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'Dance with the One' Premieres at Texas State


Dance with the OneA small-time Texas marijuana dealer gets in over his head when the million dollars' worth of hashish his boss has given him suddenly goes missing in the family drama Dance with the One.

The October 12 Texas State University - San Marcos screening of Dance with the One was held in room 206 of the school's Department of Theatre and Dance. The Texas Independent Film Network, an Austin-based statewide coalition of film societies, universities and independent theaters, sponsored the event. The network tours a different Texas independent movie each month around the state.

"If you're at UT this sort of thing [independent film] is around you all over the place, but it's places like Waco, College Station and San Marcos [where] you're going to have to drive somewhere to go see it," said Tom Copeland, a lecturer in the Texas State Department of Theatre and Dance.

Mike Dolan, Dance with the One director, was in attendance at the Texas State premiere. Dolan, a graduate of the Michener Center for Writers program at The University of Texas at Austin, was chosen to direct the film through his previous work with the University of Texas Film Institute, a nonprofit educational film institute at UT.

Dance with the One is the first film produced by UTFI. The film premiered at SXSW 2010 -- read Debbie's review for more details about the movie itself.

Slackery News Tidbits, October 18


Here's the latest Austin film news and info on upcoming screenings.

  • Andrew Bujalski's new film will put you in check. The critically acclaimed local filmmaker announced on the United States Artists website that his movie Computer Chess is expected for a TBA festival release in the first half of next year. Computer Chess revolves around chess players and computer programmers at a computer chess tournament in the 1980s. Bujalski scoured Austin not only for nerd look-alikes to cast, but also vintage computers. Omar Gallaga has a great story on Austin360 about finding equipment from the appropriate era. Computer Chess. The Austin film is a 2011 Texas Filmmakers Production Fund recipient and also raised more than $50,000 in crowdfunded donations through United States Artists.
  • Not attending AFF this weekend? Cinema East is kicking off its fall series at 8 pm Saturday with the indie movie Vacation!. Vacation! is the story of four friends from college who reunite for a week of sun, sand and murder. Brooklyn-based director Zach Clark will be in attendance.
  • Get ready to get your scream on, October 28-30 at the Paramount Theatre. Classic horror movies, such as, The Wolfman, Bride of Frankenstein, Night of the Living Dead and Re-Animator will be shown in all of their 35mm gory glory. Double the fright factor by visiting the Paramount's haunted house. Bagged candy donations for Austin children and/or attending incognito will score you a free macabre martini.

Slackery News Tidbits, October 11


Here's the latest Austin and Central Texas film news, as well as some special screening information.

  • Austin-based director Michael Dolan will be present at two area screenings of his 2010 feature film Dance With The One, as part of a tour sponsored by the Texas Independent Film Network. The San Marcos premiere of the movie will take place on 7 pm this Wednesday, Oct. 12, in room 206 of the Texas State University-San Marcos Department of Theatre and Dance. In addition, Dolan and actress Dana Wheeler-Nicholson will be at the Austin Film Society screening room on Friday, Oct. 14 to show the film. Dance with the One (Debbie's review) is about a small-time Texas pot dealer who gets in over his head when the million dollars' worth of hash his boss has given him suddenly goes missing. The movie stars Austinite Gabriel Luna and is the first film made by the University of Texas Film Institute, a non-profit organization in the UT College of Communication.
  • The Austin School of Film and the Texas Archive of the Moving Image will host a free Home Movie Day at 7 pm on Saturday, Oct. 15 at Austin School of Film. People are encouraged to bring their 8mm, Super 8 and 16mm home movies to screen during the event. The Texas Archive of the Moving Image will also screen selected movies from the organization's travels around Texas.
  • Podcasts are now available for free from John Pierson's UT RTF master class. Guests from the film and television industry, such as Fight Club producer Art Linson, Sin City producer Elizabeth Avellan and actor Steve Buscemi (Fargo) have spoken with RTF students through the department's visiting guest program. The 30-minute master class sessions can also be heard monthly on KUT FM.
  • Alamo Drafthouse Village will be closed for about 10 days this month (Oct. 17-27) due to construction. They're expanding their lobby area, and should be open just in time for a pre-Halloween screening on The Rocky Horror Picture Show on Oct. 29.

TIFN Brings 'The Happy Poet' and Other Indies to San Marcos


The Happy Poet posterTexas State University-San Marcos has film and screenwriting classes. I know. I'm just as surprised as you are. Texas State may not be UT and the film and TV-related theatre classes and media studies minor may not be a full radio-television-film program, but with the arrival of former Texas Film Commission Director Tom Copeland in 2005, and recently, Austin Film Society Artist Services Director Bryan Poyser, college life is looking a little bit more film-y in the 78666.

The San Marcos premiere in September of Echotone, a documentary about Austin music culture, marked the burgeoning presence of the Texas Independent Film Network (TIFN) at Texas State University.

TIFN co-founder Ryan Long and Austin actor Chris Doubek attended the Sept. 28 screening of The Happy Poet at the Texas Music Theater in San Marcos during their statewide promotional tour for the movie. I had the opportunity to speak with Long, who's also the AFS programs and operations manager, and whom I had the pleasure of working with last summer as an AFS intern; and Doubek, who plays Curtis, the protagonist's moocher friend in The Happy Poet.

The Austin-shot micro-budget sleeper hit of SXSW 2010, The Happy Poet is the story of Bill (writer-director Paul Gordon), an out-of-work poet who uses the last of his money (and a loan) to buy an all-organic, mostly-vegetarian food stand. Read Jenn's review from SXSW for more details.

Slackery News Tidbits, September 26


Here's a roundup of Austin film news over the past week as well as some details on upcoming screenings and film-related events.

  • Renowned recluses Terrence Malick and Christian Bale were spotted last week at the Austin City Limits Music Festival. Christian Bale has signed on to star in one of Malick's three active projects. The untitled film is scheduled to begin production sometime next summer.
  • In celebration of the Austin Teen Book Festival on October 1, David Levithan, author of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, will be in attendance for the screening of the movie version at 10 pm on Friday, September 30 at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar. A Q&A with the author will follow the screening. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, starring Michael Cera (Superbad) and Kat Dennings (Charlie Bartlett), is a comedy about two people thrown together by their love of music.
  • Fantastic Fest and the Austin Film Society Present: Ti West's Fantastic Fest Hangover. The horror writer/director will be in attendance for screenings of all three of his films (The Roost, The House of the Devil), including his latest, The Innkeepers, at 7 pm on October 2 at the Alamo Drafthouse Village. The Innkeepers, starring Sara Paxton (The Last House on the Left), tells the story of the last two employees at a haunted hotel that is scheduled to close. The film premiered at SXSW 2011. Check out Jenn's Fantastic Fest preview for Ti West movie details.

Slackery News Tidbits, September 19


[Editor's Note: Please welcome our newest contributor, Jordan Gass-Poore'!]

Here's the latest in Austin film news:

  • On the heels of its world premiere, the 10th anniversary reimagining of Richard Linklater's cult classic Slacker, Slacker 2011, joins Harris County native Robbie Pickering's Natural Selection and three other films at the 2011 Lone Star International Film Festival Nov. 9-13 in Fort Worth. Natural Selection, which premiered at SXSW 2011, is about a woman (Rachael Harris) who goes in search of her recently deceased husband's eldest biological son. Read Debbie Cerda's SXSW review for more details.
  • Austin filmmaker Richard Linklater is set to direct the 1970s Karl Rove biopic, College Republicans. Paul Dano (Little Miss Sunshine) will star as a young Rove as he navigates his way to the top of the College Republican National Committee, under the guidance of Lee Atwater. According to TheWrap, filming begins in November in Austin.
  • Fantastic Fest badgeholders can stop by the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz at 7 pm tonight (Sept. 19) to catch a free Hideo Gosha classic, Bandits vs. Samurai Squadron. The 1978 Japanese action epic is about a vengeful ex-samurai who becomes the leader of a gang of outlaws, and sets out to destroy his former master. The movie is making its appearance at the Ritz in rare 35 mm form, thanks to The Criterion Collection and Janus Films.
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