post-impressionist medium brush stroke style with a smattering of pointillist technique.
For example, his painting entitled Princess Meleine's Minuet (Marthe at the Piano) was mostly done in realistic detail except for the background behind her.
The upper right of the painting is entirely pointillist, where he used a ton of color, ranging from pinks and purples to orange and green.
I was reminded of Vemeer (who apparently influenced him) when I first saw Vilhelm Hammershoi's (1864-1916) painting called Rest. Danish born, his colors are cooler than some of his counterparts.
The piece is a solitary woman sitting on a chair whose back is all we see - she is sitting in gray interiors, which like Vermeer's work, eliminated anectodal details and resulted in 'perfect' light like very few painters master.
Moving onto Symbolism, where we visit Odilon Redon (1840-1916) whose Sleep of Caliban is so damn good that you have a hard time moving onto the next piece. Eyes Closed done in 1890 is also an amazing piece worth spending time getting 'to know.' Below is Redon's Sleep of Caliban, which was based on the works of Shakespeare.
In The tempest, Caliban is a strange being who exists on the verge between human and animal. He and other creatures inspired Redon to produce many charcoal drawings in the 1870s. Known as ‘noirs’, these highly original works evoke mysterious beings in a world of subjective, often melancholic fantasy.
It was a vision that he had at the time, yet the couple to me, looks as if they could have just finished smoking a joint.
Moving beyond Symbollism, they also had some pieces that fell into what was referred to as Intimism.
The term Intimism (or Intimisme), used from the 1890s to describe the genre scenes produced by Bonnard, Vuillard and others. The focus tends to be close, the composition highly cropped, the colors muted, and the pattern intense.
In 1891 Bonnard shared a studio with Denis and Vuillard, and exhibited five paintings at the Salon des Indépendants in March (mentioned earlier in this post). Bonnard was unaffected by theories of art, declaring that painting was ‘the transcription of the adventures of the optic nerve’.
Below is a piece I fell in love with towards the end of the exhibition that fell into the Intimisme category - Intimacy: Portrait of Monsieur et Madame Claude Terrasse completed in 1891.