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11 Beautiful and Creative SXSW Film Posters

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The 2013 SXSW Film Festival is showing 133 features and 109 shorts; some of those films are displaying one-sheet posters across town and at a gallery in the Austin Convention Center. Here are 11 SXSW film posters that creatively and beautifully capture the essence of their films—and would look great on anyone’s wall.

1. Old Man


Category: Animated Shorts
Synopsis: For more than 20 years Charles Manson has refused to communicate directly with the outside world. Until now. These are the actual never-before-heard phone conversations between Canadian bestselling author Marlin Marynick and Charles Manson.

2. Improvement Club


Category: Narrative Feature
Synopsis: A hybrid narrative film with doses of mockumentary, musical comedy and dance film, "Improvement Club" traces a rag-tag Seattle performance group’s attempt to expose the American Revolution’s fatal flaws. When the ensemble loses their shot at a New York premiere, their desperate wish for an audience takes them into the backwoods of the Pacific Northwest on what becomes a surreal pursuit of trust, togetherness and the true motivation behind their work. Loosely based on the making of director Dayna Hanson’s real-life performance, "Gloria’s Cause."

3. Grow Up, Tony Phillips


Category: Narrative Spotlight
Synopsis: Who doesn't love Halloween? All of Tony Phillips' (Tony Vespe) high school friends, apparently. It's senior year and they've now decided that they’re too cool for Halloween. When his older cousin (AJ Bowen) returns home right before the holiday, Tony starts to wonder if he really is the dork everyone thinks he is, or if he’s just ahead of the curve.

4. William and the Windmill


Category: Documentary Feature
Synopsis: Young Malawian William Kamkwamba teaches himself to build a power-generating windmill from junk parts, successfully rescuing his family from poverty and famine. He becomes an energy icon for the developing world and meets American entrepreneur and mentor Tom Reilly, who helps him imagine a new future. Fame, opportunity, stress and isolation follow his invention, and his life is transformed. As William struggles with the potential of his promising future, he privately yearns to distance himself from his windmill, that which made him famous. This is a story about a complex young man straddling two cultures, carrying the burdens of his past achievements while boldly pursuing a bright future.

5. The Gold Sparrow


Category: Animated Shorts
Synopsis: Set in a crumbling black-and-white futuristic metropolis, void of creativity and color, the city is traversed by The Gold Sparrow and her nefarious side kick, The Ring Leader. Together they scour the gray-scale streets, stealing the color from anyone daring enough to bring art back into their bleak world. Our heroes, The Strongman, The Fool, and The Monk, perform in the streets as they are hunted. The two sides clash through intense chase scenes and battles for the souls of our artists. Two-dimensional animation rotoscoped over live action creates a living graphic novel, a breathtaking and unique action-packed short film.

6. Again


Category: Texas High School Shorts
Synopsis: A woman sings to her child as her village is attacked.

7. Sci-Fly


Category: Animated Shorts
Synopsis: A journey through time & space, and the fight for existence. A dark premise contrasted with the divine imaginary creates a hypnotic ride of tone and emotion. Only "in-camera effects" were used to capture "Sci-Fly". The wonders of our own world were filmed in order to create another. I've always been a big believer in practical effects. Capturing visual effects "in camera" is starting to become an afterthought. "Sci-Fly's" main goal was to create a journey solely on experimenting with new techniques that we had never done before. Those new methods would shift the storytelling arch. "Sci-Fly" would evolve organically, just like the effects created.

8. Maidentrip

Category: Documentary Feature
Synopsis: Fourteen-year-old Laura Dekker sets out—camera in hand—on a two-year voyage in pursuit of her dream to be the youngest person ever to sail around the world alone. In the wake of a year-long battle with Dutch authorities that sparked a global storm of media scrutiny, Laura now finds herself far from land, family and unwanted attention, exploring the world in search of freedom, adventure, and distant dreams of her early youth at sea. Jillian Schlesinger’s debut feature amplifies Laura’s brave, defiant voice through a mix of Laura's own video and voice recordings at sea and intimate vérité footage from locations including the Galapagos Islands, French Polynesia, Australia, and South Africa.

9. Everyone's Going to Die


Category: Narrative Feature
Synopsis: Two lost souls. One last chance. Melanie's life in a seaside town is going nowhere until she meets Ray, back in town with a shady job to do. A moment's escape becomes a chance to save themselves, and each other. "Everyone's Going To Die" is a modern British story about coming home, getting by and the redemptive power of feeling you're not alone. A story where porn hotlines rub shoulders with sexy beavers on rollerskates; where the past is laid to rest, two lives are changed and nobody, finally, is going to die.

10. The Blue Umbrella


Category: Animated Short
Synopsis: It is just another evening commute until the rain starts to fall, and the city comes alive to the sound of dripping rain pipes, whistling awnings and gurgling gutters. And in the midst, two umbrellas—one blue, one not—fall eternally in love.

11. Lunarcy!


Category: Documentary Feature
Synopsis: With wry humor and affection, Simon Ennis’ "Lunarcy!" follows a disparate group of dreamers and schemers who share one thing in common: they’ve all devoted their lives to the Moon. From the former ventriloquist who’s made millions selling Moon lots to the young man who’s resolved to depart for Luna (permanently), "Lunarcy!" is a touching and comic portrait of passion, creativity and quixotic dreams.

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The Getty Center, Surrounded By Wildfires, Will Leave Its Art Where It Is
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The wildfires sweeping through California have left countless homeowners and businesses scrambling as the blazes continue to grow out of control in various locations throughout the state. While art lovers worried when they heard that Los Angeles's Getty Center would be closing its doors this week, as the fires closed part of the 405 Freeway, there was a bit of good news. According to museum officials, the priceless works housed inside the famed Getty Center are said to be perfectly secure and won't need to be evacuated from the facility.

“The safest place for the art is right here at the Getty,” Ron Hartwig, the Getty’s vice president of communications, told the Los Angeles Times. According to its website, the museum was closed on December 5 and December 6 “to protect the collections from smoke from fires in the region,” but as of now, the art inside is staying put.

Though every museum has its own way of protecting the priceless works inside it, the Los Angeles Times notes that the Getty Center was constructed in such a way as to protect its contents from the very kind of emergency it's currently facing. The air throughout the gallery is filtered by a system that forces it out, rather than a filtration method which would bring air in. This system will keep the smoke and air pollutants from getting into the facility, and by closing the museum this week, the Getty is preventing the harmful air from entering the building through any open doors.

There is also a water tank at the facility that holds 1 million gallons in reserve for just such an occasion, and any brush on the property is routinely cleared away to prevent the likelihood of a fire spreading. The Getty Villa, a separate campus located in the Pacific Palisades off the Pacific Coast Highway, was also closed out of concern for air quality this week.

The museum is currently working with the police and fire departments in the area to determine the need for future closures and the evacuation of any personnel. So far, the fires have claimed more than 83,000 acres of land, leading to the evacuation of thousands of people and the temporary closure of I-405, which runs right alongside the Getty near Los Angeles’s Bel-Air neighborhood.

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This 77-Year-Old Artist Saves Money on Art Supplies by 'Painting' in Microsoft Excel
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It takes a lot of creativity to turn a blank canvas into an inspired work of art. Japanese artist Tatsuo Horiuchi makes his pictures out of something that’s even more dull than a white page: an empty spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel.

When he retired, the 77-year-old Horiuchi, whose work was recently spotlighted by Great Big Story, decided he wanted to get into art. At the time, he was hesitant to spend money on painting supplies or even computer software, though, so he began experimenting with one of the programs that was already at his disposal.

Horiuchi's unique “painting” method shows that in the right hands, Excel’s graph-building features can be used to bring colorful landscapes to life. The tranquil ponds, dense forests, and blossoming flowers in his art are made by drawing shapes with the software's line tool, then adding shading with the bucket tool.

Since picking up the hobby in the 2000s, Horiuchi has been awarded multiple prizes for his creative work with Excel. Let that be inspiration for Microsoft loyalists who are still broken up about the death of Paint.

You can get a behind-the-scenes look at the artist's process in the video below.

[h/t Great Big Story]

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