Slackery News Tidbits
Here's the latest in Austin and Texas film news.
- A new local documentary about rollerderby will premiere at Edinburgh International Film Festival later this month. Leave It on the Track, about two competing TXRD teams, is directed by Benjamin Pascoe and produced by filmmaker/Austin Film Society instructor/derby team manager Jonny Stranger. Check out the trailer at the end of this article, and read Elizabeth's interview with Stranger about his Slacker 2011 segment.
- Houston-based filmmakers Keith Patterson's and Jack Lofton's documentary Ann Richards' Texas, about the life of the former Texas governor, will have its world premiere June 21 at the AFI Silverdocs festival in Washington, D.C. The movie includes interviews with Bill Clinton, Dolly Parton and Dan Rather.
- The award-winning indie film Strings can now be purchased or rented exclusively on iTunes through a digital distribution deal with The Orchard, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The Austin-shot thriller, which screened at Austin Film Festival in 2011, was written/co-directed by recent UT alums Mark Dennis and producer/co-director Ben Foster. Strings is scheduled to expand its distribution platform to other online straming options over the next six months. Read Slackerwood's AFF interview with Foster for details about the movie.
- The Intergalactic Nemesis unveils its latest episode, Book Two: Robot Planet Rising, at the Long Center this Friday, June 8. Tickets are still available, and you can get a $5 discount if you enter the code "Alphatron" when you buy them online. The first episode of the "live action comic book" was performed at Fantastic Fest 2010, and Conan O'Brien and Andy Richter helped perform an excerpt on Conan earlier this year.
Here's the latest Austin and Texas film news.
- The Austin American-Statesman's Charles Ealy reported from Cannes about this weekend's premiere of Austin filmmaker Jeff Nichols' feature Mud. Austin-based actor Matthew McConaughey stars with Reese Witherspoon and Michael Shannon in this story of an unlikely friendship between a fugitive and a 14-year-old boy who helps him escape off an island in Mississippi to reunite with the woman he loves. Ealy also chatted briefly with Nichols after the screening.
- More on McConaughey -- IndieWire reported that he'll portray John F. Kennedy in Lee Daniels' (Precious) new film, The Butler. The movie, based on a Washington Post article, is about the late White House butler Eugene Allen. Academy Award-winner Forest Whitaker will star as Allen, who served eight presidents during his tenure from 1952-1986. Production is scheduled to begin July 16.
- Local filmmaker Richard Linklater will keep viewers Up to Speed on relatively unknown American monuments, such as the shoe garden in San Francisco, according to Austin Movie Blog. Linklater's original travel series, starring historian Timothy "Speed" Levitch, is scheduled to premiere on Hulu and Hulu Plus in August.
- Austin Film Society continues its Best of the Fests series with a screening of San Antonio filmmaker Ya'Ke Smith's feature film Wolf (Mike's review), about a family trying to come to terms with the abuse their pastor has inflicted on their teenage son, at 7 pm on Wednesday, June 6 at Alamo Drafthouse Village. Proceeds from the screening will benefit the Texas Filmmakers Production Fund. Watch the trailer at IndieWire, and read Slackerwood's SXSW interview with Smith.
Here's the latest Austin film news.
- Terrence Malick's new film, starring Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams, has changed names, according to Joe M. O'Connell's blog. Formerly The Burial, the Bartlesville, Oklahoma-shot film about a love triangle is now called To the Wonder. The movie is still seeking U.S. distribution.
- Robert Rodriguez's movies have been in the news a lot lately. The Machete Kills production is looking for extras for next month's shoot. Distribution rights for the Machete sequel in other countries have been selling well at Cannes. And you can see the first teaser posters for Machete Kills and Sin City: A Dame To Kill For over at Movies.com.
- Austin-based writer/director Bob Byington's latest comedy Somebody Up There Likes Me (Don's review) will kick off the Cinema East summer film series on June 10, according to The Austin Chronicle. Byington's follow-up to his 2009 film Harmony and Me stars Keith Poulson and Nick Offerman as best friends who are aided through life by a magic suitcase (read Jette's interview with Byington and Offerman). Expect more SXSW 2012 favorites from the Cinema East film series, which will run every other Sunday until Aug. 19. Cinema East is holding its launch party for the series on Thursday, May 31 at 9 pm at Cheer Up Charlie's.
Here's the latest in Austin and Texas film news.
- The Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-in has a new home this summer: Austin Studios, home of Austin Film Society. AFS will work with Blue Starlite on the programming as well. Slackerwood is especially proud because after Elizabeth interviewed Josh Frank about the future of the Blue Starlite, Josh asked her if she could put him in touch with someone from AFS ... and that's how the collaboration started. (via Austin Chronicle)
- The dark comedy Killer Joe, starring Matthew McConaughey, will be released in theaters by LD Entertainment on July 27 with an NC-17 rating, according to Deadline. The William Friedkin-directed movie, based on the play by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winner Tracy Letts, is about a tough but quiet killer in Texas who befriends a young man (Emile Hirsch) who wishes his mother to be murdered. It screened at SXSW this year.
- Speaking of Matthew McConaughey, he's in two movies that will screen at Cannes this month: The Paperboy, about a reporter who returns to his hometown to investigate a case involving a death row inmate; and Mud, Jeff Nichols' story of an unlikely friendship between a fugitive and a 14-year-old boy who helps him escape off an island in Mississippi to reunite with the woman he loves. Watch clips from the Nichols-directed film at IndieWire.
- MovieMaker reported that assistant UT RTF professor Andrew Shea's first documentary Portrait of Wally opened May 11 at the Quad Cinema in Manhattan. The documentary explores the history of Egon Schiele's 1912 oil painting of his mistress that was purchased by Jewish art collector Lea Bondi before WWII and was later stolen by a Nazi art dealer.
Here's the latest Austin film news.
- Former AFS Artistic Services Director Bryan Poyser's latest feature film The Bounceback began filming in Austin on April 29, according to Joe M. O'Connell's blog. Austin-based cinematographer P.J. Raval and producer Megan Gilbride round out the crew. Little is known about the romantic comedy, set to star Sara Paxton (The Last House on the Left). However, Poyser told Austin Movie Blog that the movie is about the "unique facets" of Austin.
- Congratulations to Twitchy Dolphin Flix -- the Austin-based production company's film Turkey Day won the Audience Choice Award and cofounder/writer/director James Christopher won a silver division screenwriting competition award for his script Soldier Dog: Letters From Wolfie, at the Bare Bones International Film Festival. Christopher was covering Texas Frightmare Weekend in Dallas for Slackerwood last weekend; look for his dispatches soon.
- But wait, there's more: On May 10 at J. Black's, Twitchy Dolphin Flix will host Twitchy-Palooza 2012, a live concert that will feature musicians whose music has been used in the company's films. Twitchy-Palooza coincides with the DVD release party for the company's film Look At Me Again, which won Best Drama at the 2011 Bare Bones festival, among other awards. The production company will also begin filming the new feature References.
Here's the latest in Austin and Texas film news.
- Austin-based director Richard Linklater's latest film Bernie opened on Friday in limited runs in New York, L.A. and Austin (at Violet Crown). The Austin Chronicle reported the result: the best opening weekend ever for a Linklater feature. Needless to say, Bernie killed at the box office with more than $30,000 estimated per screen ($90,400 total).
- IndieWIRE reported that Dallas filmmaker David Lowery is set to write and direct the Rooney Mara (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Ben Foster, Casey Affleck flick Ain't Them Bodies Saints. Lowery's short film Pioneer (Jette's article) won the Grand Jury Award at SXSW 2011 and his feature debut, St. Nick (Jette's article), was a 2007 Texas Filmmakers Production Fund recipient. Ain't Them Bodies Saints, a project of the 2011 Creative Producing Labs and Creative Producing Summit at Sundance, tells the story of a 1970s outlaw who escapes from prison and sets out across the Texas countryside to reunite with his wife and daughter.
- The brand-new Oak Cliff Film Festival has announced some of the films and events that will take place from June 14-17 this year: a 35mm screening of the 1994 Central Texas-shot Love and a .45 with cast and crew attending; Fantastic Mr. Fox screening outdoors at the Dallas Zoo; a double-feature of the short The Black Balloon and the feature The Red Balloon; a filmmaking workshop with sometimes-Austinite Bradley Beesley (Okie Noodling, Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo); and more that we don't have room to include -- visit the fest's website for details. Badges go on sale today -- and if you buy a badge today, you can use a Groupon deal for a discount of more than 50 percent.
- Deadline Hollywood reported the ABC Family Channel Original Series The Lying Game has been renewed for a second season. The second season will begin production this summer at Austin Studios for a winter premiere. The drama follows separated-at-birth teenaged identical twins Emma Becker and Sutton Mercer (Alexandra Chando), who, after swapping lives, try to unravel the mysteries of their past.
Here's the latest Austin film news, plus some upcoming event information.
- A free public screening of the award-winning documentary Better This World will take place at 6 pm tonight (Monday, April 23) in room 8500 on the ACC Eastview Campus. The ACC RTF Department will present the film, discussion and Q&A with two of the film's subjects, Bradley Crowder and David McKay (although they will not/cannot be in the room at the same time). Better This World is about two childhood friends from Midland who were arrested on terrorism charges at the 2008 Republican National Convention. Read Don's review from SXSW 2011.
- Dallas International Film Festivalannounced the fest's 2012 award winners at the annual Dallas Film Society Honors gala on Friday. San Antonio filmmaker Ya'Ke Smith's feature film Wolf (Mike's review), about a family trying to come to terms with the abuse their pastor has inflicted on their teenage son, received a $30,000 camera rental as the recipient of the Panavision Texas Competition Grand Jury Prize. The Texas Competition Jury awarded a Special Mention to Austin filmmakers and brothers David and Nathan Zellner for their second feature film Kid-Thing (Don's review). The movie is about a mischievous 10-year-old in East Texas who stumbles on a mysterious abandoned well in the woods. The grand jury prize for documentary feature went to Tchoupitoulas, which also played SXSW this year, and the prize for narrative feature was awarded to the Bulgarian film Faith, Love and Whiskey.
- Austin director Jeff Nichols's new drama Mud will screen in competition at the 2012 Cannes International Film Festival in May, Austin Movie Blog reports. The movie stars Matthew McConaughey as a fugitive who is aided by two teenage boys who make a pact to help him escape from an island in the Mississippi River. In addition, University of Texas alumnus Wes Anderson's new drama Moonrise Kingdom will open Cannes this year. The movie, about a pair of 12-year-olds who fall in love and flee their New England town amidst a storm, stars Bill Murray, Bruce Willis and Edward Norton. It is scheduled to open May 25 in the U.S.
Here's the latest Austin film news.
- In celebration of the upcoming release of Richard Linklater's film Bernie, AFS will host a screening and party with Linklater, co-writer Skip Hollandsworth and co-star Matthew McConaughey at 7 pm on Thursday, April 26 at Violet Crown Cinema. The screening will be followed by an after-party in the Violet Crown bar and cafe that will include complimentary drinks and barbecue. The event proceeds benefit the Texas Filmmaker Production Fund.
- Congratulations to Austin documentary Trash Dance (Mike's review), which won the audience award this weekend at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham.
- Donnie Darko director Richard Kelly has planned to start filming in Corpus Christi and Austin this summer for the aptly-titled movie Corpus Christi, according to Joe M. Connell's blog. The movie is about a mentally unstable Iraq War veteran who becomes friends with his boss and politcially ambitious supermarket chain owner. Variety reported that Edgar Ramirez (Carlos) is set to star in the movie, financed by Robert Rodriguez's Quick Draw Productions.
- Director Paul Bright's sci-fi drama Goliad Rising will make its world premiere at 7:30 pm on Thursday, June 21 at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum's Texas Spirit Theater. The movie follows Ariel Loner (Shannon Lark) as she leads an underground group intent to stop the Goliad Corporation from taking control of the U.S. government with their latest technology that subversively brainwashes Americans. Bright told AMFM Magazine that his decision to premiere the movie in Austin was a "no brainer" because most of the cast are Austinites and it was filmed in the city.
Here's the latest Austin (and a little Dallas) movie news, as well as some upcoming events.
- The Dallas Film Society announced that actress Laura Linney will be honored with a Dallas Star Award at the Dallas Film Society Honors on April 20. "A Conversation with Laura Linney" will follow the awards at 11 am on April 21 at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas. The Dallas International Film Festival will begin Thursday, April 12 with the screening of the movie Liberal Arts, starring Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene), Zac Efron and Josh Radnor. In addition, Austin filmmaker Richard Linklater's latest film, Bernie (Don's review), has been added to the fest's schedule. Jette and J.C. will be at the fest this year watching and writing about Austin and Texas movies.
- The movie Get the Gringo will have a premiere screening in Austin this month, with the film's star and co-writer Mel Gibson in attendance. Gibson, filmmaker Adrian Grunberg and co-star Kevin Hernandez will be at Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar on Wednesday, April 18, and will participate in a post-screening Q&A moderated by Ain't It Cool News founder Harry Knowles. AICN has details about how you can attend the screening as well as several other previews around the country before the movie is available via DirecTV on May 1.
- Women In Cinema will host a meeting at 7 pm this Thursday, April 12, followed by an "Austin Film Organizations" panel from 7:30-9 pm in room CMA 3.124 on the UT campus. The panel will feature Kimberly LeBlanc, Texas Film Commission location scout; Maya Perez, Austin Film Festival conference director; Agnes Varnum, Austin Film Society marketing director; Michelle Voss, Femme Film Texas executive director; and H. Cherdon Bedford, Austin Film Meet executive director and Humblebee Media "creative superhero."
Here's the latest Austin movie news.
- Production on the indie comedy Zero Charisma starts this week in Austin. The movie, about an obsessive fantasy gamer who struggles to defend his tabletop turf and fellow role players from a neo-nerd hipster, stars Sam Eidson (My Sucky Teen Romance) and Dakin Matthews (True Grit, Desperate Housewives). The production had a successful crowdfunding campaign in Spring 2011, which included the release of a teaser trailer. Last fall, the filmmakers received a $5,000 Texas Filmmakers' Production Fund grant.
- Speaking of which, the AFS Texas Filmmakers Production Fund is accepting applications until June 1. The awards are granted annually to emerging film and video artists in Texas whose work show promise, skill and creativity. Recipients are chosen by a panel of professional filmmakers from around the nation, who meet in Austin in August to review submissions. Grant disbursements are made in early September.
- Evan Smith, Texas Tribune CEO and editor-in-chief, is sitting down today (even as this is published) with Austin-based director Richard Linklater at Studio 6A on the UT campus for a taping of Overheard. Austin Movie Blog speculates that Linklater will likely share stories about the making of his new dark comedy, Bernie, which was partially shot in Bastrop (Don's review). Smith may be familiar with the plot of Bernie since it's based on a Skip Hollandsworth article in Texas Monthly, a magazine where Smith was the former president and editor-in-chief.