Slackery News Tidbits

Use this for general news items.

Slackery News Tidbits: September 8, 2014

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Here's a roundup of the Austin film news from the past week or so:

  • On Tuesday, the Harry Ransom Center at UT opens its latest exhibit, "The Making of Gone with the Wind." The Austin Chronicle has some background about why the HRC has the materials to make it a strong exhibit. Back in the day, I read everything I could get my hands on about the movie and while I no longer adore Margaret Mitchell's novel or Selznick's cinematic epic, I still can't wait to get to the HRC.
  • Fantastic Fest update: There are so many Fantastic Fest news updates that I can't keep up with them. Check out the film fest's news feed for the latest info. (Yes, I'm lazy. Look at the name of the website. Truth in advertising.)
  • Hollywood Reporter tries to untangle and sort the as-yet-unreleased Terrence Malick projects and figure out what we might get to see soon.
  • Speaking of Fantastic Fest: If you have a short or feature screening at the fest and you live in Austin or Texas -- or you shot here, or your lead actor/actress is from here -- drop me a line so we remember to write about your movie. Thanks!

Slackery News Tidbits: August 25, 2014

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Here's the latest Austin and Texas film news.

  • Austin filmmaker David Modigliani takes viewers on a journey into Louisiana's past in the documentary 61 Bullets, set to premiere at this year's New Orleans Film Festival (Oct. 16-23). The movie, which discusses the mysterious deaths of U.S. Senator Huey Long and surgeon Carl Weiss in 1935 inside the state's capitol and follows Weiss' family's attempt to clear their name in Long's murder, received a $10,000 Austin Film Society Grant in 2009.
  • In distribution news, RADiUS has acquired the U.S. rights to the SXSW 2014 Grand Jury awardwinner The Great Invisible (Elizabeth's review), Deadline reports. The documentary, by former Austinite Margaret Brown (Elizabeth's interview), depicts the response to 2010's Deepwater Horizon explosion and resultant oil spill through the eyes of those affected. Music for the movie was composed by Austinite David Wingo.
  • The SXSW 2013-screened Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton (Don's review) returns to Austin for a screening on Wednesday at 7:30 pm in the AFS Screening Room. The documentary tells the story of Broughton, an influential writer and experimental filmmaker.
  • AFS will host a preview screening of No No: A Dockumentary (Caitlin's review) with filmmakers in attendance on Wednesday, Sept. 3 at 7:30 pm at The Marchesa. The Austin-shot documentary, which screened at SXSW this year, tells the story of controversial baseball pitcher Dock Ellis. Read Caitlin's pre-SXSW interview with director Jeffrey Radice for more details about the movie.

Slackery News Tidbits: August 18, 2014

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Here's the latest Austin and Texas film news.

  • The Austin Film Festival teams up with the Texas Film Commission and the Bullock Texas State History Museum for a screening of Blood Simple on Wednesday at 7 pm in the museum's Texas Spirit Theater. Blood Simple, which follows a Texas bar owner on his search to prove his wife's infidelity, marks this year's final screening in the Made in Texas Film Series. 
  • AFF announced more panels and panelists for this year's conference: Dallas Buyers Club writer Craig Borten; Sergio Sanchez, writer of The Impossible; Philipp Meyer, author of the The Son, a soon-to-be-adapted AMC television series; and the writers of the hit TV series Bob's Burgers, Lizzie and Wendy Molyneux.
  • The Music Bed, a music licensing company for filmmakers and photographers, is hosting a contest to help fund short movies. Filmmakers are encouraged to submit their short film idea online to collect public votes in an effort to win the grand prize, chosen by The Music Bed staff, of either a custom movie score or up to $7,500 in music licensing. Two runners-up will be chosen by popular vote. The deadline to submit short movies is Sept. 1.
  • The Contemporary Austin will host a free screening of Impossible Light on Thursday at 7 pm at the Jones Center (700 Congress Ave.). The indie doc traces the story behind "The Bay Lights," the installation of 25,000 LED lights along San Francisco's Bay Bridge. 
  • Austin-based indie production company Studio e2 will host the short movie showcase for women-directed projects, Shorty Shoots Too, on Friday, Aug. 28 at 8 pm at at East Seventh Eats (1403 E. 7th St.).  

Slackery News Tidbits: August 11, 2014

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Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar

Here's the latest Austin and Texas news (and boy, is there a lot of it this week).

  • Fantastic Fest announced its first wave of films in the 2014 lineup. Kevin Smith's horror film Tusk will open the fest (a 180 degree turn from the Kevin Smith film that opened Fantastic Fest in 2010, Zack and Miri Make a Porno), followed by the Tim League-produced anthology ABCs of Death 2. The festival also announced that movie critic/film historian Leonard Maltin will be in Austin for the fest, heading up the comedy film jury and hosting events. Also, take a look at the gorgeous 2014 poster for the fest.
  • Fantastic Fest will take place Sept. 18-25 at Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar -- and check out the photo above for a preview of what the renovated theater looks like right now. No word yet on the grand opening, although aGLIFF will also take place there the weekend before Fantastic Fest (yes, Slackerwood will certainly be on its toes in September).
  • Austin filmmaker Richard Linklater is no longer working on the remake of The Incredible Mr. Limpet (!!), according to Hollywood Reporter. Instead, "sources say" he's working on a movie about college freshmen called That's What I'm Talking About, which is supposed to be semi-autobiographical and in the same tone as Dazed and Confused. This makes sense considering the box-office success of Boyhood.
  • Backing up the "sources" in the previous article is a casting notice from Vicky Boone Casting that was posted to a local email list for casting opportunities. Included in the notice: "All of us over at Vicky Boone Casting are working hard on the upcoming untitled Richard Linklater Project and wanted to shoot out a friendly suggestion that if you are interested in being a part of this film in any capacity (we’re talking principles, background, etc.), you should start growing out your hair now! This is a period film based in the early '80s, and it always helps to look the part if you have big dreams of making it onscreen! While this suggestion applies for all ages/ethnicities/genders, a special note goes out to those of you in your 20s, as there will be lots of principles and extras needed in that age range."

Slackery News Tidbits: August 4, 2014

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Grow Up, Tony Phillips posterHere's the latest Austin and Texas film news.

  • SXSW 2013 selection Grow Up, Tony Phillips (Elizabeth's review) now has a distribution date. The family-friendly coming-of-age Halloween movie, written and directed by former Austinite Emily Hagins, will reach VOD and DVD on September 30, 2014. The VOD outlets will include Amazon, iTunes, Hulu and Vudu. The locally shot production also released a new poster by Jay Shaw (pictured at right), which is part of its Kickstarter perks (the film raised $80,000 in crowdfunding in 2012). [Full disclosure: I donated to this Kickstarter campaign.]
  • Hollywood Reporter recently published its annual list of Top 25 U.S. Film Schools -- and The University of Texas at Austin is #10 on the list for its radio-television-film program. (The University of Southern California topped the list.) The article lauds the university's "Semester in L.A." program and new 3D production program, as well as noting the recent $50 million gift from the Moody Foundation. (UT is also one of the more affordable universities in the top ten.)
  • The Texas Archive of the Moving Image (TAMI) has unveiled a new online exhibit: "Starring the Lone Star State." The collection includes a wealth of video footage related to Texas filmmaking, from silent films through contemporary movies. Newsreel footage from the Galveston hurricane in 1900, video from the set of The Alamo (1960, John Wayne), Cactus Pryor interviwing Ann-Margret ... prepare to spend a lot of time here. 
  • Austin City Councill will be considering a zoning change on Aug. 7 for the demolition of a building at 619 Congress, to make way for a boutique hotel, the Austin Chronicle reports. What does this have to do with film, you might ask? The problem is that the building shares a wall with The Hideout, a film venue for Austin Film Festival and other events, which has also been used as the Film Badgeholders Lounge for SXSW in recent years. (It's also a good resting place before/after a movie at Paramount or State.) The Hideout is very concerned about the possibility of dealing with a damaged wall and how a big construction project will affect its ability to remain open. (I am concerned about my ability to find a quiet place to write downtown during big film festivals, since Little City's long gone too.)

Slackery News Tidbits: July 28, 2014

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2014 Texas Book Festival posterHere's the latest Austin and Texas film news.

  • Slackerwood isn't at San Diego Comic-Con this year but plenty of Austin people are, including local filmmaker Robert Rodriguez. Indiewire has a roundup of the Sin City: A Dame to Kill For panel with Rodriguez, co-director Frank Miller, and several cast members. The article also includes a new (short) red-band trailer for the Sin City sequel, which hits theaters August 22.
  • We don't normally include images with Slackery News Tidbits, but the newly revealed 2014 Texas Book Festival poster (pictured right) featuring the Texas Theatre in Seguin is so gorgeous, I couldn't resist. (Someone tell me how to get one of these, please.) In addition, the festival announced eight authors that will attend -- quite an eclectic bunch, from Martin Amis to Ziggy Marley, and from Valerie Plame Wilson to chef Lidia Bastianich. Texas Book Festival runs from Oct. 25-26 ... as usual, conflicting with Austin Film Festival, and creating hard choices for Austin film/literary fans (start building up your stamina now so you can do both!).
  • Have you seen the 2013 drama Pit Stop yet? The Texas-shot feature from Austin filmmaker Yen Tan is streaming on Netflix Instant now. Debbie reviewed it at Sundance 2013 and said it "provides an intriguing glimpse of love and romance in the small towns that so many of us drive through without a second thought on the lives of its inhabitants." Pit Stop received an AFS Grant for distribution last year. (via Don Swaynos)
  • Over at Paracinema, Bryce Wilson discusses movies adapted from Texas author Joe Lansdale's novels/stories, including the latest film adaptation, Cold in July (Don's review).
  • Finally -- in case you missed it -- last week, Texas gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott released a campaign ad to play before movies at Regal Cinemas, in which he speaks to the camera while sitting with a movie-theater audience. Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League took issue with the ad's seeming endorsement of talking and texting during movies, and the Drafthouse hastily assembled the following Drafthouse "Don't Talk" ad. (Gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis responded on Twitter with "I may have spoken for 11 hours, but even I know it's never OK to talk at the movies.")

Slackery News Tidbits: July 21, 2014

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Here's the latest Austin film news (and a very funny video at the end, so keep reading).

  • Filmmaker Magazine has released its 2014 edition of "25 new Faces of Independent Film." The list includes Austin filmmaker Annie Silverstein, whose short Skunk won the Cannes Cinefondation award this year, and former Houstonite/filmmaker Darius Clark Monroe, whose documentary Evolution of a Criminal played SXSW and Dallas IFF.
  • The Central Texas-shot horror movie Found Footage 3D wrapped shooting recently, and Austin Chronicle contributor Richard Whittaker wrote about his visit to the indie film's set. This will be the feature-film debut for writer/director Steven DeGennaro. Producers include Kim Henkel, who wrote The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and film critic/former Austinite Scott Weinberg.
  • Austin comedy Love & Air Sex (formerly The Bounceback) is trying something different to boost online sales. If you go to BitTorrent, you can download -- no, not the whole film illegally, but a legally downloadable bundle that includes a 10-minute clip as well as photos, music and the movie's Kickstarter thank-you video. The idea is that this will then entice you into buying Love & Air Sex from the film's website (not for free, but pretty darn cheaply). (via filmmaker Bryan Poyser)
  • I could not possibly capture all the Boyhood reviews, articles and interviews over the past week (go read Don's review, though), but here's one important piece of news: Filmmaker Richard Linklater announced that Criterion will release the movie on Blu-ray/DVD with extras potentially including interviews taken over the 12-year production.

Slackery News Tidbits: July 14, 2014

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Here's the latest Austin and Texas film news.

  • Central Texas filmmaker Terrence Malick's long-awaited feature, Knight of Cups, will have a limited release in US theaters later this year, although no distributor has been announced, The Film Stage reports. Actors Christian Bale and Natalie Portman star in the drama, the plot of which has been tightly guarded for years but is said to be about celebrities and excess.
  • Rooster Teeth, an Austin-based production company, made Indiegogo history last week by becoming the website's highest grossing campaign with more than $2.4 million raised for its first feature, Lazer Team
  • Austin Film Festival's late (and last of the year) film competition submission deadline is Tuesday (yes, tomorrow).
  • Season two of filmmaker Robert Rodriguez's From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series will begin production in Austin this October. The horror crime series is a television adaptation of Rodriguez's 1996 cult film From Dusk Till Dawn and is the first scripted original series to air on his new cable network, El Rey.

Slackery News Tidbits: July 7, 2014

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Here's the latest Austin and Texas film news.

  • Amplify has acquired the U.S. distribution rights to Austinites David and Nathan Zellner's Kumiko, the Treasure HunterIndiewire reports. The drama follows a lonely Japanese woman who, after becoming obsessed with Fargo, heads to Minnesota on a quest to unearth the cash-filled briefcase from the movie. Debbie reviewed the movie at Sundance. A release date hasn't yet been announced.
  • This month, the Alamo Drafthouse has announced it's "going to 11" with its programming -- celebrating music in movies in all the chain's theaters. A Hard Day's Night and This is Spinal Tap screen tonight at Alamo Ritz and Alamo Lakeline, respectively. Other musical movies scheduled for July include Hedwig and the Angry Inch, High Fidelity, Wattstax, Gimme Shelter, Empire Records and Stop Making Sense.
  • The Austin Film Festival's Free Family Film Series presents a screening of Bandolero! on Tuesday at 7 pm at the Texas Spirit Theater. James Stewart and Dean Martin star in this 1968 crime drama about two brothers on the run from a sheriff-led posse. 

Slackery News Tidbits: June 30, 2014

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Here's the latest Austin and Texas film news.

  • The Austin Film Festival's list of 2014 conference panelists grows with the recent additions of writer Lawrence Kasdan (various Star Wars films), writer/director John Patrick Shanley Doubt), writer Randall Wallace (Braveheart), writer Oren Uziel (22 Jump Street) and Ilysse McKimmie, director of the Sundance Labs feature film program. Badges are still available for the conference and festival, which takes place Oct. 23-30.
  • In more AFF news, the nonprofit's Free Family Film Series presents a screening of Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey Sunday at 3 pm at the Texas Spirit Theater. The 1993 family drama based on the book The Incredible Journey follows two adventurous dogs and a cat as they escape from a ranch to reunite with their owners. Co-screenwriter of Homeward Bound, Caroline Thompson, will be in attendance for a post-screening Q&A.
  • AFF news continues: The nonprofit will co-sponsored the film series "1968's Past, Present, and Future" beginning Tuesday, July 8 until Aug. 12 at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. Screenings of Bandolero!, Rosemary's Baby and 2001: A Space Odyssey will also include Q&As with film historians. This series is free for AFF and Bullock Museum members.
  • The City of Austin's Economic Development Department, in partnership with Mid-America Arts Alliance and the Texas Commission on the Arts, is bringing an Artist INC Live Seminar to Austin. The deadline for artists to apply is tonight at 11:59 pm. The department's Cultural Arts Division will host the eight-week seminar from Oct. 4-Nov. 22. AFF's lead editor for its television series On Story, Roy Rutngamlug, was chosen to be one of six local arts professionals to act as a facilitator and lead a movie training session during the seminar.
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