Usually when I sit down to get you to take a peek at a Kickstarter campaign, it’s a comic or book-related fundraiser. This one is a bit different, on many levels. I’ve never really delved too deeply into the darker corners of the interwebs. Most of us don’t have any reason to do so. But there exists an underworld to the ‘net of which the general public knows nothing. Deep Web: The Untold Story of Bitcoin and The Silk Road digs deeply into the dark places that government’s cannot control. Examining the elusive Silk Road and the shadowy currency known as Bitcoin is just part of this documentary from Alex Winter. Like his latest film Downloaded, much of the focus will be from a historical and cultural perspective.
If you for some reason you don’t recognize Alex’s name, well maybe you should go pick up the always awesome comedy Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. I, however, know him best from the cult classic The Lost Boys (my friend Becca and I must have watched that every weekend for at least three years). But he’s more than just an actor, this dude has some pretty great director’s chops, too. He’s the man behind the film Freaked! I have no doubt this film will dig into every crevice to get to the truth. I recently read that the internet that you and I know makes up a mere 4% of the content that’s actually out there. Apparently there is a lot of stuff that isn’t indexed because it’s not meant to be seen by the average computer user.
Downloaded Director: Alex Winter
Cast: Shawn Fanning, Sean Parker, Don Lenner, Hilary Rosen, Henry Rollins, Billy Corgan, Lars Ulrich, Trent Reznor VH1 Rock Docs
Not Rated | 106 Minutes
Release Date: March 10th, 2013 (SXSW)
Directed by Alex Winter (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Freaked), Downloaded chronicles the evolution of digital media, focusing primarily on the rise and fall of the pioneering peer-to-peer file sharing Internet service Napster.
Featuring exclusive interviews with Napster co-founders Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker, software developers, musicians, and the music industry elite, Downloaded explores the controversial file sharing software and follows Napster’s rise in 1998, through the gauntlet of copyright infringement lawsuits, to its acquisition by Rhapsody in 2011.
Some of those interviewed for Winter’s documentary include Henry Rollins, Billy Corgan, Island Records founder Chris Blackwell, former Sony Music Chairman Don Lenner, former CEO of the RIAA Hilary Rosen, Beastie Boys’ Mike D, and Noel Gallagher of Oasis.
Although there were already networks that facilitated the distribution of files across the Internet, such as IRC, Hotline, and USENET, Napster specialized in MP3 files, a user-friendly interface, and lightning-fast search speeds. At its peak, Napster had about 80 million registered users and revolutionized the music industry for better or for worse.
Strap in, kids! Here’s your first look at the 2013 SXSW Film Features Lineup: 109 films, including 69 world premieres, 14 North American and 5 United States premieres. Amazingly enough, 68 of these titles are from first-time filmmakers.
Highlights include Stephen Finnigan’s Hawking, Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing, John Sayles’ Go For Sisters, Jacob Vaughn’s Milo, Penny Lane’s Our Nixon, Zak Knutson & Joey Figueroa’s MILIUS, Ryan White’s Good Ol’ Freda, Sini Anderson’s The Punk Singer, Josh Johnson’s Rewind This!, and Bryan Poyser’s The Bounceback.
These movies join the previously announced, Opening Night film The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Joe Swanberg’s Drinking Buddies, Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers, Evil Dead, and Alex Winter’s Downloaded.