At Liberty: Friday, March 23, 2012

Freedom is more fun!

And we aim to prove it, by highlighting ways that people are using their
freedom of expression and other liberties.

Last week, the world of entertainment and tech flocked to Austin and showed off their wares at South by South West (SXSW, of course). Plenty of Boston bands were represented at the show, including Mrs. Danvers (who played at Boston Pride recently), The Shills, and In Like Lions. recently wrote up mini-profiles on six of the outfits that made the trip. It's well worth checking out, especially for the “next local show” feature on each. If anybody is making good on the idea of freedom of expression, it's folks like these.

Elsewhere at the show, local start-ups all but cleaned up in the Accelerator awards, a prestigious competition that pits small tech companies with good ideas against each other and awards the best with publicity and prestige. Cambridge companies took home grand prizes in three of the six categories--not bad, especially considering just seven of the 65 finalists were from Massachusetts.

You can check out the homegrown tech on this slideshow, and marvel at the wonder that is Massachusetts innovation. Technology and liberty--who says the two can't be friends?

- Danielle Riendeau, Online Communications Coordinator

Saturday Night Live has probably lampooned more American politicians and presidents, for more years, to more people, than any other institution. On Tuesday, Ford Hall Forum at Suffolk University looks at this history through "Strategery: SNL's Remarkable Influence Over Politics Through Satire," featuring SNL writer and performer James Downey, as well as show veteran Bill Murray. The event website says 400 people have already registered, but there is no reserved seating. Get there early, and you still might get in. March 27, 6:30pm, C. Walsh Theatre, 55 Temple Street.

Late-night Boston revelers often complain that the T shuts down so early (even before bars close). The MBTA has said there isn't enough demand for late-night service (really?), and that even if there were, they need the wee hours for maintenance.

Not sure about that lack of interest, but the documentary Boston Under After Hours shows what keeps T employees busy between 1:30 and 5:00 in the morning. The Livable Streets Alliance and On the Move Coalition will show the film at 6:30pm on Thursday, March 29, at the Central Square Theater, 450 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. Get more information and tickets here.

Spring is the season for some of Boston's largest and most popular film festivals. Here are three:

- The Boston Underground Film Festival (March 29 - April 1): Some of these offerings, shown at the Brattle Theatre, are not for the faint of heart.

- The Boston Independent Film Festival (April 25 - May 2): Tickets for the dozens of offerings go on sale for the general public "on or about April 11."

- The Boston LGBT Film Festival (May 3 - 13): Organizers report they are currently reviewing 500 submissions.

If you haven't already seen enough faux-retro photos shot and shared on Facebook through apps like Hipstamatic, see what actual photojournalists are doing with it at this exhibit running through May 5 at the Griffin Museum of Photography by Digital Silver Imaging Gallery in Boston's South End.

- Chris Ott, Communications Director

What creative, provocative, controversial forms of First Amendment expression--and other fun uses of freedom--are we missing? Tell us now.