Movies on TV

SXSW 2010: Catch the Films You Missed Through VOD

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If you live in Austin, or stuck around after the fest, you had the chance to see "Taste of SXSW" screenings of four films from the fest at Alamo earlier this week. But did you know that you can still see several films from SXSW 2009 and 2010 via cable TV and/or internet video on demand (VOD)? 

I have Time Warner here in Austin, so I can't tell you how to find your VOD channels on other cable/satellite networks. It was hard enough to find on TWC. But if you're familiar with the VOD options with your digital TV provider, I'm sure you can find these films. On TWC, these are all on channel 1000 (Movies on Demand), and the newer ones are under the category SXSW 2010.  The films you can see there are:

Slackery News Tidbits, Nov. 10

Tattooed Under FireHere are a few of the Austin-related, movie-related news items that have been floating around recently:

  • Nancy Schiesari's documentary Tattooed Under Fire (pictured at right) airs on KLRU on Tuesday, November 10 at 9 pm. Tattooed Under Fire is about the stories and secrets that Fort Hood soldiers share while getting tattoos. Schiesari is a professor in Radio-TV-Film at The University of Texas in Austin.
  • I'll Come Running, directed by former UT Austin instructor Spencer Parsons, is now available to watch via IFC On Demand. The film played Austin Film Festival in 2008 and was shot in Austin and Denmark. Melonie Diaz stars as a young woman who befriends a Danish tourist and forms an unusually strong connection. Jette recommends it.
  • Cine Las Americas will host its 2010 season kickoff and happy hour fundraiser on Tuesday, November 17 at Malverde. All proceeds benefit the 13th Cine Las Americas International Film Festival, including 10 percent from diners at La Condesa after the happy hour. 

Slackery News Tidbits: From TXMPA to Trinidad

Here's a roundup of recent Austin film news:

  • The Central Region of TXMPA is holding a meeting Monday, June 8, at 6:30 pm at Mother Egan's. If you are a member, you can participate in the election for Central Region board representative and alternate.
  • If you haven't seen P.J. Raval and Jay Hodges's film Trinidad, check it out on Showtime this month (or if you're me, find a friend with Showtime). The documentary about a Colorado town known as "the sex-change capital of the world" will screen on Showtime channels this week and then be available on Showtime On Demand until the end of June.

See 'Gretchen' Tonight on Sundance Channel

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Gretchen

Update: Check out this cool episode of Between the Scenes that includes some behind-the-scenes footage from the Gretchen shoot as well as cast and crew interviews. (Thanks to John Merriman for the heads-up.)

One of my favorite movies from SXSW 2006 was Gretchen, the story of a high-school girl who isn't exactly one of the beautiful people. Austin filmmaker Steve Collins expanded his short Gretchen and the Night Danger and kept two of its stars, Courtney Davis (in the title role) and John Merriman. The feature also includes Betsy Ann Baker as Gretchen's mom, and Stephen Root. The cinematographer is Austin filmmaker P.J. Raval, who has also photographed the Oscar-nominated doc Trouble the Water as well as other Austin films.

Gretchen has sadly never had a theatrical release and has not yet had a DVD release. So I urge you to watch Gretchen when it airs on the Sundance Channel on Tuesday (3/31) at 5:15 pm CST and again at 11:30 pm CST. As a bonus, John Merriman says he'll be live-tweeting his commentary of the movie during the earlier screening on Tuesday. He's one of the funniest Twitter users I know, so you may want to follow him tomorrow.

My review for Cinematical closed with this line: "Overall, Gretchen is a beautiful, delicate look at the nasty pains of teenage relationships. And Gretchen could totally kick Napoleon's ass."

Watch a good movie on TV tonight ... and see me, too

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The KLRU-TV series SXSW Presents is airing the 2005 documentary The Dreams of Sparrows tonight at 9:30 pm. The documentary is shot in Iraq, but should not be dismissed as "yet another documentary about Iraq." A few amateur filmmakers bought a couple of DV cameras and decided to shoot all kinds of everyday scenes in various parts of Iraq -- artists, businessmen, hospitals, kids living in bombed-out buildings, more fortunate kids in private schools, and so forth. Some of the interview subjects are great fans of George Bush, others aren't happy about the U.S. invasion. It's a very different sort of look at contemporary Iraq. You can watch a trailer for the film on the SXSW Presents website.

And after the documentary ends, you can watch me discussing The Dreams of Sparrows with a group of other Austin film people. I haven't seen the finished interview yet, so I'll be watching too (and probably feeling really embarrassed). The interview will be posted to the SXSW Presents website after the show airs, so you can watch it there, but the main attraction is definitely the documentary. Set your TiVo, or VCR, or curl up on the couch tonight at 9:30.

SXSW Presents starts tonight

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SXSW PresentsIf you live in Central Texas and get KLRU-TV (the local PBS affiliate), you can catch the new season of SXSW Presents tonight at 9 pm. Each week, you can see a good documentary or feature that deserves more attention/a wider release. Most of them played SXSW in previous years.

Tonight's film is Stephen Tobolowsky's Birthday Party, a documentary that I reviewed during SXSW in 2005.

The next two films on the schedule have an Austin slant and I can't recommend them enough: Last Days of the San Jose on Oct. 10 and Viva Les Amis on Oct. 17.

After each film, a panel of learned and interesting filmmakers and local film community people will discuss the film briefly. This means me! I'll be appearing on the show in the panels for Dreams of Sparrows, playing Oct. 24, and Barbecue: A Texas Love Story, date TBD. You know I'll remind you again as we get closer.

Full schedule is available in this week's Austin Chronicle.

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