2013 SXSW Review: DOWNLOADED

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

Writer/director Alex Winter recounts the story of Napster in a fascinating and compelling documentary which details the birth, rise and decline of this groundbreaking internet company, as told mostly from the perspective of those who started it.  Shawn Fanning, Sean Parker, and their techie friends began a music file sharing group during the 90s. They had no idea how huge their little “club” would grow in a short amount of time. Because of their creation, these highly intelligent teenagers launched a revolution in digital music.  However, when the creators are compelled to make their group a business, some high powered music business types and artists decide to intervene.

I found Winter’s film to be well written, directed and produced.  The movie does begin to drag a bit towards the end, though. I believe some more efficient editing of some of the last fifteen minutes could have made this film much better. Despite this complaint, I must highly recommend this informative and intelligent documentary.

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