Monday, March 17, 2008

Film Fest

So, SXSW film fest rolled into Austin a couple of Fridays ago and hijacked my life...why must the documentaries be so good? Beautiful Losers was one of my favorites from an illustration standpoint; it follows the careers and lives of a handful of artists from their early 20's till their later 30's, their journey from poor obscurity to recognition to mega-money for ad campaigns back to doing art for themselves. Another 'journey of an artist' film is In a Dream, about a man who has been covering buildings in mosaics for over 40 years, and the mosaics are this initially appealing and then disturbing repetition of the inner workings of someone's mind...20 feet high. The film is just as much about the artist's family and their changes over the course of seven years (it's shot by his son). There are some amazing shots and images that won't easily be forgotten.

Other wonderful documentaries: American Teen (follows four high school seniors their last year: the jock, the geek, the artsy girl, and the rich/popular girl...each portrayal is fully fleshed out and you find yourself rooting for (almost) all of them); At the Death House Door (Carroll Pickett was the minister who spent the last day before execution with death row inmates in Huntsville and walked them to the table, including one man who was probably innocent); Flying on One Engine (grumpy, inspiring doctor with any number of debilitating health problems goes to India periodically to perform marathon surgery camps, something like 50 a day); Wild Horse Redemption (totally satisfying look at the program in Colorado where prisoners train wild mustangs).

Visually and narratively, so much great input.