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.
During E!’s coverage of the Academy Awards Red Carpet arrivals last night, host Ryan Seacrest teased that there would be a special musical nod to Twilight about halfway through the Oscars ceremony. At the time I could not imagine what could be planned and why exactly was Twilight being incorporated into the Academy Awards.
About halfway through the show, there was a music video montage with scenes from The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Toy Story 3, The Social Network, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 that were doctored to make it seem as those the actors were singing. To add some humor to it, the dialogue was auto-tuned.
At the 83rd Annual Academy Awards tonight, The Kings Speech, which lead the pack with 12 nominations, tied for most wins with Inception, both nabbing 4 awards each.
While Inception snagged mainly technical awards (sound, visual effects, and cinematography), The Kings Speech won the big prize — Best Picture — along with a Best Actor statue for star Colin Firth, Best Director for Tom Hooper, and Best Original Screenplay for David Seidler.
Coming in third for most wins was The Social Network, which most notably grabbed the Oscar for Best Original Score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.
While True Grit had a whopping 10 nominations, it scored no wins tonight, while The Fighter won two awards and Black Swan just one — Natalie Portman for Best Actress.
The Social Network over the past couple months has been unabashedly accepting every award and congratulatory remark that has been sent its way. It seemed the film was determined to be held in eminence amongst other films that are in awards contention this year. Since the film opened in early October it has been on an irrepressible ascent, exceeding every other film in critical acclaim (according to the online site Metacritic it scored an impressive 95).
Satisfaction endured on the film’s behalf all the way up until this past Tuesday morning, where David Fincher‘s Facebook film tallied a total of 8 Oscar nominations. You may say such a particular outing is absolutely superb. But taking into consideration the mentality of students attending Harvard University (like those in The Social Network), 8 is somewhat of a disappointment when you can have many more. Such students anticipate nothing but the best. Given the multitude of accolades The Social Network received, a measly 8 nominations simply cannot be adequately embraced.