It’s tempting to think of SXSW Eco as the weird hippie brother of the massive music-film-interactive-free-vodka-was-that-Bill-Murray-and-RZA? festival. In reality, SXSW Eco is South By Southwest’s chic sister, just back from Les Ateliers and looking for ways to change the world while classing the joint up...

"Dams don't just blend in as part of a landscape anymore. Knowing what I know now, it's impossible for me to look at dams in the same way as I did a few years ago -- or even rivers, for that matter. Dams and hydropower...

A review of the Pickathon Music Festival, located on Pendarvis Farm just a short bike ride away from Portland, Oregon, is a tough thing to approach. An honest review will be one of the most favorable things you will read, because Pickathon is one of the most well-put together, intentional, everything-that-is-right-with-America musical festivals there is. It is a bit difficult to be objective and maintain credibility while oozing and gushing over every aspect of the three-day indie roots festival as though it's a schoolyard crush... but let's give it the ol' college try anyway!
"Since day one, the idea behind Pickathon has always been pretty simple: what does it take to be the best weekend festival of the year for music lovers? This question has driven us to highly refine an experience that is truly unique. Innovation has always been at the center of this process and through the years many important elements have come together; collaborating widely on yearly diverse lineups that are built on the idea of great music being the sole criteria; refining six unique performance venues designed to create juxtaposing alternate realities; trusting important decisions can be discussed and made with our online community such as maintaining a low crowd density; becoming the only large music festival to eliminate plastic and minimize single use items; recruiting the finest food and drink purveyors in the land; focusing constantly on eliminating "normal" festival hassles; enabling families to thrive; working with the Pendarvis Family to create a highly designed paradise of a festival grounds, and the list goes on." - Pickathon Festival

 

Imagine the possibilities of world revolution – an upheaval of design, and distribution of resources lighting the path to global peace and (relative) happiness. The largesse of this task is daunting, and has throughout history been commandeered by a few ambitious individuals. Thoughts like these swirled about in a small man with coke-bottle glasses: the inimitable R. Buckminster Fuller. Inventor, engineer, architect, theorist, orator, among many other things, Fuller was first and foremost a futurist – an optimistic man bent on improving his social, political, psychic and physical world with radical thought. His unique life and lifestyle have created an altogether compelling character of sizeable proportion, comprised of all the quirks, hiccups, and gemstone moments worthy of a Wes Anderson-inspired montage. And certainly, director Sam Green’s treatment of Fuller and his life work is admirable in The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller, a live documentary collaboration with indie rock veterans Yo La Tengo.
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With a drab color palette of greys and and blues, reminiscent of somber films like A Single Man, comes the music video for Antony And The Johnsons' emotive new track, "Cut The World". At just under 5 minutes, the music video features some well-known faces and figures, like William Dafoe, Marina Abramovic, and Carice van Houten. The slow-moving mini-drama finds its main strength in singular facial expressions, moods conveyed by slight gestures, and focuses on minuteia. And with this brief description, you should watch this video (along with the one for the philosophical "Future Feminine" -- both available after the jump), as it is a miniature cinematic achievement in music video form.

 

Directed by Nabil

 

The 2012 Seattle International Film Festival begins on May 17th, 2012! In the next few days, we will be providing film previes for our top SIFF picks of the year. You can see all of this year's coverage HERE. Times and dates are subject to change, so please visit siff.net before heading to theatres, or see HERE for all SIFF-related coverage.

 


A CUBE OF SUGAR
Iran Directed by Reza Mirkarimi
An extended family gathers for the youngest daughter’s wedding, but not all goes as planned. A glowing pastel canvas and sensual score are dreamy counterpoints to the anxieties and celebrations of three generations. May 22nd @ 6:00pm, Renton IKEA Performing Arts Center June 1st @ 6:30pm, SIFF Cinema Uptown June 6th @ 9:30pm, Harvard Exit

 

A Grain Of Sand Trailer
Former newspaper editor Brendon Grimshaw decided one day to give up his career to live instead on Moyenne Island, a small island he purchased for ten-thousand pounds. In his thirty-seven years there, Grimshaw transformed the island by planting trees and creating nature trails, turning it into a remote paradise free of excessive development or outside influence. But without children to inherit his legacy, developers are eagerly waiting to encroach upon the island as soon as Grimshaw passes away. A Grain Of Sand openly questions the repercussions that development and commercial growth have upon the environment, in the name of greed, and often in the name of ecotourism. If the trailer above sparks your interest, you can see a Q&A with the director below about the aftermath of the film, and you can also stream the entire film for $3 below.

 

At just slightly over a minute long, this short film is visually what you might expect from a mixture of lava lamp luminescence and The Blob's flesh-eating ways. And I guess it is intended to be scary, though less in a movie monster type way...