Saturday, March 12, 2011

South By South West (and World) Premier - Taken By Storm (Thorgerson)

Taken By Storm (Thorgerson): The Art of Storm Thorgerson and Hipgnosis
Dir. Roddy Bogawa

Synopsis: Real? Surreal? Iconic? Impossible? The album art of Storm Throgerson is so deeply embedded into our psyche, it's hard to believe it all came from one mind.

Welcome, dear readers, to South by Southwest week!  The city is alive with the sound of music and movies are projected on nearly any flat surface people can find downtown.  Quite a spectacle to see.  This is also a very exciting time for my blog because I can turn the tables on you, and for one week, I can recommend movies to you before they hit theaters (or dvd...  or netflix) near you!  I've got a film pass and I'm not afraid to stand in line for 2 hours to barely squeeze into a theater after badge holders.  So, this should be a fun week.

For my first SX film viewing, Nate, Kyle, and I slid into the Ritz to catch the world premier of Taken By Storm.  This of course, is the documentary on the artist that did the famous iconic album artwork for Pink Floyd, and some artwork for Anthrax, Yes, and Audioslave.  The film choronicals his life through his many hardships and breakups, artistic and marital.  But of course, his art carries on.

I felt like the movie was a very interesting piece in that it seemed to educate the audience on who this man who nearly everyone owns artwork from, but also dig deeper into the issues artists face and things they give up when they make their art their priority.  I really didn't know who the guy was when we hurriedly jumped in line, but by the end of the film, a really great appreciation came over me for this guy.  I feel like that's what the filmmaker was going for.  So, I'd say his message was quite successfully driven home.

Storm Thorgerson was in the audience during this viewing, and it was the first time that he had viewed the film in it's entirety as well.  So, this in itself was an interesting experience to get the chance to have a Q and A session (which is common practice, at least at SXSW during premier events).  He got quite a few questions about working with the different music artists that he had worked with, but he seemed very candid when he was asked about his view of the film.  You could tell that even him seeing an outside perspective of himself was almost more than he could take.  Not in a bad way, but I guess to have himself immortalized on film in that way and to have his raw emotions and struggles out for the world to see, it's like he just wasn't sure how to react.  It's very different from looking into a mirror, for sure.

Anyway,  this film was an awesome experience.  If you are interested in pop art, iconic art, or music in the record era, you should check out this movie.  Very amazing artist with a good eye, luck, and little to no digital effects.

Run Time 95 min + 2650 = 2745 minutes

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