October 2009

AFF09 Daily Dispatch: Day Eight

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Austin Film Festival soared into the skies with the closing-might film Up in the Air, which included a rousing intro and Q&A by Jason Reitman. Yeah, there were other films, but I was in a mood for a major release that night. Plus, it was only a few blocks away from the closing night part at Annie's Cafe.

Before the film, Jette and I had a quick dinner at Parkside Cafe.  She knows I wasn't exaggerating about how great the food was. Service was just as good this time, and the chef even came out to check on us. I don't know if that happens all the time, but maybe it was the fact I ordered the marrow. Whatever the case, he and his team make really good food. 

Up in the Air is a solid, funny film, in the haha only serious kind of way.  The aerial shots alone are worth it, but watching Vera Farmiga and George Clooney is a guilty pleasure, they have such great chemistry.  Reitman was a hoot, almost Kevin Smith-esque in his energy and jokes, but without the profanity. Or toilet jokes. 

Movies This Week: House of No Impact Dreams

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Meaning of Life

Austin Film Festival is barely over, and it's now Halloween weekend, complete with an extra hour of revelry possible, thanks to Daylight Saving Time ending. Not a whole lot of new films are coming out this weekend.

House of the Devil -- This homage to vintage horror, written and directed by Ti West, has more build up than body count.  Read Debbie's review

Michael Jackson's This Is It -- The much-anticipated concert/tribute film about the late Michael Jackson opened on Wednesday. From all reports from MJ fans, it's good. 

No Impact Man -- This documentary is about the Beaven family, which decides to live for one year without electricity, toilet paper or anything that will leave a carbon footprint. 

Review: The House of the Devil

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Tom Noonan in The House of the Devil

Just in time for the Halloween weekend, horror film The House of the Devil opens in theaters nationwide. This film is set in the 1980s, but takes viewers back even further to the psychological horror films of the late 1960s and 1970s, including horror classics Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist. Like its predecessors, The House of the Devil delivers horror built on slowly built tension and Satan worshippers.

Jocelin Donahue (The Burrowers) plays Sam, a pretty college sophomore who accepts a babysitting job at a remote Victorian mansion deep in the woods despite the misgivings of her best friend, played by Greta Gerwig (Hannah Take the Stairs, Baghead), and lack of an actual baby to watch. There Sam meets Mr. and Mrs. Ulman (Tom Noonan and Mary Woronov), who don't seem quite right. As the night progresses and a lunar eclipse begins, things get even worse for Sam, culminating in climatic and final scenes worthy of classic horror.

Cinema Touching Disability

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Date/Time: 
Friday, November 6, 2009 - 6:30pm - 11:00pm

 

6:30 Welcome by Dennis Borel, Executive Director

6:45 College & Young Filmmakers Level Competition
Screening of finalists, Audience Favorites Poll, Judges Awards

7:45 Longstreet
Bruce Lee appears in his early 70s TV series as Li Tsung, antique dealer and Jeet Kune Do expert who trains Longstreet how to teach criminals never to underestimate a person with a disability.

8:40 A Possible Dream, The Andrea Friedman Story
An intimate portrait of actress Andrea Friedman and her family, as she negotiates life with Down Syndrome.

Texas Book Festival: Film Geeks Welcome

Texas Book FestivalAnyone else going to Texas Book Festival this weekend? I figure I haven't had quite enough fest madness with Austin Film Festival, so I'm planning to head down to the Capitol on Saturday and/or Sunday to shop for books, meet authors, and generally have a good time like the bookworm I am.

But since I'm also a film geek, I'm interested in a couple of movie-related events that are part of Texas Book Festival this year:

  • Austin Film Festival is co-sponsoring the "Survivin' Hollywood: Three Texas Movie Pros" panel on Sunday at 2 pm in Capitol Extension Room E2.014. The panel includes authors Robert Hinkle, Gary Kent, and Billy Taylor, three Texans who have recently written books about working in Hollywood. You may remember Kent's reading/signing event at BookPeople back in July. AFF co-founder Barbara Morgan will moderate. This looks like a hoot, and I'm hoping to be there.
  • Texas author Joe R. Lansdale, who wrote the story on which Bubba Ho-Tep is based, will speak on Saturday at 3:30 pm in Capitol Extension Room E2.016. Local author/film critic Rick Klaw will moderate.

Slackery News Tidbits Fight Melancholy

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Medicine for MelancholyGoodness gracious, this is turning into a big week of distribution news about films I've enjoyed at SXSW, some of which have Austin connections. Is it coincidence, or what? That's not the only news I have, but it's certainly news I'm happy to share.

  • Medicine for Melancholy, which played SXSW 2008, is now available on DVD. This lovely film is one of my top-ten films from that year, and as soon as I'm finished writing this paragraph, I'm buying a copy. Seriously, this is a lovely film about two people who meet in San Francisco ... find a way to watch it, this weekend. One of the film's stars is Wyatt Cenac, whom you might recognize from The Daily Show.
  • Another favorite SXSW film of mine, Gretchen from 2006, has also been released on DVD this week. Gretchen was shot around Central Texas and while its director and stars may not live here now, still seems very Austin-y to me. I'm hoping to get my hands on a copy soon and share the details, but it sounds like an excellent DVD package from Watchmaker (which did a gorgeous job with The Whole Shootin' Match), including several of Steve Collins's short films with actors John Merriman and Courtney Davis. Gretchen is also available on Netflix Watch Instantly.

AFF09 Daily Dispatch: Days Six and Seven

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You miss me yesterday? Wondering why I didn't write a dispatch? Well, I was home, watching DVD screeners, so I could get a couple reviews in. So now you know about two films you should catch on Thursday. And I mean that seriously; just because I wasn't overwhelmingly in love with a film does not negate its merit.

This afternoon, I headed over to Guero's for a Baghdad Texas party.  I couldn't stay long, but I did have a chance to talk about movies with co-writer Shaneye Ferrell (pictured above), who also plays Kathy, the FBI agent, in the film.  We talked about the disappointment in the "Hollywood happy ending" and the draw to complex, humanized villains. I wish I could have stayed longer, but only had time to meet actor Booka Michel before I dashed off to The Donner Party.

AFF Review: Todd P Goes to Austin

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Todd P Goes to AustinThe new Off the Record category at Austin Film Festival includes a documentary where the ultimate goal is to get to Austin for SXSW. Promoter Todd P set up a series of free, unofficial performances at SXSW, and eventually was invited to come back and put together an official showcase, as documented in Todd P Goes to Austin. When viewed as a performance documentary, Todd P Goes to Austin is a must-see for music fans.

Todd P Goes to Austin starts out with a mumble: director Jason Buim opens with a performance by Dan Deacon, and even when Todd P is talking, it's not clear what the focus of the film is really supposed to be.  The tagline touts it's a film about doing it yourself, but the focus is really on the performances and the travel to Austin from various locations by the highlighted bands, including Matt and Kim, Mika Miko, The Death Set, and Japanther. 

Todd Patrick, also known as Todd P, is a Brooklyn based DIY promoter who works with underground bands and performers. Little screen time is spent on the actual efforts required to set up the showcases and get the word out to  potential audiences. Instead, most of the movie is devoted to actual performances. It's hard to follow that two different SXSW festivals are covered. The film dwells significantly on the featured groups making their way to Austin, and shot by themselves, from car trouble to broken jacks, contributing to the DIY sensibilities.

The Long Haul

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Date/Time: 
Sunday, November 1, 2009 - 1:00pm - 3:00pm

Guests in attendance!!  It's a hilarious road trip that Martha and Lavonne, two lesbians from New Jersey, will never forget! Follow Martha and Lavonne as they load up their Ford F250 pickup truck, hitch up their 1956 Airstream Camper, and move their lives from New Jersey to California. The couple has been together for almost two decades and their patience with each other is tested (and wicked banter ensues) as they navigate their way across the country.

It even as a brief scene on Congress Avenue, as they stop in Austin.  The film was directed by Austin-based filmmaker Liz Welch Tirrell. Martha and Lavonne will be at the screening and will hold a Q&A moderated by Mocha Jean Herrup.

This is a must-see, it's so funny my face hurt from laughing. Seriously, you won't be disappointed, and you'll probly recognize some family members in Martha and Lavonne (or maybe yourself).

Talk of the Town Food & Film Feast

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Date/Time: 
Wednesday, October 28, 2009 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm

For this very rare screening George Stevens' last comedy with Cary Grant, Alamo chef extraordinaire John Bullington will prepare an even rarer feast inspired by the golden age of Hollywood!

Grant stars as Leopold Dilg, a political activist who is wrongly indicted for arson and murder when a factory worker dies in a mill fire in the town of Sweetbrook. Believing that he'll be executed if he remains in jail, he escapes and breaks into a cottage that schoolteacher Nora Shelley (Jean Arthur) is preparing for Professor Michael Lightcap (Ronald Coleman), the dean of a law school. She allows Grant to stay in the attic, without alerting the professor. The next day, a reporter arrives to question Lightcap about Dilg's case, along with Sam Yates (Edgar Buchanan), Dilg's lawyer, who comes at Nora's behest. Since Yates and Lightcap know each other from law school, Yates asks Lightcap's help in defending his client, who he claims to have been framed. The professor refuses, intent on writing a legal treatise. Before Yates leaves, he persuades Nora to house Dilg, who she introduces to Lightcap as a gardener. Before long, the professor begins to realize that the gardener is well versed in the intricacies and inequities of the U.S. legal system.

Stevens' entertaining romantic triangle, in which the atmosphere of legal debate is leavened by wit, and low comedy, is brilliantly played by all, especially an atypically dark and impulsive Grant. The director's characteristically deft touch with comic business is evident throughout the film.

one
House cured bacon wrapped diver scallop, radish-baby poblano relish, daikon greens

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Borscht, quail egg

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Wild mushroom risotto, herbed seared t bone, maytag blue cheese butter, grilled asparagus

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Lemongrass-sweet potato pie, ginger cream, chocolate nibs

Quick Snaps: AFF 'Herpes Boy' Afterparty

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Byron Lane and Ahna O'Reilly

The comedy Herpes Boy sold out both its screenings during Austin Film Festival (AFF) this week. The director, producer and cast gave up their seats at the second screening so more festival attendees could gain admission. Speaking afterwards with writer/lead actor Byron Lane and lead actress Ahna O'Reilly (who is Tim O'Reilly's niece) confirmed the humility and enthusiasm of cast and crew for what proves to be a funny and poignant film. I also enjoyed talking with director Nathaniel Atcheson about the film and festivals, but the true gem was co-producer and actress Beth Grant. I spent more time talking with her over the last few days than any other filmmaker at AFF. Keep an eye on Slackerwood for a special podcast where Beth talks about Herpes Boy along with Donnie Darko, Rain Man, Sandra Bullock, Marlo Brando, Johnny Depp and so much more.

[Photo credit: Byron Lane and Ahna O'Reilly at Herpes Boy Afterparty, by Debbie Cerda. More photos on Flickr.]

AFF Review: Baghdad Texas

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Baghdad Texas

The Austin Screens category at Austin Film Festival is a showcase of local emerging talent that might not otherwise be on everyone's radar. Arguably the best film in this category in 2009 is Baghdad Texas.

A fleeing Middle Eastern dictator's plane crashes. Three Texas ranchers coming back from a rowdy time in Mexico hit what they think is a Mexican illegal immigrant. When they look through his clothes, they notice foreign currency with the likeness of Brando (Al No'mani), the most wanted man in the world, and the scrambling begins.

Finances have forced Randall (Robert Prentis) to turn to exotic hunting to make ends meet, with the help of his son Limon (Ryan Boggus), ranch hand Seth (Barry Tubb), and a pragmatic housekeeper, Carmen (Melinda Renna, pictured above).  An eager FBI agent (Shaneye Ferrell) is looking to prove herself despite a lackadiasical boss. When the ranchers realize who they put in the back of their truck, the antics begin. As everyone pursues their own interest to comedic ends, the two illegals who occasionally work on the farm engage in spectator sports.

AFF09: Debbie's Conference Wrap-up

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Documentary Fillmmakers at AFF

This is the first year that I've attended panels during the conference portion of Austin Film Festival (AFF). Overall I'd say that I was not disappointed, other than the disadvantage of having to miss some screenings I'd really wanted to see such as the screening of Texas Weather at the Texas Spirit Theater.

I thoroughly enjoyed the honest and informative "Texas Film Incentives" panel with Paul Alvarado-Dykstra, Central Texas Representative of the Texas Motion Picture Alliance (TXMPA), along with filmmakers James Crowley (The Rookie, Hidalgo) and Dominic Cancilla (Hope Floats, A Scanner Darkly).

James talked about the high quality of production crews in Texas, with Dominic pointing out that Dicky Deats is the only key grip ever to win an Academy Award, for Hope Floats. During the discussion it was also confirmed that Whip It, which shot primarily in Michigan, is still waiting for incentives because funds are depleted in some other states' incentive programs.

AFF09 Daily Dispatch: Day Five

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How I Got LostMonday was Arbor Day for me. That is, I watched two Austin Film Festival films up at the Arbor Cinema. The best anyone can do is three features a day from this point on, but I was too busy watching a screener to make it any earlier (and more on that later).

I don't know how much of it was rainy Monday, post-conference, or just being out of downtown, but the AFF movies at the Arbor were not crowded. That's not to say it was empty -- there was a respectable sized crowd for both films I saw -- but no one was forced for sit in the front row. Keep that in mind for all venues for the next three days; unless you're late, you're likely to get into everything now. If it's at the Paramount, you'll get in.

First up for me was How I Got Lost (pictured at right), directed by Joe Leonard and starring Aaron Stanford, Jacob Fishel, and Rosemarie DeWitt (Rachel Getting Married). I swear having Stanford in a film is a guarantee of getting it into an Austin festival. In the five years the films Flakes, Rick, Spartan, and The Cake Eaters have all played at an Austin festival. How I Got Lost is based on a short by Leonard, and the story revolves around two New York friends in the post-9/11 world.  Unfortunately, Leonard wasn't at the screening for a Q&A.

Repulsion

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Date/Time: 
Monday, November 2, 2009 - 7:30pm - 9:30pm

REPULSION
Dir:  Roman Polanski
35mm
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Roman Polanski followed up his international breakthrough Knife in the Water with this controversial, chilling tale of psychosis. Catherine Deneuve is Carol, a fragile, frigid young beauty cracking up in her London flat when left alone by her vacationing sister. She is soon haunted by specters real and imagined, and her insanity grows to a violent, hysterical pitch. Thanks to its disturbing detail and Polanski’s adeptness at turning claustrophobic space into an emotional minefield, Repulsion is a surreal, mind-bending odyssey into personal horror, and it remains one of cinema’s most shocking psychological thrillers. -Criterion

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All screenings are held at the Texas Union Theater on the UT campus and are FREE and open to the public

AFF: Rest of the Fest Highlights

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Now that we're in the second half of Austin Film Festival's 8 day run, it's a lot easier for those without a badge to get into the smaller venues.  So now is a good time to point out the remaining that should be on your radar. Astericks indicate films with an Austin connection.  The full schedule is available on the Austin Film Festival website. 

Monday, October 26th
7:00pm Lake Creek Little Fish, Strange Pond (Callum Blue in attendance)
9:30pm Arbor Happy Ending (Chris Holland highly recommends)

Tuesday, October 27th
7:00pm  Lake Creek Creek *Stoner
7:00pm Hideout Shorts 2 Reel (first two shorts are Austin shorts)
7:30pm Independent at 501 Herpes Boy (cast and crew may still be in town)
10:00pm Independent at 501 Thor At The Bus Stop  (Narrative Feature WINNER)

AFF09 Slackery News Sources and Tidbits

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AFF Pocket cover guide, by stomptokyo on FlickrThree of us from Slackerwood are at Austin Film Festival this year, watching a lot of movies and attending panels and trying not to stay too late at parties. But we're not your only source for fun stories, photos and reviews during AFF. Here are a few of the online news sites and blogs that we'd recommend you visit. If I missed any good blogs or news sites, please mention them in the comments.

  • Hopefully now that the conference is over, out-of-towners with AFF badges are returning home and it will be easier to see movies in the smaller AFF venues. Passholders have not been able to get into many of these screenings, but things may improve for the rest of the fest. Keep an eye on our Twitter feed for updates.
  • If you haven't been reading Austinist for your AFF news and coverage, you're missing some good stuff. They're all over AFF, and we know because we keep sitting near them at movies. They've got daily previews, and they're also updating the AustinistFilm Twitter feed like mad.
  • Film School Rejects is also covering AFF this year (sometimes we sit by them too). Check out their AFF 2009 category for the latest entries, including Bethany Perryman's entertaining daily festival diary entries.

AFF09 Daily Dispatch: Day Four

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The ScenestersToday is as much about what I didn't do at the fest, as the screenings itself. I overslept and miss the Hair of the Dog brunch and the TXMPA Incentives panel. I believe Debbie made it to the panel, so hopefully she'll be doing a writeup later. I did make it over the Driskill 1886 cafe for some lemony eggs benedict before heading to a screening that I ended up switching with Alabama Moon, so I had a lot of time on my hands today.

Alabama Moon, directed by Austin's Tim McCanlies, harkens back to the vintage Wonderful World of Disney films I used to watch on Sunday nights. Kid in trouble, the requisite mean and inept adults, the bully with a change of heart, and a few good and kind adults to bring about a happy ending. Austin favorite Clint Howard plays the constable who makes Moon's life really difficult after Moon's father dies. Alabama Moon is family fare, and will make some adults nostalgic.

The Paramount seats aren't kind to aching knees, so I left before the Q&A, and I'm glad I did. I got out just in time to catch the tail end of the annual Zombie Lurch to the Capitol, an event the Alamo Drafthouse Lake Creek puts on every year. I wished they'd organized it better so there were people in line at the Paramount at the time. It's such a fun thing to see lumbering up the street, and I doubt many festivalgoers caught it.  The video I took is being stubborn about being embedded, so it's linked above.

AFF09: Stewart Stern and 'The Ugly American'

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The Ugly AmericanPlease welcome guest contributor Linda Ball, who caught a special Austin Film Festival screening of the 1963 film The Ugly American, which included a discussion with the film's screenwriter, Stewart Stern.

I was curious to see the The Ugly American because when it was released (1963) and when the book was published (1959) I was quite young. However, I remember the phrase "the ugly American" being synonymous with new ideas about the face of colonialism and of the Cold War anti-Communist era. I may have even read the book in college. Certainly, this material was the part of the underpinning of the protests and new ways of looking at our place in the world that came along when I was in college and made me start to question the certainty of the 1950s culture of my childhood, basking in victory from what was considered a right and just war.

I was not prepared for the power of the movie The Ugly American and its relevance today or for the cogent and emotional remarks of Stewart Stern who, at 87, has witnessed so much of history. Describing traveling the world in the 1950s to see the work of Non-Governmental Organizations, he told a story that resonates today about how to help people around the world effectively. These lessons made their way into the movie. For example, the training of people to use sterile knives for cutting the umbilical cord (instead of contaminated sharpened bamboo sticks) was something he actually encountered in his research. He tested the script on people in Southeast Asia and discarded ideas that were clever but unworkable for helping people.

'Winnebago Man' Fundraiser

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Date/Time: 
Tuesday, October 27, 2009 - 7:00pm - 10:00pm

Check out SXSW 2009 favorite Winnebago Man and help the filmmakers raise money for a wider, non-fest release. The doors open at 7 pm, and the documentary starts at 8 pm. More information in our article about the event.

Marchesa Hall and Theatre

Address: 
6226 Middle Fiskville Road, Austin TX 78752
Phone: 
(512) 454-2000

Marchesa exterior and marquee

The Marchesa, near Highland Mall in central Austin, is a single-screen theater where Austin Film Society hosts most of their screenings. There's also space for other events, so you can still catch movies here while Blue Genie is going on, for example. Old-school Austinites will recognize the location as the old Lincoln Village theater. The theater shows both digital and 35mm prints.

The Marchesa is a SXSatellite venue for all days of SXSW 2014.

Pros:The location is fairly central and not difficult for most Austinites to reach. It's a nice theater experience -- not plushy and fancy, but fairly comfortable and intimate. The lobby is spacious and terrific for socializing before and after, with drinks available.

Cons: For film festivals, the one difficulty is that it's not downtown. The seats aren't on much of a rise so short people may want to favor the aisles (it's better than the Paramount, though, in terms of rise). You may get annoyed by the parking lot.

Screens and capacity: This single-screen theater seats 278.

Parking: Parking is free. There's a parking lot around the theater with plenty of parking, but be warned that it's very tightly set up and, well, weird. You may want to utter a four-letter word. Park off to the side near adjacent buildings for a little less stress.

Bus routes: You can catch the #10 about 1/3 mile southwest on Middle Fiskville (near Travelodge). Walk northeaast a half-mile on Middle Fiskville to E. Huntland and you can catch the #7, #300, and #320. If you've got a bicycle, you could take MetroRail to the Highland Mall station and cycle over to the theater, but it's too far for a walk.

Distance: It's 5.5 miles from the Austin Convention Center.

On-site food options: Concessions are available, including a full bar.

Nearby dining options: The best restaurant nearby may be Quality Seafood on Airport just south of Koenig. Another good nearby option is the Arpeggio Grill on Airport going toward N. Lamar. There's a perfectly acceptable food court in Highland Mall, if you're on a budget.

[Photo courtesy of Austin Film Society.]

Quick Snaps: 'Calvin Marshall' Director and Stars

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Calvin Marshall Crew at AFF

Calvin Marshall director Gary Lundgren and several of the film's stars, including Diedrich Bader and Andrew Wilson, came to town to support the film's debut during AFF at the Paramount Friday night. I had a chance to interview them on Friday. They talked a lot about the state of the movie industry, independent film, and music -- and of course, Calvin Marshall. If you missed a chance to see their movie at the Paramount on Friday, stay tuned for our review, distribution and release news. We will have the full interview available soon as a podcast here.

[Photo credit: Diedrich Bader, Gary Lundgren, and Andrew Wilson, by Debbie Cerda on Flickr]

AFF Review: Simmons on Vinyl

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Simmons on Vinyl

If the screenwriters for Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle hadn't had studio backing for their comedy, and ended up shooting the movie in their hometown with a cast of acquaintances and a budget of maybe $300, the resulting film might have ended up a lot like Simmons on Vinyl. Both movies hang a lot of comedy on the premise of a crazy night in pursuit of something that sounds very silly when first mentioned, but has value to the characters involved.

Director/co-writer Mark Potts plays Zeek, a college kid who is dying to go out on a date with the lovely Holly. We can tell Holly's not interested, but Zeek is so much in denial that he agrees to run an errand for her -- to go to her boss's house and pick up a record she needs for a party, even though she isn't inviting Zeek to the party. Zeek's friends Dwayne (William Brand Rackley) and Dwight (co-writer Cole Selix) agree that Zeek's just being used by Holly, but agree to help him out. However, it's not as simple as merely picking up the vinyl from one house. The errand balloons into an all-night adventure.

AFF09 Daily Dispatch: Day Three

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This is the stair-iest festival. My knees are killing me.  I seem destined to be climbing lots of stairs, to the point my poor knees can't take. or close to it.  Stairs at the Driskill. Stairs at the Ritz. Stairs at all the party venues.  Owwie.  I may have to put in a worker's comp claim (just kidding, Jette). 

AFF09-SatPanels-dI missed the morning panels, because not having alarms set meant I woke up when I was good and ready, and that was far too late for panels before lunch. So I was very envious when Rich Vázquez tweeted about a very personal panel up on the Capital lawn with Tom Skerritt and some teachers (aka the "Teaching Storytelling Through Screenwriting" panel).

It also meant I missed the An Education screening, which has caused an uproar among some because it was booked at a small venue.  I'm rather surprised, because at least one badge holder I know got there less than a half hour before it was scheduled to start, and there was even room for me.  Remember folks, the TBAs are locked into specific time slots and venues, and the festival has to accommodate certain restrictions and demands when playing films, too many to name here. This is a festival and conference, emphasis on the conference in the first few days. Having films that early in the day is relatively new for the fest.  And the film is opening in Austin in less than three weeks. And the two TBAs filling the Paramount slots are bigger films.

To me, it's a non-issue. Of the things to be frustrated with, a wide-release film coming out in a few weeks is very low. Besides, the emphasis needed to be on the Awards luncheon, which, of course, I missed.  While I'm a little sad my friend and fellow Austinite Patrick Sullivan did not win in his category, he beat out nearly 4,000 people to get to the finalist round.  And from what I've seen on twitter today, Sitcom Teleplay winner Benjamin Healy is an Austinite. 

AFF Winners Announced

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The awards luncheon for Austin Film Festival was held today, with the following winners announced for the film, screenplay and teleplay competitions:

Film Competitions

  • Documentary Feature Jury Award: Grown in Detroit - Directors: Manfred Poppenk, Mascha Poppenk
  • Documentary Feature Special Jury Mention: Downtown Calling - Director: Shan Nicholson
  • Animated Short Jury Award: Lost and Found - Director: Philip Hunt
  • Narrative Student Short Jury Award: Welgunzer - Writer: Bradford Schmidt
  • Narrative Student Special Jury Mention: Adelaide - Writer: Liliana Greenfield-Sanders
  • Narrative Short Jury Award: Nice Shootin' Cowboy - Writer: Ben Phelps
  • Narrative Short Special Jury Mention: The Taxidermist - Writers: Bert & Bertie; Washdays - Writer: Graham Lester George
  • Narrative Feature Jury Award: Tobruk - Writer: Vaclav Marhoul
  • Narrative Feature Special Jury Recognition for Acting: Myna Se Va
  • Narrative Feature Special Jury Recognition for Independent Filmmaking: Thor at the Bus Stop

'Serious Moonlight' at AFF Opening Night

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AFF 09

On Thursday night, Austin Film Festival screened its opening-night movie, Serious Moonlight, at the Paramount. Director Cheryl Hines, pictured above, attended the screening and held a Q&A afterwards. The movie stars Meg Ryan, Timothy Hutton, Kristen Bell and Justin Long, and was written by the late Adrienne Shelly (Waitress).

A number of film-pass holders were lined up for the film -- it turned out to be a good-sized audience, but everyone was able to get in.

AFF09 Daily Dispatch: Day Two

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AFF09Patrick-1651I wasn't gonna do this, really. This was the festival where I was gonna take a back seat. But despite having to start late yesterday and today, I can't help but do a daily dispatch. So here goes day two. 

I missed all the panels. I didn't even get to the fest in time to do anything but hop on a shuttle to the French Legation for the annual Texas BBQ, only to find out that while the shuttles started running at 4 pm, we absolutely could not step foot onto the grounds until 5 pm (there was a wedding, that would have been rude).  As it turns out, it's quite a popular spot for weddings, because one of the filmmakers had his wedding there. 

This was prime social time.  Ran into friends like Patrick Sullivan (pictured right) who is a screenplay competition finalist, and Rich Vázquez from Cine Las Americas. Later I sawSkot Tulk from aGLIFF, and finally had a chance to meet PJ Raval, who is very busy these days, and associated with many of the Austin film organizations. They introduced me to Mike Washlesky, who in turn introduced me to Craig Knapp, whom he worked with on Hockey Night in Texas.  So Jette, you don't have to keep saying I need to meet PJ, because now I have. 

It's a good thing the barbecue ended when it did, because they ran out of plates, glasses and beer before the official end time. but that meant I got back to the Driskill in time to catch Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire at the Paramount.  That movie really needed a Q&A. It's very powerful and very challenging, and had some incredible performances. I'm jumping on the Mo'Nique Oscar Bandwagon now, because her final scene is deserves accolades. Amazing. And looking on IMDb I see that director Lee Daniels was a producer on The Woodsman, another bravely disturbing film that tackles the complex miasma behind some darker human behaviors.

AFF09 Daily Dispatch: Day One

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IMG00165-20091022-2006Day one is over, and day two is just beginning of Austin Film Festival (Food and Film event not withstanding).  There's just so much to do, with so many great panels to choose from, not to mention the films.

Registration was a but slow and confusing, but I was one of those "other" people, who had a late registration as media, and then as an Austin Film Festival member, I had a free film pass to pick up as well.  Had a chance to talk to a few friends, including Austin's Patrick Sullivan, who is a screenplay competition finalist.  I hope we get to celebrate a win there on Saturday.

I ended up seeing Slackerwood contributor Chris Holland's panel with Kelly Williams and James Faust, "It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over," moderated by Greg Garrett.  Chris, as you may know, authored the book Film Festival Secrets, and as a former festival programmer and current B-Side principal, knows about festivals from the inside out.  All the panelists offered sound, practical advice, including details often overlooked, such as putting your film's title on the DVD you submit to festivals. Much of the advice is the same as any career development coach would give, that amounted to making it as easy as possible for the festivals to say "yes" to your film. 

Movies This Week: Amelia, Astro Boy, Assistants and Good Hair

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Good Hair

Surprise!  We're busy into Austin Film Festival, but there are actually a number ofmovies being released this week that aren't playing at AFF.

Amelia -- They had me at "Mira Nair" (Monsoon Wedding, The Namesake), and lost me in one of the least cohesive films I've seen in a long time.  If you're addicted to period pics, you'll still be disappointed.  Read my full review for more.

Astro Boy -- The latest adaptation of the manga-fied Pinocchio-esque story of a robot boy.  It's not just a kid's movie, it's actually a little bit dark, and a little bit smart.  And the animation is so sharp it almost felt like 3D.  The three kids I saw it with give it three thumbs up. 

Blue -- Hindi language, filmed in Thailand, with a cameo by Kylie Minogue.  How could I not list it? That's not an endorsement, but it seems so ... noteworthy.

Review: Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant

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Vampire's Assistant

Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant was one of the Fantastic Fest gala events last month, and demonstrates that we just can't get enough vampire movies at the moment. This film is based on the popular series of books by Darren Shan called The Saga of Darren Shan, a fantasy-adventure about a teenager who unknowingly breaks a 200-year-old truce between two warring factions of vampires. Though the main character in the book is 12 years old, in the film Darren is 16. He is introduced to a fantastic world of sideshow freaks, vampires and creatures of unknown origins.

The exposition takes viewers on a fast track, so if you aren't familiar with the books you might be confused by references to the "Vampaneze." The special effects and scenery in Cirque Du Freak are visually striking, but they can't hide the stilted acting. John C. Reilly as Larten Crepsley has great comedic timing, but it is difficult to see the character instead of the star power of Reilly. The young stars Chris Massoglia and Josh Hutcherson do well for their first major film, but it is consummate actor William Dafoe who lends his own personal touch without overshadowing the character that really steals the show.

Review: Amelia

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Amelia

It's Oscar contender season, when the studios trot out the films they hope will capture the attention of the bearers of golden statuettes, and the box office revenue those little gold men bring.  One has to wonder just what Fox Searchlight was thinking when they chose to release Amelia.

It seems like a perfect match: Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, The Namesake) directing a cast of heavyweights, including Hilary Swank, Richard Gere, Ewan McGregor, Christopher Eccleston. Stuart Dryburgh had an Oscar nod for Best Cinematography for The Piano amongst his list of nominations and wins. Both editors, Allyson C. Johnson and Lee Percy, are seasoned professionals, and Johnson has worked on several Nair projects. The writers, Ron Bass (Rain Man, The Joy Luck Club) and Anna Hamilton Phelan (Girl, Interrupted, Mask) each have an Oscar nod. Two books about Earhart are used, including Susan Butler's East to the Dawn and Mary S. Lovell's The Sound of Wings, which should lend authenticity.

Austin Film Festival Guide for Newbies and Non-Badgeholders

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Red Carpet by wenno on Flickr

Austin Film Festival starts today and runs through next Thursday, October 29. The screenwriters conference ends on Sunday, but the films play for a whole week. Here are some tips for those of you who just want to see a few films, and not bother with buying a badge.

New this year: AFF has a few new venues for the film screenings and conference. Learn the lay of the land by viewing our AFF Film Festival 2009 Film Venue Guide.

Seating priority: For every movie at AFF, badgeholders are seated first, then film-pass holders, then anyone who's bought tickets if space remains.

Best value: If you only plan on seeing a couple of movies, take your chances and buy individual tickets at the box office . If you plan on seeing at least five films, I highly recommend the 2009 Film Pass. For only $42, film-pass holders have access to the second-tier Film Pass line, admitted ahead of individual ticketholders at all venues.

TXMPA's Annual Spaghetti Western Tickets on Sale

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TXMPA Spaghetti Western

Updated 10/28: This event has been postponed until December, and will be merged with the TXMPA holiday party. We'll update you with more info as we receive it.

The Texas Motion Picture Alliance (TXMPA) has just announced the details of its second annual Spaghetti Western fundraiser, on Sunday, November 1 at Star Hill Ranch in Bee Cave.

This year's event will feature live performances by The Tiny Tin Hearts and Erik Larson & Peacekeeper. Food will be provided by Ciao Chow, and there will be a Tito’s Vodka/Sweet Leaf Tea Saloon, as well as Amy’s Ice Cream. A silent auction will be held, and special guests are expected.

Tickers are on sale at the TXMPA website, at $60 for the general public and $50 for TXMPA members. Last year's Spaghetti Western sold out with over 700 guests, including film, television, commercial and videogame makers, and others who support these creative efforts.

Founded in 2006, TXMPA is the all-volunteer, not-for-profit [501(c)(6)] statewide industry advocacy organization for film, television, commercial and videogame makers. Earlier this year, the group led the charge for new and improved Texas production incentives legislation (HB 873), which was successfully passed and funded, putting Texas back on a more level playing field with other states for jobs in the creative industries. 

Austin Film Festival 2009 Film Venue Guide

Best film of 2008

Austin Film Festival has eight venues for its movies this year. In addition, the AFF screenwriters' conference takes place at the Driskill Hotel and the Stephen F. Austin Hotel. AFF parties are all over downtown, from the traditional BBQ at the French Legation to Buffalo Billiards to the Belmont.

Slackerwood has put together a handy (we hope) guide to the AFF venues where movies are shown. A couple of these venues are new to us, so feel free to post helpful comments. Check the AFF 2009 schedule for a full list of movies, conference panels and parties.

A few notes on distance: You can easily walk between the Paramount, the Hideout and Alamo Ritz, and from those to the Driskill and Stephen F. Austin. If you love walking and aren't in a hurry, you could walk from these to the Rollins Theater in the Long Center, or even to the Texas Spirit Theater in the Texas History Museum ... but it might be easier to drive or take a cab instead. The Independent at 501 isn't a long walk from the central venues, either, but it involves crossing under I-35, which can look a little scary at night. You might be able to talk a pedicab driver into taking you there and picking you up later.

Vagabond

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Date/Time: 
Monday, October 26, 2009 - 7:30pm - 10:30pm

Sandrine Bonnaire won the Best Actress César for her portrayal of the defiant young drifter Mona, found frozen to death in a ditch at the beginning of Vagabond. Agnès Varda pieces together Mona’s story through flashbacks told by those who encountered her (played by a largely nonprofessional cast), producing a splintered portrait of an enigmatic woman. With its sparse, poetic imagery, Vagabond (Sans toit ni loi) is a stunner, and won Varda the top prize at the Venice Film Festival.

All screenings are held at the Texas Union Theater on the UT campus and are FREE and open to the public.

Austin Film Society featured in Grant Promo

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A new video spot produced by the City of Austin features the Austin Film Society After-School Film Program. The video promotes the Grant for Technology Opportunities (GTOPs) program. GTOPs is a City of Austin program that provides matching-fund grants to local groups that create digital opportunities and promote digital inclusion.

The city currently is accepting applications for the 2010 GTOPs cycle. For more information, visit www.gtops.org.

Prospective GTOPs applicants can attend a free seminar today -- Wednesday, Oct. 21 -- at 3 pm. The seminar will explain how the GTOPs program works, and provide assistance for writing a successful grant. Advance reservations may be made at http://gtopsseminar.eventbrite.com/

Podcast #15: AFF 2009 Preview with Kelly Williams

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AFF Tote Bags by stomptokyo on TwitterIn podcast #15, Jette giggles helplessly from the sidelines while Chris Holland -- in his triumphant return to Slackerwood podcasts -- and AFF Film Program Director Kelly Williams go crazy discussing/debating their picks for can't-miss movies and events during Austin Film Festival 2009. There may also be some heckling. I do manage to sneak a couple of questions in there.

Kelly gives us the inside scoop on big-name stars at marquee screenings, as well as interesting details about some lesser-known films playing AFF. He also shares a few tips for anyone who just wants to buy tickets to a movie or two during AFF.

If you're planning to attend Austin Film Festival this year, if you're on the fence about buying a film pass, or if you just need a good laugh, you won't want to miss this podcast. Disclaimer: Despite what we may have said in the podcast, Oprah Winfrey is not scheduled to attend the AFF screening of Precious: Based on the Novel Push By Sapphire. However, those double-features at Alamo Lake Creek really are on the schedule.

Oh, yeah, and I suppose you'll find out quickly that we're back to using the seven words you can't say on television.

Listen to podcast #15 now.

[Photo credit: "AFF Tote Bags" by Chris Holland]

Five New Films Announced for Austin Film Festival

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Austin Film Festival announced some late additions today, including the TBA films, via Twitter. The films include:

You can check out information on these films and the entire festival on the Austin Film Festival schedule.  Austin Film Festival runs October 22-29 at various locations around the Austin area.

Quick Snaps: Grave Robbery at the Paramount, AFF 2008

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IMG_1719

I took the above picture at Austin Film Festival 2008, without knowing who it was or which film was being promoted. I was working the opening-night film's red carpet and suddenly, down the block came these guys carrying a coffin. Naturally I shot a photo or two.

During the recording of Slackerwood Podcast #15 late last week, Chris Holland and AFF Film Program Director Kelly Williams discussed the feature Simmons on Vinyl, one of the selections for this year's festival. One of them joked that "This year, Mark Potts and Cole Selix won't be lugging a coffin around, like they did for The Stanton Family Grave Robbery last year." Eureka!

So the guys in this photo are almost certainly Potts, Selix and Kevin Costello, who co-wrote The Stanton Family Grave Robbery and brought it to AFF along with their coffin. Simmons on Vinyl is directed by Potts and co-written by Potts and Selix. I wonder what kind of prop they'll carry around AFF this year?

P.S. Slackerwood Podcast #15 is on its way -- it's still being edited. It'll be well worth the short wait.

Rollins Studio Theatre, Long Center for the Performing Arts

Address: 
701 West Riverside Drive, Austin TX 78704
Phone: 
(512) 474-5664

Long Center 7 by codexterity on Flickr

The Debra and Kevin Rollins Studio Theatre is part of the Long Center for the Performing Arts complex, and occasionally is used as a venue for special screenings and film festivals. The theater can be configured to seat from 80 to 229 people. You enter the theater from a side door right near the Long Center box office.

For film festivals, chairs are placed on risers, much like the ACC theater configuration at SXSW. The seats are fairly comfortable and have pretty good legroom. The screen is a little small, but picture and sound quality are usually good.

Pros: Close to other downtown venues and restaurants, but at enough of a distance that this venue usually has space for passholders and even ticketholders.

Cons: There are often no concessions, so if you're walking from a free parking lot or from downtown on a warm day, bring a water bottle. The Long Center parking garage is expensive for movie parking. If other events are going on at Long Center or Auditorium Shores, your free parking possibilities dwindle considerably.

Screens and Capacity: The theater usually seats about 200 people for film festivals.

Parking: You can pay to park in the Long Center garage, but alternative parking nearby isn't usually hard to find on evenings and weekends. After business hours and on weekends, the surface lot at One Texas Center (505 Barton Springs) has free parking, which is a short walk from Rollins. If you prefer a walk across the park part of the complex, there's a small free parking lot by Dougherty Arts Center (Barton Springs and Dawson), but it fills up quickly.

Bus routes: #5, 10, 30 and others.  The routes listed go downtown (northbound).

Distance: It's a long but manageable walk to the downtown area, which you might not want to try if you're in a hurry (stopping halfway at 2nd Street for a drink and snack is recommended). If you've got a car, this venue is pretty convenient to downtown nightlife; and if you don't, a cab shouldn't be too pricey. It's not difficult to find a cab downtown to get to Rollins, but getting a cab at Rollins is sometimes challenging.

Food and Beverages: A kiosk in the lobby sometimes offers coffee, bar drinks and a few snacks, but it's not reliably open. However, when it's closed, no one seems to notice if you sneak your own water bottle in there. If you want to stay on this side of the lake, you can have a hearty "home-cooking" meal at Threadgill's, or grab a bite at Sandy's Hamburgers, an old-fashioned burger stand that also offers delicious frozen treats. Or you can cross the river and return to downtown Austin for a wealth of restaurants, cafes and coffeeshops.

[Photo credit: "Long Center 7" by codexterity. Found on Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.]

Catch 'Winnebago Man' in Austin This Month

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SXSW 2009Were you lucky enough to catch the documentary Winnebago Man at SXSW this year? All the screenings sold out really quickly, and I never got to see it myself. After its world premiere at SXSW (complete with a real Winnebago, shown at right), the film hit the film-fest circuit, winning a half-dozen awards at festivals such as Cinevegas, Hot Docs in Toronto and the Traverse City Film Festival. Now it's returning to Austin for a sneak-preview fundraiser so the movie can be prepared for a wider, non-fest release.

You can see Winnebago Man on Tuesday, October 27 at the Monarch Events Center. This is a venue in the Lincoln Village strip mall, often used for conferences ... which used to be part of a four-screen theater complex, back in the day. A pre-screening reception starts at 7 pm, and the movie starts at 8, with a Q&A to follow. Admission is a minimum donation of $10. Tickets are available online and if not sold out, at the door.

The documentary is about Jack Rebney, whose 1989 outtakes from his Winnebago sales video earned him notoriety first in the underground video world, and then of course on the Internet. Part of the film's storyline is the director of Winnebago Man, Ben Steinbauer, trying to track Rebney down now and find out more about him.

Review: Where the Wild Things Are

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Where the Wild Things Are

Warning: The following review may contain spoilers for the few people unfamiliar with the book from which this movie is adapted.

Daring to adapt a beloved book is risky business. Any changes and someone is offended, and adding material is sacrilegious. But what about when the original author approves the changes? 

Maurice Sendak's much beloved, critically acclaimed children's book Where the Wild Things Are has become one of the most anticipated films of the year. Even the jaded have admitted to tears over the trailers alone. Unfortunately, the magic of the book and the trailers doesn't completely translate to the full-length feature. 

Despite only being 10 sentences long, the 1963 book has been imprinted on the mind of more than one generation as a most beloved tale of imagination and childhood ferociousness. "Let the wild rumpus start!" is an eternal meme guaranteed to bring smiles. 

Review: A Serious Man

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A Serious Man

The Coen brothers' latest film, A Serious Man, is hard to categorize. It's not one of the light-hearted funny films like Raising Arizona ... its comedy is far darker than Burn After Reading. I liked it much better than No Country for Old Men, which just didn't grab me. This is a low-budget movie that is obviously not meant to appeal to a wide audience, but viewers who are smart enough and interested enough to get involved with this story will find it extremely rewarding. And perhaps a little frustrating -- well, that's the Coens for you.

The cast of A Serious Man has no stars -- at best, the characters actors might look vaguely familiar to you. Michael Stuhlbarg plays Larry Gopnik, the central character of the film. In the late 1960s, Larry is a mathematics professor at a small Midwest college -- up for tenure, but a little worried about his chances. He's having a run-in with a student who's dissatisfied with his grades. His brother Arthur (Richard Kind) is acting increasingly odd. And now his wife (Sari Lennick), apparently out of the blue, has decided she's in love with family friend Sy Ableman (Fred Melamed) and wants a divorce.

Movies This Week: Serious Wild Afghans and Coco

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Afghan Star

This is the week before Austin Film Festival starts, and the studios are slowly starting to release their Oscar hopefuls. It's quite a selection this week, a little something for everyone.

Where the Wild Things Are - This adaptation of Maurice Sendak's beloved children's book is one of the most anticipated films of the year, I had very high hopes for it. Unfortunately, it didn't quite live up to them, although I'm hard pressed to say exactly why. It's definitely a good film, and worth catching, although it's more a film about childhood than a kid's flick. Check back with Slackerwood later today for my review. (wide)

Afghan Star - Havana Marking's documentary (pictured above) about the risks that aspiring pop stars take to appear on the Afghanistan television show Pop Idol was popular at SXSW, and finally gets a local theatrical release. I haven't seen it but I've heard great things, and it's good enough to be the UK's official submission to the 82nd Academy Awards. (Dobie)

Review: Coco Before Chanel

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Alessandro Nivola and Audrey Tautou in Coco Before Chanel

Coco Chanel is a name synonymous with a classic style, of simple lines and comfortable fit but not always for everyone. Such is the film Coco Before Chanel, a biopic by Anne Fontaine based on the book Chanel and Her World: Friends, Fashions, and Fame by Coco's official biographer Edmonde Charles-Roux. Fontaine's film is less about the events of Chanel's life and more a window into the provincial beginning and formative years of a woman who defied standards and became an internationally known icon.

Young Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel and her sister were abandoned in an orphanage after the death of their mother. As young women, the Chanel sisters become chanteuses in provincial France. While working as a part-time seamstress, Coco (Audrey Tautou) meets and becomes the courtesan of millionaire playboy Balsan, devilishly played by Benoît Poelvoorde. She moves into his country house, where she hides from his guests at the request of the baron. During this time Coco meets and drinks with Balsan's polo-playing friends, which includes the affluent and self-made Arthur "Boy" Capel, dashingly portrayed by Alessandro Nivola.

Me and Slackery News Tidbits

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Me and Orson WellesI thought we were having a slow news week, but the local film news really added up. Here are some of the highlights:

  • The Statesman's Out and About blog released the results of the newspaper's "Best Austin Movie Theater" poll. No surprise: All four Austin-area Alamo theaters were in the top four slots, although we're a bit disappointed that Village and its snazzy 4K digital didn't rate a bit higher. Bigger surprise: Tinseltown Pflugerville tied for fifth place with the Bob Bullock IMAX theater. Jette saw a movie at the Pflugerville theater in June and found the picture and sound quality atrocious -- some of the speakers weren't working at all. Readers, what charms of Tinseltown Pflugerville are we missing?
  • Richard Linklater's latest film, Me and Orson Welles (pictured at right), now has an Austin release date of December 4. If you want to see it sooner, the movie will play the Houston Cinema Arts Festival on Nov. 11, as the opening-night film, with Linklater attending.
  • The first speakers for the SXSW 2010 Film Conference were announced this week: Argentine musician/composer Gustavo Santaolalla (Brokeback Mountain, Babel) and comic-book artist Gilbert Shelton, a former Austinite who is currently involved in adapting his Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers into a movie.
  • Speaking of SXSW, if you didn't catch We Live in Public at the 2009 fest or during this week's limited run, it's playing in Austin for another week, daily at Alamo Ritz. Wish we'd thought of this sooner, but Alamo totally should host a Tweet-Along night for this documentary.

Lola

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Date/Time: 
Monday, October 19, 2009 - 7:30pm - 9:30pm

Germany in the autumn of 1957: Lola, a seductive cabaret singer-prostitute (Barbara Sukowa) exults in her power as a temptress of men, but she wants out—she wants money, property, and love. Pitting a corrupt building contractor (Mario Adorf) against the new straight-arrow building commissioner (Armin Mueller-Stahl), Lola launches an outrageous plan to elevate herself in a world where everything, and everyone, is for sale. Shot in childlike candy colors, Fassbinder’s homage to Josef von Sternberg’s classic The Blue Angel stands as a satiric tribute to capitalism. - Criterion

All screenings are held at 7:30pm in the Texas Union Theatre on the UT campus. The Austin Cinematheque film series runs during the school year at UT. 

The Hideout Theatre

Address: 
617 Congress Ave., Austin TX 78701
Phone: 
(512) 443-3688

SXSW 2009

The Hideout is a combination coffeehouse and performance venue. The downstairs theater, located in the back of the coffeehouse, seats up to 90. Even if you aren't seeing a movie here, it's a good place for coffee-and-wireless, although the coffeehouse can get extremely busy at night and during film festivals or other events. The theater is rarely used to show movies except during film festivals.

Pros: Good coffee and other caffeinated beverages, and comfy couches in the coffeehouse area. You can sometimes get a bagel or other snack here for emergency sustenance when other nearby restaurants are closed. The theater has a cozy, intimate feeling.

Cons: The Hideout is not primarily a movie theater and they sometimes have difficulty getting their projection up to speed. The seats are not very comfortable and often a few are broken.

Parking: No Hideout-specific parking. Park on the street or in a nearby lot/garage.

Bus routes: All downtown routes, including 1L, 1M, 5, 6, 7, 9, 20, 30, 101 stop on the same block.

Distance: It's a block away from the Paramount, and also convenient to Alamo Ritz and many downtown hotels and restaurants.

On-side food and beverages: Lots of coffee drinks, frappes, tea, etc. They also have baked goods and snacks, depending on the time of day (the earlier you go, the better the selection).

Nearby dining options: Same as the Paramount.

Wireless: Free wireless right there, yay. And you can relax on a sofa with a tasty beverage while you use your laptop, if it's not too crowded.

Podcast #14.2: 'Inside' Director Tracie Laymon

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Tracie Laymon at Progress Coffee, by Debbie Cerda on Flickr

We met so many great filmmakers at Fantastic Fest and had so many fun interviews that we're publishing some bonus mini-podcasts apart from our regularly scheduled Slackerwood podcast. In podcast #14.2, Debbie Cerda interviews writer/director Tracie Laymon, whose short Inside was a suspenseful part of the fest's Short Fuse lineup. Tracie talks about how she started her filmmaking career here in Austin in the late 1990s, and shares her hope of returning to shoot a feature here soon.

Listen to podcast #14.2 now.

[Photo credit: "Tracie Laymon Interview at Progress Coffee" by Debbie Cerda.]

Fantastic Fest 2009: Jette's Photographic Wrap-Up

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Alamo South marquee

I'm feeling lazy this week, and the idea of writing capsule reviews of every movie I saw at Fantastic Fest, plus descriptions of the events and parties, sounds overwhelming. Therefore, I've taken the slacker's way out, fittingly enough for Slackerwood, and am offering a photo representation of my Fantastic Fest experience. Later on, perhaps I'll have enough energy to tell you how much I liked Bronson and Private Eye, although I'm not sure how long it'll take for me to clarify my thoughts about The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

What was I doing during Fantastic Fest, you may ask?

Pushing my way to the front of a crowd of Gentlemen Broncos:

Nueva Onda Presents: Guts!

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Date/Time: 
Thursday, October 15, 2009 - 8:00pm - 10:00pm

Nueva Onda's monthly summer movie night ends its 2009 run with a Halloween program of documentaries and short features. Here are the descriptions from the Nueva Onda site:

Tracy is Ben Slamka's cautionary tale about messing with big trouble in dark remote places. Some grade-A Halloween humor. Don't mess with Tracy. (6 min) Slamka will attend the screening.

Jim Beam is a lightning-quick life-and-death story starring... well, Death. He's procrastinating until one foolish, unwitting act forces his bony hand. From Austinite Jabbar Raisani. (30 sec)

Lost in the Fog is John Corey's vivid documentary about the big-hearted California racehorse Lost in the Fog and his owner and trainer. In 2005, this modestly-bred colt developed into one of the fastest horses in the world, setting track records around the country and showing incredible tenacity. But could the horse break through into the pantheon of truly great racers? Or would time catch up to the horse or his elderly owner? (1 hr) Corey will attend the screening.

The restaurant will open for dinner at 6:30, and the movies start at 8 pm.

Harvard Beats Yale 29-29

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Date/Time: 
Wednesday, October 14, 2009 - 7:00pm - 9:30pm

This month's Documentary Tour offering from Austin Film Society is Harvard Beats Yale 29-29, about the famous 1968 game. Filmmaker Kevin Rafferty will be in attendance.

Ghostbusters

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Date/Time: 
Friday, October 30, 2009 - 7:30pm - 10:00pm

Whole Foods and Alamo Drafthouse are co-hosting the "Sunset Supper and Cinema" series on the rooftop plaza at Whole Foods downtown. Admission is free, but various refreshments are available for purchase. You also can purchase a three-course meal, related to the movie being shown, for $15. The movies start at sundown.

This week's movie is especially fitting for Halloween: the 1984 comedy Ghostbusters.

Psycho (1960)

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Date/Time: 
Friday, October 23, 2009 - 7:30pm - 10:00pm

Whole Foods and Alamo Drafthouse are co-hosting the "Sunset Supper and Cinema" series on the rooftop plaza at Whole Foods downtown. Admission is free, but various refreshments are available for purchase. You also can purchase a three-course meal, related to the movie being shown, for $15. The movies start at sundown.

This week's movie is the 1960 classic Hitchcock film Psycho.

Pee Wee's Big Adventure

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Date/Time: 
Friday, October 16, 2009 - 7:30pm - 10:00pm

Whole Foods and Alamo Drafthouse are co-hosting the "Sunset Supper and Cinema" series on the rooftop plaza at Whole Foods downtown. Admission is free, but various refreshments are available for purchase. You also can purchase a three-course meal, related to the movie being shown, for $15. The movies start at sundown.

This week's movie is Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, so obviously you should bike to Whole Foods to get in the mood.

Whole Foods Market (Downtown)

Address: 
525 N Lamar Blvd., Austin, TX 78703
Phone: 
(512) 476-1206

Whole Foods Market sometimes shows movies on their rooftop plaza, when the weather permits. Usually the movies are free, but refreshments and/or a themed meal are available for purchase.

Fantastic Fest 2009: Jenn's Wrap-Up

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It's over a week after Fantastic Fest, why are we still writing about it?  Because it was Fantastic Fest, and Chaos Reigns.

FF09-Lunch Down Terrace guys-cYou may have heard that even Variety picked up on the Chaos Reigns meme.  Chaos did reign, from a sexy Swede turning grown women and a few men into quivering fans, to Zack Carlson's amazing save of a Yatterman screening by split-screen magic to show subtitles from a screener with the actual film. We had traditions continued, from David Strong nudity (you had to be there, but if you've been to a Fantastic Fest related event, this is not shocking) to the extreme, watching Tim League in a patriotic unitard battle Uwe Boll in the boxing ring (Boll politely didn't wipe the floor with League). 

I finally understood the draw to karaoke, watching Matt Dentler belt out "Paper Planes" and Nacho Vigalondo going all out on classics, with poses that would put Elvis to shame. Tiffany Sullivan, new mom and Fantastic Fest veteran, even got a "Chaos Reigns" onesie for her infant son, photos of which are now plastered all over the Internet.

My biggest regret was missing the Fantastic Fest Awards, and the amazing flip done by Mandrill star Marko Zaror. And missing Mandrill as well.   If you want to get a sense of the actual experience, it's been posted on YouTube. I highly recommend you go to the Fantastic Fest YouTube page to catch most of the Q&As, and some of the special events, like the Fantastic Feud fights, as well as a brilliant compilation of "Chaos Reigns" chants. I think between Nacho Vigalondo and Tim League, the Alamo Army is alive and well, and ready to do their bidding.

Free Classic Mexican Horror Movies at the Mexican American Cultural Center

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The Living CoffinCine Las Americas has teamed up with Austin Parks and Recreation and the Mexican American Cultural Center (MACC) for another free film series. Earlier this year, during the Cine Las Americas film festival, all films shown at the MACC were free, including Crude, which is currently at the Arbor.

The new series is "La Hora Fria: Classic Mexican Horror," and will run from October 21 to November 6, 2009, with all shows starting at 8 pm. It's a great way to prepare for Day of the Dead. The series is part of the Mexican Bicentennial celebrations, and will showcase a collection of Mexican horror from the late 1950s. These six films reinterpret classic horror such as Dracula and Frankenstein as well as Mexican folk tales such as La Llorona.  All films are in Spanish with English subtitles. 

For more information about the "La Hora Fria: Classic Mexican Horror" series, visit the Cine Las Americas website.

The La Hora Fria: The Black Pit of Dr. M

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Date/Time: 
Thursday, October 22, 2009 - 8:00pm - 10:00pm

Misterios de ultratumba / The Black Pit of Dr. M
Dir: Fernando Méndez
82 min, Mexico, 1958
Cast: Rafael Bertrand, Gastón Santos, Mapita Cortés, Carlos Ancira, Carolina Barret
 
Dr. Mazali runs the Las Mercedes insane asylum, and after his colleague Dr. Aldama is executed for a crime he didn't commit, Dr. Mazali remembers a promise they made to each other: the one who dies first would reveal all the mysteries of death to the other. But those mysteries come at a horrible price.  Dr. Aldama's daughter Patricia, a cabaret dancer, and Eduardo, a doctor who is in love with her, are soon drawn into the madness, tragedy, and agonizing violence that are all a part of Dr. Aldama's plan.

The La Hora Fria: Classic Mexican Horror runs 10/21-11/6 at the Mexican American Culture Center (MACC) at 600 River Street.  All shows are free and start at 8pm.  For more information go to Cine Las Americas.

La Hora Fria: The Living Coffin

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Date/Time: 
Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - 8:00pm - 10:00pm

El grito de la muerte / The Living Coffin
Dir: Fernando Méndez
72 min, Mexico, 1958
Cast: Gastón Santos, María Duval, Quintín Bulnes, Pedro de Aguillón, Carlos Ancira
 
Gastón and his sidekick Coyote Loco ("Crazy Wolf"), stop at an eerie ranch to learn more about a stone figure they've unearthed that depicts a crying woman. They hear from María Elena, the owner of the ranch, that it was Clotilde, her dead aunt. Clotilde's two children were mysteriously swallowed by the swamp; the ghost of Clotilde - "La Llorona" - haunts the ranch, mourning for her children and keeping visitors away. Gastón and Coyote Loco are pulled into an action-packed, spine-tingling web of supernatural spookery and dangerous criminals out to unearth a secret vein of gold in this eerie atmospheric reinvention of a timeless Mexican legend and Edgar Allen Poe's classic The Premature Burial.
 

La Hora Fria: Classic Mexican Horror runs 10/21-11/6 at the Mexican American Culture Center (MACC) at 600 River Street.  All shows are free and start at 8pm.  For more information go to Cine Las Americas.

The La Hora Fria: The Man and the Monster

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Date/Time: 
Thursday, October 29, 2009 - 8:00pm - 10:00pm

El hombre y el monstruo / The Man and the Monster
Dir: Rafael Baledón
75 min, Mexico, 1958
Cast: Enrique Rambal, Abel Salazar, Martha Roth, Ofelia Guilmáin, Laura Baledón
 
After crashing her car, a young blond looks for help at a somber mansion nearby, "La Escondida," where Samuel lives - the ambitious pianist who sold his soul to the devil for fame and fortune. But every time Samuel plays the composition that wins him fame and fortune he turns into a hideous beast with a lust for murder. Ricardo, a guest at a nearby hotel, sneaks into the mansion to fight Samuel, who refuses to stop playing the composition that turns him into a monster, so he can maintain his status as the world's most acclaimed pianist.
 
The La Hora Fria: Classic Mexican Horror runs 10/21-11/6 at the Mexican American Culture Center (MACC) at 600 River Street.  All shows are free and start at 8pm.  For more information go to Cine Las Americas.

The La Hora Fria: The Vampire

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Date/Time: 
Friday, October 30, 2009 - 8:00pm - 10:00pm

El vampiro / The Vampire
Dir: Fernando Méndez
83 min, Mexico, 1957
Cast: Abel Salazar, Ariadne Welter, Carmen Montejo, Germán Robles
 
Described as "Dracula on an hacienda," The Vampire chronicles the journey of young Marta who arrives in Sierra Negra to visit her ailing aunt Maria at the Hacienda de los Sicómoros. Marta learns that her family is under the demonic control of Count Luvad and his accomplice, the vampire Eloisa. As he feeds on the blood of the locals and aims to raise his brother from the dead, Marta and the mysterious Dr. Enrique threaten the Count. The wrath of El Vampiro then reigns down upon them, and an all-time horror classic plays out with unforgettable eeriness and excitement.
 
The La Hora Fria: Classic Mexican Horror runs 10/21-11/6 at the Mexican American Culture Center (MACC) at 600 River Street.  All shows are free and start at 8pm.  For more information go to Cine Las Americas.

The La Hora Fria: The Vampire's Coffin

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Date/Time: 
Wednesday, November 4, 2009 - 8:00pm - 10:00pm

El ataúd del vampiro / The Vampire's Coffin
Dir: Fernando Méndez
85 min, Mexico, 1957
Cast: Abel Salazar, Ariadne Welter, Germán Robles, Yerye Beirute, Alicia Montoya
 
In the sinister sequel of The Vampire, The Vampire's Coffin, the curious Dr. Mendoza steals from Sierra Negra the coffin of Count Luvad, who was buried with a stake through his chest. Dr. Mendoza is surprised when he finds that the Count has turned the grave-robbers, who accidentally resurrected him, into zombie servants. Luvad escapes, thirsty for the blood of young women, so he captures young Marta, and keeps her hostage in the museum. The Vampire's Coffin is a classic, spooky and thrilling, on par with its renowned prequel.
 
The La Hora Fria: Classic Mexican Horror runs 10/21-11/6 at the Mexican American Culture Center (MACC) at 600 River Street.  All shows are free and start at 8pm.  For more information go to Cine Las Americas.

The La Hora Fria: The Curse of the Crying Woman

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Date/Time: 
Friday, November 6, 2009 - 8:00pm - 10:00pm

La maldición de La Llorona / The Curse of the Crying Woman
Dir: Rafael Baledón
80 min, Mexico, 1961
Cast: Rosita Arenas, Abel Salazar, Rita Macedo, Carlos López, Enrique Lucero
 
Amelia, together with her husband Jaime, arrive at her Aunt Selma's gloomy house, where mysterious crimes have been occurring.  Amelia sees the image of a crying woman reflected in mirrors and in a painting of a woman who once lived in the neighborhood.  Dark family secrets are soon uncovered in this gothic story loosely based on the real legend of "La Llorona."

The La Hora Fria: Classic Mexican Horror runs 10/21-11/6 at the Mexican American Culture Center (MACC) at 600 River Street.  All shows are free and start at 8pm.  For more information go to Cine Las Americas.

Mexican American Culture Center (MACC)

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Address: 
600 River Street, Austin TX 78701
Phone: 
(512) 926-1369

The Mexican American Cultural Center is dedicated to the preservation, creation, presentation, and promotion of Mexican American cultural arts and heritage. The center is a tremendous resource for the community and visitors to learn and participate in classes and programs that will foster a meaningful understanding and appreciation of not only Mexican American but also Native American, Chicano, and other Latino cultures. The programs and educational curriculum include the areas of visual art, theater, dance, literature, music, multi-media and the culinary arts.

The idea of establishing a cultural facility for Latino artists and the community emerged in the early 1970's. Hispanic visionaries, community members, and artists approached the City of Austin to request support for the development of a Hispanic focused cultural arts facility. After years of planning, the center was officially opened on September 15, 2007.

Review: We Live in Public

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We Live in PublicEver wonder about how much people share their lives in social media these days?  Believe it or not, someone was actively exploring those very possibilities long before the new millennium. DIG! Director Ondi Timoner brought her latest documentary, We Live in Public, to Austin for a special one-week engagement. 

The film focuses on Josh Harris, a dot-com entrepreneur who was ahead of the curve, and a social media pioneer long before MySpace. Harris's story is the cautionary tale of a dot-com pioneer, but the story told here is much more. Harris didn't just have skyrocketing success only to crash in the dot bomb. Even his parties had ulterior motives. 

Among his projects was "Quiet: We Live in Public," a social experiment where artists lived in a sealed community -- eating, sleeping and living with every action being recorded.  There was no privacy of any sort, and every imaginable action was recorded, including some you might not consider. Even after "Quiet" ended, Harris's experiments didn’t, with both celebrated and condemned results.

Director Ondi Timoner not only explores Josh Harris's history as a social media pioneer, she was a participant in "Quiet," so has intimate knowledge of that project. Despite her insider knowledge, Timoner balances the story in We Live in Public with material that contemplates the consequences of living without boundaries.

Master Pancake Theatre: Nightmare on Elmstreet

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Date/Time: 
Saturday, October 17, 2009 - 10:00pm - 11:59pm

Master Pancake Theatre: Nightmare on Elmstreet
Master Pancake  Comedians John Erler and Joe Parsons along with special guests skewer bad movies with live comedy in an Alamo tradition that never fails to draw capacity crowds.   Alamo locations vary. 

Shows in August through early October: 
Master Pancake Theatre: The Breakfast Club
Master Pancake Theatre: Nightmare on Elmstreet
Master Pancake Theatre: Total Recall

Master Pancake Theatre: Nightmare on Elmstreet

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Date/Time: 
Saturday, October 31, 2009 - 10:00pm - 11:59pm

Master Pancake Theatre: Nightmare on Elmstreet
Master Pancake  Comedians John Erler and Joe Parsons along with special guests skewer bad movies with live comedy in an Alamo tradition that never fails to draw capacity crowds.   Alamo locations vary. 

Shows in August through early October: 
Master Pancake Theatre: The Breakfast Club
Master Pancake Theatre: Nightmare on Elmstreet
Master Pancake Theatre: Total Recall

Master Pancake Theatre: Nightmare on Elmstreet

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Date/Time: 
Friday, October 30, 2009 - 10:00pm - 11:59pm

Master Pancake Theatre: Nightmare on Elmstreet
Master Pancake  Comedians John Erler and Joe Parsons along with special guests skewer bad movies with live comedy in an Alamo tradition that never fails to draw capacity crowds.   Alamo locations vary. 

Shows in August through early October: 
Master Pancake Theatre: The Breakfast Club
Master Pancake Theatre: Nightmare on Elmstreet
Master Pancake Theatre: Total Recall

Master Pancake Theatre: Nightmare on Elmstreet

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Date/Time: 
Saturday, October 24, 2009 - 10:00pm - 11:59pm

Master Pancake Theatre: Nightmare on Elmstreet
Master Pancake  Comedians John Erler and Joe Parsons along with special guests skewer bad movies with live comedy in an Alamo tradition that never fails to draw capacity crowds.   Alamo locations vary. 

Shows in August through early October: 
Master Pancake Theatre: The Breakfast Club
Master Pancake Theatre: Nightmare on Elmstreet
Master Pancake Theatre: Total Recall

Master Pancake Theatre: Nightmare on Elmstreet

in
Date/Time: 
Friday, October 23, 2009 - 10:00pm - 11:59pm

Master Pancake Theatre: Nightmare on Elmstreet
Master Pancake  Comedians John Erler and Joe Parsons along with special guests skewer bad movies with live comedy in an Alamo tradition that never fails to draw capacity crowds.   Alamo locations vary. 

Shows in August through early October: 
Master Pancake Theatre: The Breakfast Club
Master Pancake Theatre: Nightmare on Elmstreet
Master Pancake Theatre: Total Recall

Master Pancake Theatre: Nightmare on Elmstreet

in
Date/Time: 
Friday, October 16, 2009 - 10:00pm - 11:59pm

Master Pancake Theatre: Nightmare on Elmstreet
Master Pancake  Comedians John Erler and Joe Parsons along with special guests skewer bad movies with live comedy in an Alamo tradition that never fails to draw capacity crowds.   Alamo locations vary. 

Shows in August through early October: 
Master Pancake Theatre: The Breakfast Club
Master Pancake Theatre: Nightmare on Elmstreet
Master Pancake Theatre: Total Recall

Master Pancake Theatre: Nightmare on Elmstreet

in
Date/Time: 
Saturday, October 24, 2009 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Master Pancake Theatre: Nightmare on Elmstreet
Master Pancake  Comedians John Erler and Joe Parsons along with special guests skewer bad movies with live comedy in an Alamo tradition that never fails to draw capacity crowds.   Alamo locations vary. 

Shows in August through early October: 
Master Pancake Theatre: The Breakfast Club
Master Pancake Theatre: Nightmare on Elmstreet
Master Pancake Theatre: Total Recall

Master Pancake Theatre: Nightmare on Elmstreet

in
Date/Time: 
Friday, October 23, 2009 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Master Pancake Theatre: Nightmare on Elmstreet
Master Pancake  Comedians John Erler and Joe Parsons along with special guests skewer bad movies with live comedy in an Alamo tradition that never fails to draw capacity crowds.   Alamo locations vary. 

Shows in August through early October: 
Master Pancake Theatre: The Breakfast Club
Master Pancake Theatre: Nightmare on Elmstreet
Master Pancake Theatre: Total Recall

Master Pancake Theatre: Nightmare on Elmstreet

in
Date/Time: 
Friday, October 30, 2009 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Master Pancake Theatre: Nightmare on Elmstreet
Master Pancake  Comedians John Erler and Joe Parsons along with special guests skewer bad movies with live comedy in an Alamo tradition that never fails to draw capacity crowds.   Alamo locations vary. 

Shows in August through early October: 
Master Pancake Theatre: The Breakfast Club
Master Pancake Theatre: Nightmare on Elmstreet
Master Pancake Theatre: Total Recall

Master Pancake Theatre: Nightmare on Elmstreet

in
Date/Time: 
Saturday, October 31, 2009 - 7:00pm - 9:15pm

Master Pancake Theatre: Nightmare on Elmstreet
Master Pancake  Comedians John Erler and Joe Parsons along with special guests skewer bad movies with live comedy in an Alamo tradition that never fails to draw capacity crowds.   Alamo locations vary. 

Shows in August through early October: 
Master Pancake Theatre: The Breakfast Club
Master Pancake Theatre: Nightmare on Elmstreet
Master Pancake Theatre: Total Recall

Master Pancake Theatre: Nightmare on Elmstreet

in
Date/Time: 
Saturday, October 17, 2009 - 7:15pm - 9:15pm

Master Pancake Theatre: Nightmare on Elmstreet
Master Pancake  Comedians John Erler and Joe Parsons along with special guests skewer bad movies with live comedy in an Alamo tradition that never fails to draw capacity crowds.   Alamo locations vary. 

Shows in August through early October: 
Master Pancake Theatre: The Breakfast Club
Master Pancake Theatre: Nightmare on Elmstreet
Master Pancake Theatre: Total Recall

Master Pancake Theatre: Nightmare on Elmstreet

in
Date/Time: 
Friday, October 16, 2009 - 7:15pm - 9:15pm

Master Pancake Theatre: Nightmare on Elmstreet
Master Pancake  Comedians John Erler and Joe Parsons along with special guests skewer bad movies with live comedy in an Alamo tradition that never fails to draw capacity crowds.   Alamo locations vary. 

Shows in August through early October: 
Master Pancake Theatre: The Breakfast Club
Master Pancake Theatre: Nightmare on Elmstreet
Master Pancake Theatre: Total Recall

Action Pack: Michael Jackson Sing-along

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Date/Time: 
Thursday, October 15, 2009 - 6:45pm - 8:45pm

Henri Mazza and the Alamo Drafthouse gang love their singalongs, especially the Michael Jackson Singalongs. Who's Bad - The ULTIMATE Michael Jackson Tribute Band LIVE in person at MJ Singalong October 15th.  More info:  http://www.originalalamo.com/Show.aspx?id=6798

Thursday, October 15, 2009 6:45p
Thursday, October 22, 2009 9:45p

Action Pack: Michael Jackson Sing-along

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Date/Time: 
Thursday, October 22, 2009 - 9:45pm - 11:45pm

Henri Mazza and the Alamo Drafthouse gang love their singalongs, especially the Michael Jackson Singalongs. Who's Bad - The ULTIMATE Michael Jackson Tribute Band LIVE in person at MJ Singalong October 15th.  More info:  http://www.originalalamo.com/Show.aspx?id=6798

Thursday, October 15, 2009 6:45PM
Thursday, October 22, 2009 9:45PM

Brad Neely Animation Showcase Vol. 2

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Date/Time: 
Wednesday, October 14, 2009 - 9:45pm - 11:45pm

Rated Unknown; Director:Brad Neely
Before finding out big news about his career which requires Neely to soon leave Austin for Los Angeles, he put together a brand new program of his work featuring never-before-seen videos! He had planned to present this program in person, but now it's just the program- but that's more than enough to guarantee you an incredible night! So come out to the Ritz to celebrate the continued success of Austin's favorite son.

Back in 2001, Brad Neely became a local celebrity when the Daily Texan began running his self-published "Creased Comics" without realizing he was never actually a student. His irreverent, crudely drawn single-panel gems were always good for a quick mindgasm, but it wasn't until he put his pen to internet-based animated cartoons that Neely would attract the whole Nation to his charmingly disfigured approach. Case in point: COX AND COMBES' WASHINGTON, which became the most viewed video of all time, ever (pending authenticity). But Neely was no one hit wonder, his recurring series PROFESSOR BROTHERS and BABY CAKES hit new highs in (seriously) artistic expression. When we had him out at the theater last year to show his movies and talk about them there was a groundswell of response. Fans who normally sat in small cubicles, watching the videos on a tiny screen sat in a large cubicle and watched them on a huge screen. And then Neely assumed the stage and took questions. The result was like nothing that has been seen before or since. If you missed those epochal shows - don't miss these. And if you were there, come see Neely's new work, and the videos we thought would be too controversial to show the first time.

For more on Neely, visit creasedcomics.com

Girlie Night: Dirty Dancing

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Date/Time: 
Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Part of the Girlie Night Signature Series:  http://www.originalalamo.com/Show.aspx?id=6748

 

Ritz 80th Anniversary: PICCADILLY w/ Live Score!

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Date/Time: 
Sunday, October 18, 2009 - 7:00pm - 10:00pm

THE RITZ 80th ANNIVERSARY BASH FEATURING 1929'S PICCADILLY WITH LIVE SCORE BY ERIK HOKKANEN

This October, the Ritz theater will be 80 years old. It's been through some changes but for most of that time it has been open for business and showing movies. We're honored to carry on the Ritz tradition. And for this momentous anniversary, we're going to party like it's 1929. We'll be showing the amazing late-silent classic PICCADILLY, starring beauteous Anna May Wong as a dishwasher who rises to star dancing attraction at a posh London club. It's an astonishing film that few will ever have a chance to see on the big screen. But that's not all. Accompanying the film will be Erik Hokkanen and his band. Hokkanen is a master of jazz and gypsy music and his stylings will take you back to the roaring '20s. In addition we will have a number of short films and news reels from the era and a special price-fixe menu of luxurious, ritzy food. Don't worry though, our recreation of the era will be incorrect in one small regard: there will be no alcohol prohibition.

You can opt for event only, or meal option.  Drinks are not included.  More information:  http://www.originalalamo.com/Show.aspx?id=6753

Action Pack presents Hackers in Heckle Vision

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Date/Time: 
Sunday, October 18, 2009 - 9:45pm - 11:45pm

Rated Unknown; 107min; Director:Iain Softley (1995)
o yeah, the main reason I wanted to do these text-based Heckler's Paradise shows (see the INVISIBLE CHILD description for more on that) is because I have a soft spot in my heart for a lot of really and truly terrible movies. And because we're using new movie-theater technology to pull off this series, it made sense to bring in HACKERS, the terrible movie about Angelina Jolie being hot and computer hackers who hang out in skate park/arcade rooms that get in over their head, because it's depictions of then-new technologies are amazingly off. So come in armed with your best heckles, text them to the number we provide at the show, and we'll all laugh-along with HACKERS together.

Cartoon Cereal Party: Holloween Edition

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Date/Time: 
Saturday, October 24, 2009 - 12:00pm - 2:00pm

Cartoon Cereal Party: Holloween Edition

Summer is over and it's time to put the pajamas back ON! And for the triumphant return of our Cartoon Cereal Party pursuits, we'll be putting on a special ALL-SPOOKY MONSTERS edition just for you!! Your eyes will devour spectral superstars like GHOSTBUSTERS, BEETLEJUICE and DUCKULA, plus you'll get your bones rattled by special Halloween episodes of shows like HE-MAN, REN & STIMPY and more! Forget that you grew up and got a job and started sleeping through Saturday mornings...the glory days are BACK! Because we're gonna bring you a 2.5 hour attack from the wildest cartoons in the TV Netherworld! Just bring yourselves, and if you have a special spoon or stuffed animal you can bring that too. Pajamas are optional. Let me rephrase that: please wear clothes, even if you choose not to wear pajamas. Regardless, both the cartoons and the endless supply of cereal will unleash your powers of monster-fighting, sugar-eating and FUN-HAVING until you reach a new level of superhuman powertimes!!!

Big Screen Classics: The Lost Boys

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Date/Time: 
Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - 9:40pm

This is a MUST SEE on a big screen, especially if you only ever saw it on crappy pan and scan or full screen.  The opening sequence in full cinematic glory really sets the town for this underrated vampire romp. And at the Alamo Ritz, you get to see it on cinemascope, in all it's glory. And maggots.  .  - Jenn

Friday, October 16, 2009 4:30p
Saturday, October 17, 2009  4:35p
Sunday, October 18, 2009 4:10p
Monday, October 19, 2009 7:20p
Tuesday, October 20, 2009 4:40p
Wednesday, October 21, 2009 9:40p

Big Screen Classics: The Lost Boys

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Date/Time: 
Tuesday, October 20, 2009 - 4:40pm

This is a MUST SEE on a big screen, especially if you only ever saw it on crappy pan and scan or full screen.  The opening sequence in full cinematic glory really sets the town for this underrated vampire romp. And at the Alamo Ritz, you get to see it on cinemascope, in all it's glory. And maggots.  .  - Jenn

Friday, October 16, 2009 4:30p
Saturday, October 17, 2009  4:35p
Sunday, October 18, 2009 4:10p
Monday, October 19, 2009 7:20p
Tuesday, October 20, 2009 4:40p
Wednesday, October 21, 2009 9:40p

Big Screen Classics: The Lost Boys

in
Date/Time: 
Sunday, October 18, 2009 - 4:10pm

This is a MUST SEE on a big screen, especially if you only ever saw it on crappy pan and scan or full screen.  The opening sequence in full cinematic glory really sets the town for this underrated vampire romp. And at the Alamo Ritz, you get to see it on cinemascope, in all it's glory. And maggots.  .  - Jenn

Friday, October 16, 2009 4:30p
Saturday, October 17, 2009  4:35p
Sunday, October 18, 2009 4:10p
Monday, October 19, 2009 7:20p
Tuesday, October 20, 2009 4:40p
Wednesday, October 21, 2009 9:40p

Big Screen Classics: The Lost Boys

in
Date/Time: 
Saturday, October 17, 2009 - 4:35pm

This is a MUST SEE on a big screen, especially if you only ever saw it on crappy pan and scan or full screen.  The opening sequence in full cinematic glory really sets the town for this underrated vampire romp. And at the Alamo Ritz, you get to see it on cinemascope, in all it's glory. And maggots.  .  - Jenn

Friday, October 16, 2009 4:30p
Saturday, October 17, 2009  4:35p
Sunday, October 18, 2009 4:10p
Monday, October 19, 2009 7:20p
Tuesday, October 20, 2009 4:40p
Wednesday, October 21, 2009 9:40p

Big Screen Classics: The Lost Boys

in
Date/Time: 
Friday, October 16, 2009 - 4:30pm

This is a MUST SEE on a big screen, especially if you only ever saw it on crappy pan and scan or full screen.  The opening sequence in full cinematic glory really sets the town for this underrated vampire romp. And at the Alamo Ritz, you get to see it on cinemascope, in all it's glory. And maggots.  .  - Jenn

Friday, October 16, 2009 4:30p
Saturday, October 17, 2009  4:35p
Sunday, October 18, 2009 4:10p
Monday, October 19, 2009 7:20p
Tuesday, October 20, 2009 4:40p
Wednesday, October 21, 2009 9:40p

Action Pack presents Ghostbusters Quote-Along

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Date/Time: 
Sunday, October 25, 2009 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Action Pack presents Ghostbusters Quote-Along
At looooooonng last, [the Alamo Drafthouse] finally giving this classic film the Quote-Along treatment it deserves.  Part of the Alamo Quote-Alongs Signature Series:  http://www.originalalamo.com/Show.aspx?id=6752

Wednesday, October 21, 2009 7:00pm
Thursday, October 22, 2009 7:00pm
Sunday, October 25, 2009 7:00pm
Thursday, October 29, 2009 7:00pm

Action Pack presents Ghostbusters Quote-Along

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Date/Time: 
Thursday, October 29, 2009 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Action Pack presents Ghostbusters Quote-Along
At looooooonng last, [the Alamo Drafthouse] finally giving this classic film the Quote-Along treatment it deserves.  Part of the Alamo Quote-Alongs Signature Series:  http://www.originalalamo.com/Show.aspx?id=6752

Wednesday, October 21, 2009 7:00pm
Thursday, October 22, 2009 7:00pm
Sunday, October 25, 2009 7:00pm
Thursday, October 29, 2009 7:00pm

Action Pack presents Ghostbusters Quote-Along

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Date/Time: 
Thursday, October 22, 2009 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Action Pack presents Ghostbusters Quote-Along
At looooooonng last, [the Alamo Drafthouse] finally giving this classic film the Quote-Along treatment it deserves.  Part of the Alamo Quote-Alongs Signature Series:  http://www.originalalamo.com/Show.aspx?id=6752

Wednesday, October 21, 2009 7:00pm
Thursday, October 22, 2009 7:00pm
Sunday, October 25, 2009 7:00pm
Thursday, October 29, 2009 7:00pm

Action Pack presents Ghostbusters Quote-Along

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Date/Time: 
Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Action Pack presents Ghostbusters Quote-Along
At looooooonng last, [the Alamo Drafthouse] finally giving this classic film the Quote-Along treatment it deserves.  Part of the Alamo Quote-Alongs Signature Series:  http://www.originalalamo.com/Show.aspx?id=6752

Wednesday, October 21, 2009 7:00pm
Thursday, October 22, 2009 7:00pm
Sunday, October 25, 2009 7:00pm
Thursday, October 29, 2009 7:00pm

The Dungeon Masters

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Date/Time: 
Monday, October 26, 2009 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Rated NR; 93min; Director:Keven McAlester 

The new documentary from YOU'RE GONNA MISS ME director Keven MacAlester!

An evil elf is displaced by Hurricane Katrina. A sanitation worker lures friends into a "Sphere of Annihilation." A failed super-villain starts a cable-access show involving ninjas, puppets and a cooking segment.These are the subjects of THE DUNGEON MASTERS.

The Dungeon Masters

in
Date/Time: 
Tuesday, October 27, 2009 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Rated NR; 93min; Director:Keven McAlester 

The new documentary from YOU'RE GONNA MISS ME director Keven MacAlester!

An evil elf is displaced by Hurricane Katrina. A sanitation worker lures friends into a "Sphere of Annihilation." A failed super-villain starts a cable-access show involving ninjas, puppets and a cooking segment.These are the subjects of THE DUNGEON MASTERS.

Phantom of the Opera (1929) w/ Live Score

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Date/Time: 
Saturday, October 31, 2009 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Phantom of the Opera  (1929) w/ Live Score!
Rated NR; 95min; Director:Rupert Julian (1925)

If there's a better movie for a Halloween live score than the original Lon Chaney PHANTOM OF THE OPERA we haven't seen it. And if there's anyone we'd rather have behind the Alamo monstrous Wurlitzer organ console at South Lamar than maestro Graham Reynolds, we haven't met him.

Reynolds, known for his work as a film composer and mastermind behind the Golden Arm Trio, is eager to chill the marrow of audiences as they watch the man of a thousand faces, Lon Chaney, in his most terrifying role. Surely you know the story by now, but this is the primal version of it, and audiences today are still terrified by the atmospheric setting and, especially Chaney's climactic unmasking. Don't miss this special Halloween treat.

Dance of the Dead

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Date/Time: 
Saturday, October 31, 2009 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm

DANCE OF THE DEAD
Rated R; 95min; Director:Gregg Bishop
This was a sold out show three times at SXSW08. The opening sequence is worth the ticket price alone.   I can't recommend this one enough.  -Jenn

IMPORTANT:  When tickets go on sale, you can get double feature tickets to attend the Zombie Prom at the Highball as well. 

For more information go to:  http://www.originalalamo.com/Show.aspx?id=6835

Found Footage Festival 2009

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Date/Time: 
Sunday, October 25, 2009 - 9:35pm - 11:30pm

Found Footage Festival 2009
Rated NR; Director:Various
The Found Footage Festival is a one-of-a-kind event that showcases footage from videos that were found at garage sales and thrift stores and in warehouses and dumpsters throughout the country. Curators Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher host each screening in-person and provide their unique observations and commentary on these found video obscurities. From the curiously-produced industrial training video to the forsaken home movie donated to Goodwill, the Found Footage Festival resurrects these forgotten treasures and serves them up in a lively celebration of all things found.

For more info, visit foundfootagefest.com
For tickets:  http://www.originalalamo.com/Show.aspx?id=6419

Found Footage Festival 2009

in
Date/Time: 
Sunday, October 25, 2009 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Found Footage Festival 2009
Rated NR; Director:Various
The Found Footage Festival is a one-of-a-kind event that showcases footage from videos that were found at garage sales and thrift stores and in warehouses and dumpsters throughout the country. Curators Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher host each screening in-person and provide their unique observations and commentary on these found video obscurities. From the curiously-produced industrial training video to the forsaken home movie donated to Goodwill, the Found Footage Festival resurrects these forgotten treasures and serves them up in a lively celebration of all things found.

For more info, visit foundfootagefest.com
For tickets:  http://www.originalalamo.com/Show.aspx?id=6419

La Vie de Boheme

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Date/Time: 
Monday, October 26, 2009 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Austin Film Society and Austin Lyric Opera Present La Vie de Boheme
LA VIE DE BOHEME
Rated NR; 100min; Director:Aki Kaurismaki (1992)
For more information:  http://www.originalalamo.com/Show.aspx?id=6837

Owen & Zack's Halloween Extravaganza

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Date/Time: 
Friday, October 30, 2009 - 10:00pm - Saturday, October 31, 2009 - 1:00am

Owen & Zack's Halloween Extravaganza
Rated R; 95min; Director:Dwight H. Little (1988) 
This Halloween, come experience an Alamo tradition: the fifth annual showing of the overwhelmingly cool HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS. And in honor of this fifth anniversary some one will actually die in the theater!  For more information go to:  http://www.originalalamo.com/Show.aspx?id=6777

Rocky Horror Picture Show

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Date/Time: 
Saturday, October 10, 2009 - 11:59pm - Sunday, October 11, 2009 - 1:30am

Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Alamo Village
Rated R; 130min; Director:Jim Sharman

Rocky Horror Picture Show (the movie itself)
D. Richard O'Brien 1975 100 min. Rated R for polymorphous perversity
Saturday, October 10, 2009 11:59p
Saturday, October 17, 2009 11:59p
Saturday, October 24, 2009 11:59p
Friday, October 30, 2009 11:59p
Saturday, October 31, 2009 10:00p, 11:59p

For more information go to:  http://www.originalalamo.com/Show.aspx?id=2176

Rocky Horror Picture Show

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Date/Time: 
Saturday, October 17, 2009 - 11:59pm - Sunday, October 18, 2009 - 1:30am

Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Alamo Village
Rated R; 130min; Director:Jim Sharman

Rocky Horror Picture Show (the movie itself)
D. Richard O'Brien 1975 100 min. Rated R for polymorphous perversity
Saturday, October 10, 2009 11:59p
Saturday, October 17, 2009 11:59p
Saturday, October 24, 2009 11:59p
Friday, October 30, 2009 11:59p
Saturday, October 31, 2009 10:00p, 11:59p

For more information go to:  http://www.originalalamo.com/Show.aspx?id=2176

Rocky Horror Picture Show

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Date/Time: 
Saturday, October 24, 2009 - 11:59pm - Sunday, October 25, 2009 - 1:30am

Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Alamo Village
Rated R; 130min; Director:Jim Sharman

Rocky Horror Picture Show (the movie itself)
D. Richard O'Brien 1975 100 min. Rated R for polymorphous perversity
Saturday, October 10, 2009 11:59p
Saturday, October 17, 2009 11:59p
Saturday, October 24, 2009 11:59p
Friday, October 30, 2009 11:59p
Saturday, October 31, 2009 10:00p, 11:59p

For more information go to:  http://www.originalalamo.com/Show.aspx?id=2176

Rocky Horror Picture Show

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Date/Time: 
Saturday, October 31, 2009 - 11:59pm - Sunday, November 1, 2009 - 1:30am

Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Alamo Village
Rated R; 130min; Director:Jim Sharman

Rocky Horror Picture Show (the movie itself)
D. Richard O'Brien 1975 100 min. Rated R for polymorphous perversity
Saturday, October 10, 2009 11:59p
Saturday, October 17, 2009 11:59p
Saturday, October 24, 2009 11:59p
Friday, October 30, 2009 11:59p
Saturday, October 31, 2009 10:00p, 11:59p

For more information go to:  http://www.originalalamo.com/Show.aspx?id=2176

Rocky Horror Picture Show

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Date/Time: 
Friday, October 30, 2009 - 11:59pm - Saturday, October 31, 2009 - 1:30am

Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Alamo Village
Rated R; 130min; Director:Jim Sharman

Rocky Horror Picture Show (the movie itself)
D. Richard O'Brien 1975 100 min. Rated R for polymorphous perversity
Saturday, October 10, 2009 11:59p
Saturday, October 17, 2009 11:59p
Saturday, October 24, 2009 11:59p
Friday, October 30, 2009 11:59p
Saturday, October 31, 2009 10:00p, 11:59p

For more information go to:  http://www.originalalamo.com/Show.aspx?id=2176

Rocky Horror Picture Show

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Date/Time: 
Saturday, October 31, 2009 - 10:00pm - Sunday, November 1, 2009 - 12:30am

Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Alamo Village
Rated R; 130min; Director:Jim Sharman

Rocky Horror Picture Show (the movie itself)
D. Richard O'Brien 1975 100 min. Rated R for polymorphous perversity
Saturday, October 10, 2009 11:59p
Saturday, October 17, 2009 11:59p
Saturday, October 24, 2009 11:59p
Friday, October 30, 2009 11:59p
Saturday, October 31, 2009 10:00p, 11:59p

For more information go to:  http://www.originalalamo.com/Show.aspx?id=2176

Zombie Prom

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Date/Time: 
Saturday, October 31, 2009 - 9:30pm - Sunday, November 1, 2009 - 2:00am

Tickets to the Zombie Prom are $10, or you can save a couple of bucks and complete your night out by starting at the Alamo South Lamar's screening of DANCE OF THE DEAD and grabbing a double feature ticket! Reservations will be available for booths and tables for an additional fee, and we'll have bottle service and set ups ready for your partying pleasure as well.

 

More information at:  http://www.originalalamo.com/Show.aspx?id=6836

ThrillerFest 2009

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Date/Time: 
Saturday, October 24, 2009 - 5:00pm

THRILLERFEST 2009: Thrill the World at Seaholm!
Saturday, October 24 at Seaholm Power Plant
Dance Lesson at 5pm
Dance Performance at 8pm
Dance Party after that!
Tickets on sale now for just $15
More information at:  http://www.originalalamo.com/Show.aspx?id=6797

Saturday, October 24, 2009  5:00p

Essential Cinema: Still Looking For Morphine

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Date/Time: 
Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 7:00am - 9:00pm

Ricky steals motorcycles and sells them. Ricky claims to be 20 but looks younger. Ricky is a girl but looks like a boy and relentlessly exercises the freedom of action and lifestyle she sees young guys enjoying. Although she encounters people willing to help her, her need for independence usually forces her back out on her own.

Directed and co-written by Yannis Fagras Co-written by Nicol Roussou
Greece, 2002, distributed by Yannis Fagras, 35mm, B&W, 119 min.
Cast: Ekavi Douma, Panagiotis Karras, Nikos Pomonis, Iosif Polyzoidis
Greek with English subtitles

From the Shadows:  Greek Independent Cinema Oct 13 – Nov 10, 2009.  This AFS series provides a sampling of the concerns and fine artistry of a handful of emerging Greek directors. Co-sponsored with the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. More about the AFS Essential Cinema Series at http://www.austinfilm.org/Page.aspx?pid=261.  Free for AFS members, $6 for all others. 

Tues 10/13 7pm - The Homecoming (I Epistrofi) Austin Premiere
Tues 10/20 7pm - Tale 52 (Istoria 52) Austin Premiere
Tues 10/27 7pm - Small Crime (Mikro Eglima) Austin Premiere
Tues 11/3 7pm - Correction (Diorthosi) Austin Premiere
Tues 11/10 7pm - Still Looking For Morphine Austin Premiere

Essential Cinema: Correction (Diorthosi)

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Date/Time: 
Tuesday, November 3, 2009 - 7:00am - 9:00pm

Directed and co-written by Thanos Anastopoulos Co-written by Vasilis Raissis
Greece, 2007, distributed by Greek Film Centre, 35mm, color, 1.78:1, 87 min.
Cast: Yorgos Symeonidis, Ornela Kapetani, Savina Alimani
Greek with English subtitles

Yorgos Simeoforidis is paroled from prison after serving four years for an undisclosed crime. Like a modern-day Ulysses, he is adrift on the streets of Athens, surrounded by a multitude of people from the far-flung regions of the Mediterranean. 

From the Shadows:  Greek Independent Cinema Oct 13 – Nov 10, 2009.  This AFS series provides a sampling of the concerns and fine artistry of a handful of emerging Greek directors. Co-sponsored with the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. More about the AFS Essential Cinema Series at http://www.austinfilm.org/Page.aspx?pid=261.  Free for AFS members, $6 for all others. 

Tues 10/13 7pm - The Homecoming (I Epistrofi) Austin Premiere
Tues 10/20 7pm - Tale 52 (Istoria 52) Austin Premiere
Tues 10/27 7pm - Small Crime (Mikro Eglima) Austin Premiere
Tues 11/3 7pm - Correction (Diorthosi) Austin Premiere
Tues 11/10 7pm - Still Looking For Morphine Austin Premiere

Essential Cinema: Small Crime (Mikro Eglima)

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Date/Time: 
Tuesday, October 27, 2009 - 7:00am - 9:00pm

This delightful romantic comedy focuses on an eager young cop professionally suffering in a beautiful but remote Greek island. Instead of getting to solve major crimes in a big city, Leonidas deals with roadway scofflaws and naked beach tourists. 
Tuesday, October 27, 2009 at 7:00 PM 

Directed and co-written by Christos Georgiou Screenplay by Srdjan Koljevic
Greece, 2008, distributed by M-Appeal (Germany), 35mm, color, 85 min.
Cast: Aris Servetalis, Vicky Papadopoulou, Evangelia Adreadaki, Arto Apartian

Greek with English subtitles

From the Shadows:  Greek Independent Cinema Oct 13 – Nov 10, 2009.  This AFS series provides a sampling of the concerns and fine artistry of a handful of emerging Greek directors. Co-sponsored with the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. More about the AFS Essential Cinema Series at http://www.austinfilm.org/Page.aspx?pid=261.  Free for AFS members, $6 for all others. 

Tues 10/13 7pm - The Homecoming (I Epistrofi) Austin Premiere
Tues 10/20 7pm - Tale 52 (Istoria 52) Austin Premiere
Tues 10/27 7pm - Small Crime (Mikro Eglima) Austin Premiere
Tues 11/3 7pm - Correction (Diorthosi) Austin Premiere
Tues 11/10 7pm - Still Looking For Morphine Austin Premiere

Essential Cinema: Tale 52 (Istoria 52)

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Date/Time: 
Tuesday, October 20, 2009 - 7:00am - 9:00pm

A successful middle-aged Greek emigrant returns from Germany and sets up a roadside business with his younger wife. Douvlis’s debut film successfully weds classic Greek tragedy with the very American story of THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE while simultaneously focusing on an immigrant’s loneliness and conflicts.

Written and directed by Alexis Alexiou Greece, 2008, distributed by M-Appeal (Germany), color, 35mm, 2.35:1, 97 min.
Cast: Yorgos Kakanakis, Serafita Grigoriadou, Dafni Labroyanni
Greek with English subtitles

From the Shadows:  Greek Independent Cinema Oct 13 – Nov 10, 2009.  This AFS series provides a sampling of the concerns and fine artistry of a handful of emerging Greek directors. Co-sponsored with the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. More about the AFS Essential Cinema Series at http://www.austinfilm.org/Page.aspx?pid=261.  Free for AFS members, $6 for all others. 

Tues 10/13 7pm - The Homecoming (I Epistrofi) Austin Premiere
Tues 10/20 7pm - Tale 52 (Istoria 52) Austin Premiere
Tues 10/27 7pm - Small Crime (Mikro Eglima) Austin Premiere
Tues 11/3 7pm - Correction (Diorthosi) Austin Premiere
Tues 11/10 7pm - Still Looking For Morphine Austin Premiere

Essential Cinema: The Homecoming (I Epistrofi)

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Date/Time: 
Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm

A successful middle-aged man and his young wife return to Greece to open a roadside cafe/gas station. They hire a young Albanian immigrant to help out with chores, but soon a passionate affair arises between the young man and woman.

Greece, 2007, distributed by the Greek Film Centre, 35mm, color, 98 min.
Cast: Arto Apartian, Maria Skoula, Artur Luzi
Greek with English subtitles

From the Shadows:  Greek Independent Cinema Oct 13 – Nov 10, 2009.  This AFS series provides a sampling of the concerns and fine artistry of a handful of emerging Greek directors. Co-sponsored with the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. More about the AFS Essential Cinema Series at http://www.austinfilm.org/Page.aspx?pid=261.  Free for AFS members, $6 for all others. 

Tues 10/13 7pm - The Homecoming (I Epistrofi) Austin Premiere
Tues 10/20 7pm - Tale 52 (Istoria 52) Austin Premiere
Tues 10/27 7pm - Small Crime (Mikro Eglima) Austin Premiere
Tues 11/3 7pm - Correction (Diorthosi) Austin Premiere
Tues 11/10 7pm - Still Looking For Morphine Austin Premiere

Mitch Hedberg LOS ENCHILADAS + Tribute Show

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Date/Time: 
Monday, October 12, 2009 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Rated NR; Director:Mitch Hedberg

Mitch Hedberg LOS ENCHILADAS + Tribute Show

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Date/Time: 
Sunday, October 11, 2009 - 6:30pm - 8:50pm

Rated NR; Director:Mitch Hedberg

BEETLEJUICE Special Brunchtime Show!

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Date/Time: 
Sunday, October 11, 2009 - 1:45pm - 3:45pm

Rated PG; 92min; Director:Tim Burton (1988)

This show is a part of the Big Screen Classics Signature Series, Click to See More

Hey Homo!: THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK

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Date/Time: 
Tuesday, October 20, 2009 - 7:15pm - 9:15pm

Rated R; 118min; Director:George Miller (1987)

 

Hey Homo! Brunch: SUSPIRIA

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Date/Time: 
Sunday, October 11, 2009 - 1:00pm - 3:00pm

Rated R; 92min; Director:Dario Argento (1977) 

http://www.originalalamo.com/Show.aspx?id=6747

Movies This Week: Crude Retreats in Public

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We Live in Public

We've hit the lag that comes before the Oscar rush, folks. Not a lot of big new movies are coming out this week, but a few indie/arthouse films are opening here in Austin. The only new film in town we were given the opportunity to see before it opened was Couples Retreat, but we were all sickly slackers who didn't make it. 

We Live in Public opens at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar with director Ondi Timoner in attendance Friday and Saturday night. It's a cautionary tale about how much we are living in public, oddly enough. 

Paranormal Activity is getting another shot at the Austin box office after last weekend's special run at the Alamo Drafthouse, only this time with a couple more theaters added.  It didn't scare me, but I'm hard to scare, and it did keep my attention all the way through.  If you like being scared, you owe it to yourself to check out this flawed but very worthy ghost story.

Podcast #14.1: 'The Revenant' Writer/Director Kerry Prior

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"Kerry Prior" by Debbie Cerda

In podcast #14.1, Debbie Cerda interviews writer/director Kerry Prior, whose film The Revenant played Fantastic Fest this year -- Prior won the Best Horror Director award at the fest. They talk about Kerry's Fantastic Fest experience (surprise: he liked it), challenges that he thinks The Revenant may face with distributors, deleted scenes, and some inspirations for the story. And yes, he's looking forward to the Twilight sequel, New Moon, as shown in the photo above.

Listen to podcast #14.1 now.

[Photo credit: "Kerry Prior" by Debbie Cerda]

Fantastic Fest 2009: Debbie's Wrap-Up

Debbie battles a zombie

The out-of-town fans, actors, filmmakers and film critics have gone home, the parties are over and the post-fest colds are slowly fading after Fantastic Fest 2009. It seems like a good time to reflect over and share my personal festival experience this year, including some films you might want to check out.

Movie highlights:

Solomon Kane - The talented and charismatic British actor James Purefoy portrays the title fictional character created by pulp-era writer Robert E. Howard, best known for his Conan the Barbarian series. Sword and sorcery adventure takes a twist, set in the Puritan era in a grim time portrayed through rain and snow. Despite all the action that packs a wallop in this film, what is truly the core of Solomon Kane is the vision of one man's path to redemption, found in an unlikely manner. The supporting characters in the Crowthorn family were well-cast, with Pete Postlethwaite and Alice Krige as the protective parents and siblings Rachel and Patrick Hurd-Wood as two of the Crowthorn children. Max Von Sydow also makes an appearance.

Q & A highlight: I especially enjoyed writer/director Michael J. Bassett talking about the process of determining the effects of certain weapons, which I described in our latest podcast. It's a technique that will make me question every action film I see involving a weapon from now on.

Rock Opera! 10 Year Reunion and VOLTAGE and Pocket FishRmen Live!

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Date/Time: 
Saturday, October 10, 2009 - 9:45pm - Sunday, October 11, 2009 - 2:00am

Austin-based filmmaker Bob Ray is bringing the old crew back together for a night of punk rock debauchery to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of his cult-legendary Austin stoner-caper flick ROCK OPERA! The tale of Austin musician Toe's struggle to put together a tour for his struggling band PigPoke. Through selling dirt weed, stabbing people in the back and double-crossing half a dozen of the meanest sons of bitches in Texas, Toe weasels himself into a position to get his band on the road. Half stoner comedy, half suspense thriller and 100% dope ass flick.

Including performances by Nashville Pussy, Fuckemos, Witchbanger, and PigPoke as well as the music of Butthole Surfers, Ed Hall, El Flaco, Pong, Cherubs, Honky, The Crack Pipes, Titz, Pocket FishRmen, Phantom Creeps, Antebellum, Squat Thrust, El Insecto, Tallboy, and Voltage. After the screening, head over the The Highball for live performances by the newly reunion'd Voltage, Pocket FishRmen!

Quick Snaps/News: 'Beeswax' Returns to Austin

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SXSW 2009

Did you catch Beeswax at SXSW this year? The latest movie from now-an-Austinite Andrew Bujalski (Mutual Appreciation) has been playing fests around the country, and I've been waiting for it to return to the city where it was shot. During the festival, I took this photo of writer-director Bujalski and SXSW Film Director Janet Pierson, who has a role in the film.

I'm happy to announce that Beeswax will open in Austin at Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar (where I took the above photo, coincidentally) on Friday, October 9 and, where it is scheduled for at least a week. Update: Austin Film Society members can get a discount for the 7:05 pm screening, which Bujalski will attend and hold a Q&A.

From my Cinematical review: "Bujalski seems to be working to make his film as natural as possible, as if we were peeking in on real people from the window, but accomplishes this while still making Beeswax fascinating to watch."

I've got photos from the SXSW screening of Beeswax at the Paramount, after the jump.

Slackery News Tidbits: Fantastic Fest-Free Edition

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LebowskiFestGuess what? Austin has had film-related news in the past week that has nothing to do with Fantastic Fest. Really! I'm as surprised as you are. Let's look at all the interesting stuff we at Slackerwood missed while we were watching festival films and then recuperating. If we left out anything else, feel free to share the news in the comments section.

  • Austin filmmaker/instructor Kat Candler is on fire this month, I swear. You can catch her 2006 feature jumping off bridges tonight at the Windsor Park branch of Austin Public Library at 6:30 pm. She also has two new short films playing at Austin Film Festival later this month: Quarter to Noon and Love Bug. Finally, a feature-film screenplay that she wrote with Chris Mass (Chalk), The Spider in the Bathtub, has just been optioned by LAF Studios, with Candler to direct.
  • Speaking of AFF, Austin Business Journal has an interview with festival co-founder Barbara Morgan.
  • Renovations on Austin's (now all-digital) public access television studios are complete. This Saturday, Oct. 10, the public is invited to digital fusion fest, an open house for the upgraded facility. Stop by and learn how you can create your own video for cablecast and other media.

Podcast #14: Fantastic Fest and 'Zombieland'

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Day Two: Zombieland

In podcast #14, Jenn, Jette and Debbie discuss the most memorable parts of Fantastic Fest. Jenn may have caught the Fantastic Flu, but that doesn't stop us from talking about our favorite movies, the fest's gala screenings and red-carpet events, and other fun moments at the festival.

The podcast also includes Zombieland red-carpet interview clips: Woody Harrelson talks about how he managed eating Hostess products while on a raw-food diet, Emma Stone reveals the truth about the heavy-duty machine guns she wielded in the film, director Ruben Fleischer talks about visual effects ... and Jesse Eisenberg loves the name "Slackerwood," earning a special place in our hearts. Hope to see you on Twitter and Facebook soon, Jesse.

Listen to podcast #14 now.

Fantastic Fest: The Awards

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FF09 - Awards 1 by Rich Merritt, from Alamo Drafthouse on FlickrWe were recording the latest Slackerwood podcast yesterday (which will be available soon) and I realized that Slackerwood hadn't yet published the list of Fantastic Fest 2009 award winners.

Some of our favorite films took home the prized beer steins this year: A Town Called Panic, which Jenn and I loved (check out my Cinematical review), won the Audience Award. Debbie was pleased that The Revenant took home an award for Best Horror Director, and interviewed Kerry Prior, the winning filmmaker. We're planning a special "extra" mini-podcast with that interview, which we'll publish in the next week.

The "Fantastic Feature" award for best film went to the Chilean thriller Mandrill, which sold out every screening very quickly so I couldn't see it myself. Producer/actor Marko Zaror was so pleased he did a flip onstage. Human Centipede, much discussed for its bizarrely graphic scenes in which the title creature is created, won Best Horror Film. The British dark comedy Down Terrace won top honors in the Next Wave competition.

I've reprinted the full list of award winners after the jump, plus a link to the video of Shakey Face competitors.

The Whole Shootin' Match

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Date/Time: 
Thursday, October 8, 2009 - 8:00pm - 10:00pm

Screen Door Film is presenting a screening of Eagle Pennell's classic Austin-shot film, The Whole Shootin' Match, in a location where the 1978 film was shot, the Scoot Inn. Sonny Carl Davis, one of the film's stars, will attend the event. The film will be shown outdoors on the patio. Admission is $5. Check out my review for more details about the movie.

Scoot Inn

Address: 
1308 E 4th St, Austin, TX 78702
Phone: 
(512) 524-1932

The Scoot Inn is a bar that sometimes shows movies outdoors in its beer garden.

Review: Zombieland

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Zombieland

Despite seeing over 20 films in the last ten days, the most memorable movie quotes that have stayed with me are from Zombieland. The zombie carnage and laughs start with the opening credits. The action continues as an unlikely band of survivors make their way from Texas to a zombie-free nirvana, an amusement park on the West Coast.

Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) has neurotic tendencies which prove to be assets in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by zombies. His set of rules which include "Beware of bathrooms," "Double tap" and "Seatbelts" help him survive until he meets up with Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson). Harrelson's performance as the zombie-killing, ass-whuppin' Twinkie-lovin' Tallahassee hits the mark in toughness and wittiness. Emma Stone as Wichita turns in a strong performance as the older sibling in a grifter team, but it's Abigail Breslin as Little Rock who holds her own in an exchange with Tallahassee about Hannah Montana.

Movies This Week: Fantastic!

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Whip It

Sorry we didn't do a real Movies this Week last week; Fantastic Fest is all-consuming. Chaos reigns, and all. This week, we have some very Austin-centric films opening that we think you should know about.

Whip It --Drew Barrymore's directorial debut only filmed in Austin a few days, but most people won't be able to tell. If you ever needed an excuse to go to the Alamo Ritz to see one, now you have a reason, because one of the few interior scenes shot in Austin is right there. Go see it anyway, because it's fun, and chocked full of girl power. And there's Zoe Bell!!

Zombieland -- This gala film from Fantastic Fest is now open.  Who said zombie films are dead?  It's another fun one, and a real crowd pleaser. The Fantastic Fest audience went wild when the main character revealed he'd been a student at UT when the zombie outbreak began. The first part of the movie is set in Texas, although it was shot in Georgia.

Poe Film Series: 'Spirits of the Dead'

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Date/Time: 
Monday, October 26, 2009 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm

As part of the "From Out That Shadow: The Life and Legacy of Edgar Allan Poe" exhibition, the Harry Ransom Center will show the 1968 movie Spirits of the Dead. The film consists of three adaptations of Poe stories by Federico Fellini, Louis Malle and Roger Vadim. Admission is free.

Poe Film Series: 'The Raven'

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Date/Time: 
Monday, October 19, 2009 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm

As part of the "From Out That Shadow: The Life and Legacy of Edgar Allan Poe" exhibition, the Harry Ransom Center will show the 1963 (loose) adaptation of Poe's The Raven. The film is directed by Roger Corman and stars Boris Karloff, Vincent Price and Peter Lorre. Admission is free.

Poe Film Series: 'The Pit and the Pendulum'

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Date/Time: 
Monday, October 12, 2009 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm

As part of the "From Out That Shadow: The Life and Legacy of Edgar Allan Poe" exhibition, the Harry Ransom Center will show Roger Corman's 1961 adaptation of Poe's The Pit and the Pendulum. Admission is free.

Poe Film Series: 'The Fall of the House of Usher'

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Date/Time: 
Monday, October 5, 2009 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm

As part of the "From Out That Shadow: The Life and Legacy of Edgar Allan Poe" exhibition, the Harry Ransom Center will show the 1960 adaptation of Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher. The film is directed by Roger Corman and stars Vincent Price. Admission is free.

Fantastic Fest Daily Dispatch #8: Closing Night Chaos Reigns!

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FF09ChaosReignsIt's over. I can't believe it's over. Chaos Reigned.  I was ready for it to be over; eight days of films and fun, nearly nonstop, it can't go on forever, and the party has to end. But it ended on several high notes. 

I had a brief interview with the Spierig brothers, who brought Daybreakers in for the Closing Night film, although it's not getting released until January.  Despite my forgetting my notebook and being dead-tired, the highlight was their response to my saying "How can you forget someone who pulls a gun out of their ass?!" Having seen Undead, and loving it, it's hard to forget Mungo McKay. 

I ended up walking out of Dirty Mind, not because the film is bad, but because I was tired, and not in the mood for white-on-light subtitles.  Bad subtitles is a pet peeve of mine, especially having seen amazing ones in films like Daywatch and Slumdog Millionaire.  At least use yellow or a border around the letters, please!

Even less fun was the final secret screening, which turned out to be Universal Soldier: A New Beginning. Director John Hyams, Dolph Lundgren, and Andrei "the pitbull" Arlovski were in attendance for the film. I'm definitely not the film's demographic, and I found the fighting very monotonous and over simplified.

Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas

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Address: 
300 West 21st Street, Austin, TX 78712
Phone: 
(512) 471-8944

The Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas contains many large collections of film-related archival materials, from costumes used in Gone with the Wind to the script Robert De Niro used in Taxi Driver. The museum frequently holds exhibitions that are either related to film, or that incorporate aspects of film, and shows movies related to those exhibitions. The theater in which the movies are shown is relatively small, and the movies are usually on DVD, but admission is free to the museum and most screenings and events.

Classic Westerns: 'Shane'

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Date/Time: 
Monday, October 5, 2009 - 6:30pm - 8:30pm

As part of a series on Classic Westerns, the Manchaca branch of Austin Public Libraries will show Shane, the 1953 film directed by George Stevens and starring Alan Ladd in the title role. Admission is free.

APL Manchaca Branch

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Address: 
5500 Manchaca Road, Austin TX 78745
Phone: 
(512) 974-8700

The Manchaca branch of Austin Public Libraries occasionally shows movies in its meeting room.

Pandora's Box

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Date/Time: 
Monday, October 5, 2009 - 7:30pm - 9:30pm

Austin Cinematheque is sponsoring this screening of Pandora's Box, the G.W. Pabst silent film from 1929, starring Louise Brooks.

Texas Union Theatre, The University of Texas

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Address: 
24th and Guadalupe St., Austin TX 78705
Phone: 
512-476-6666

The Texas Union Theatre is part of the Texas Union complex at The University of Texas at Austin. It's not the most comfortable theater in town -- the legroom is tight even for short people. The Union sponsors free films for UT students, faculty and staff during the school year, and also hosts other screenings and movie-related events.

aGLIFF Brunch with 'Otto'

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Date/Time: 
Sunday, October 4, 2009 - 1:00pm - 3:00pm

Brunch and zombie movies: an unbeatable combination. The Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival (aGLIFF) is hosting a brunchtime showing of the 2008 Australian film Otto; or, Up with Dead People. In addition, the locally shot short film I am Not a Werewolf will screen, with director J. Anthony Hernandez in attendance.

digital fusion fest

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Date/Time: 
Saturday, October 10, 2009 - 2:00pm - 5:30pm

Austin, TX – channelAustin is set to unveil its $1 million technological transformation and cutting edge opportunities for digital media production and distribution.

On Saturday, October 10, 2009 city leaders will help relaunch Austin’s own community television studios as a fully operational high definition digital media center poised to meet the expanded needs of Austin’s creative community.

The October event – aptly dubbed the digital fusion fest – will feature an afternoon of activities ranging from live music to blue screen fantasies for kids, all designed to awe our community and to showcase transformed studios and equipment.

“channelAustin is poised to become the place for digital media training, production, and distribution in Central Texas,” said Dr. Scott D. Roberts, a professor in Digital Media Business Management at St. Edwards University and channelAustin Board member.

Every Austin resident now has the opportunity to shoot with cutting-edge HDV digital cameras and edit on Apple’s industry standard Final Cut Pro software, or produce live television shows in an HD environment on par with or better than most in Central Texas.

The digital fusion fest, a celebration of this new direction, promises to be a dynamic community oriented event, with live music and spoken word, kids activities, studio tours, and health screenings, as well as participation from numerous non-profits, the fire fighters association and local area businesses.

The digital fusion fest takes place on:

Saturday | October 10, 2009| 2:00 to 5:30 PM | 1143 Northwestern Avenue Austin 78702

channelAustin is a non-profit 501(c3), contracted with the City to manage the digital community media center and television studios located in East Austin.

channelAustin Studios

Address: 
1143 Northwestern Avenue, Austin, TX 78702
Phone: 
512-478-8600

channelAustin operates Austin's three public access television channels 10, 11, and 16. These channels are cablecast to the Austin viewing area by Time Warner Cable and Grande Communications.

Quick Snaps: Rue McClanahan in Austin

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Rue McClanahan

Television and theater star Rue McClanahan was in Austin last weekend for the Breast Cancer Resource Centers of Texas (BCRC) annual benefit. She kept several hundred attendees entertained and engaged with stories about acting onstage, how she met her current husband Morrow Wilson, and how she discovered that she had cancer.

Although best known for her role as Blanche Devereaux in Golden Girls, McClanahan has also appeared on the big screen throughout her acting career including the comedy Out to Sea (1997) and Starship Troopers (1997).  I asked Ms. McClanahan about her Starship Troopers experience, and she stated that she'd loved working with that nice Dutch director, Paul Verhoeven.

At the end of the keynote speech, the audience and Rue participated in the creation of a new "no talking during the movie" bumper for the Alamo Drafthouse. I won't reveal the details, but suffice to say Rue handled it firmly and elegantly.

Fantastic Fest Daily Dispatch #7: Stingray Sam, Doghouse and Hipster Epidemics

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Not many official films today, as the festival is winding down, at least for me.  I didn't manage to catch Yesterday as planned because a press screening started late. I can't say much about that, but I think I can say that if you like Vampire stories, you're in for a special treat for the Closing Night film.

FF09-CoryMcAbeeDrPepperI did manage to catch Stingray Sam after having had a nice chat over at the Highball with director/star Cory McAbee (shown at left). Chris Holland and I introduced him to the wonder that is Dublin Dr. Pepper, which the pharmacy next door stocks.  If you haven't had one, it's very good, and made with real cane sugar. Nice guy, and he looks like he should be a regular at the Highball. 

Anyway, Stingray Sam is a lot of fun, and people applauded throughout this episodic film. When I mentioned seeing the film to other festgoers, they got very excited; it seems the previous screening included the audience singing along.  I suspect the crowd I saw it with was a bit tired. Still it was fun, and with an energetic Q&A, it's a highlight of the fest, for sure.  At some point I should be posting excerpts from the Q&A.