SXSW 2013 Film Reviews: 'Artifact'

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24 Beats per Second
D: Jared Leto (as Bartholomew Cubbins); with Jared Leto, Shannon Leto

Artifact, Jared Leto's documentary about Jared Leto's band 30 Seconds to Mars, is at least as self-indulgent as that sentence makes it sound. The film documents the legal battle the band fought with its label, EMI, after the label sued the band for $30 million for breach of contract. While the film has a few things to recommend it – it's gorgeously shot and it contains interesting perspectives on the music industry – it's hard to sympathize much with Leto as a protagonist. He seems hopelessly out of touch for most of the film (at one point, he explains why being a rock star is a harder job than "most people" have, because he can't ask his boss for a raise). There's something inherently untoward about a documentary in which the director spends so much time filming himself looking pensive and tortured; maybe enormous Jared Leto fans will be charmed by his moodiness, but the rest of us may wish he were less impressed by himself.

Saturday, March 16, 1:45pm, Vimeo

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Artifact, Jared Leto, Bartholomew Cubbins, Shannon Leto, 30 Seconds to Mars, EMI

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