This year was the first year that any Redefine staff members have managed to make it down to SxSW in Austin. We didn't know what to expect since SxSW's reputation proceeds it. Although slightly daunting and involving way too much standing around, SxSW is one amazing event. Some people are mistaken in thinking that SxSW is yet another cramped, sweaty festival in which people are herded around like derelict cattle. It is much, much more than that. SxSW is a non-stop music party in the city of Austin. Every venue in town -- including bars and churches that are not usually venues -- begin churning out bands from noon to early the next morning. People from all over the country and world come to Austin in mid-March to experience all of the musical delights -- free and paid -- that SxSW has to offer. Because of diverse booking, music lovers can see anyone as laughable as Bo Bice or Hanson to anyone as underground as that shitty nobody who plays at your local coffee shop. SxSW is, in many ways, an independent music lover's dream, as there were very few major label artists being represented. And did I mention the free food? Oh yes, there was a lot of free food and schwag as well. This year, we went from late Thursday, March 13th to early Sunday, March 16th. Because of the sheer number of bands at SxSW, the long lines during the nighttime shows, and the cruelty of Father Time, we obviously didn't see every band. Nonetheless, here are my five favorite acts from SxSW, in no particular order, along with a couple notable mentions.
 

That Zulich only has a couple years of photography experience under his belt seems improbable, but what's even more striking is that it is proof that experience isn't always everything. Zulich's images are proof of his ability to push the bounds of innovation, and...

[caption id="attachment_38613" align="aligncenter" width="700"] BLOOD OF A POET, (aka GLASS LIPS), 2007. ©Vivarto[/caption] Glass Lips (English translation), or Blood Of A Poet (literal translation), is Lech Majewski's latest offering for the year 2007. Perhaps it is because I watched Glass Lips back to back with another...

Chalk is the latest release by Morgan Spurlock, so one is immediately pre-disposed to having opinions about it due to the fact that Supersize Me was so controversial. Although entertaining, Chalk is flawed in a most significant way: it comes off as a documentary when,...

Denmark/USA 2006, 88 minutes, 35mm English, Crole, French (w/ English subtitles) Most of us have heard about the political turmoil in Haiti, but news reports are always very disconnected from reality. They are incapable of ushering forth a realistic view of the people they talk about, for...

Norway, 2006, 90 minutes, DigiBeta Norweigan (with English subtitles) The reason the synopsis for The Bothersome Man sounds ambiguous is because the film is. A Norweigan surrealist flick directed by Jens Lien and written by Per Schreiner, The Bothersome Man has won 8 awards at film festivals...

Canada, 2006, 90 minutes, 35mm English Manufactured Landscapes is an unusual treat for anyone who is interested in the world at large, and in man’s involvement with the world. Although clearly a film that makes you contemplate your connection with the environment, the film is not outwardly...

Spain, 2007, 114 minutes, 35mm English I wanted to like Goya’s Ghosts. The previews had made it out to look like the film was centrally focused on controversy about Goya’s work and life, when in fact Goya’s presence was merely a fleeting tangent. That was the first...