SXSW Film Review: 'Print the Legend'

The 3-D printing truth is more unsettling than fiction

If the science fiction about 3-D printing has always veered toward the dystopian, the reality doesn't do much to go off-script.

In Luis Lopez and Clay Tweel's Print the Legend, the future begins with an effervescent hope. By the end, so much effort had been expended in trying to control the narrative, it is even more unsettling when the apocalypse comes.

Menace lurks early with the introduction of the 3-D printed gun. But Cody Wilson’s anarchic ideas about the future of the technology somehow digest better those of the industry’s top star. Bre Pettis, CEO of MakerBot, is often described as a revolutionary. This documentary makes it clear that even the most affable of agitators can quickly become charismatic despots.

The dystopia isn’t showy. The 3-D gun is fired in a quick blast and seemingly just as easily quashed. Meanwhile, the MakerBot corporate culture seems to mimic Steve Jobs by way of J.G. Ballard. It’s an unsettling look at how power corrupts. And a reminder that even the most dangerous machines aren’t nearly as scary as the people who create them.

Print the Legend

Documentary Competition, World Premiere
Monday, March 10, 1:45pm, VCC
Wednesday, March 12, 6:45pm, Alamo Slaughter

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South by Southwest, SXSW, SXSW 2014, SXSW Film 2014, Print the Legend, Luis Lopez, Clay Tweel, 3-D printing, Bre Pettis, Cody Wilson

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