Jette Kernion's blog

SXSW 2013: The Latest Lineup (and Venue!) News


Loves Her Gun

Whatever number of Austin films I might have guessed would be in the SXSW Film Festival feature lineup released this afternoon, I would have been short. Texas is everywhere in this year's festival, and the midnight movies and short films won't even be announced for another week.

In addition, we at Slackerwood have some news about the SXSW Film 2013 screening locations, as we prepare our annual stellar SXSW Film Venue Guide. Apart from Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar (sob), the theaters will be the same as last year, with a couple of additions. The brand-new Topfer Theatre at Zach Scott will be a film venue, about which I know nothing, so if you've been there please share your impressions in the comments. And all four screens of Violet Crown Cinema will be used for screenings -- no details yet on how, but we'll keep you posted.

You can find the full announcement on the SXSW Film website (John Sayles! Joss Whedon! Dave Grohl!), and we'll run an extended list soon with details about all the Austin connections. In the meantime, you might want to know that the Headliners category includes When Angels Sing, the latest film from Austin filmmaker Tim McCanlies, adapted from a story by Turk Pipkin, and shot around Austin. The cast includes Texans Lyle Lovett, Willie Nelson and Dana Wheeler-Nicholson.

Sundance 2013: News (and Video) Roundup


Sundance 2013 logoNow that Sundance is over, you might be wondering how the Austin and Texas films fared. Here's the latest update, plus some links to local coverage (and at the end, fun videos!). I hope we'll see a few of these in Austin in March (or in Dallas in April).

Sundance 2013 Photos: AFS Brings Texas to Park City

The Texas Party at Sundance

I may not be in Park City, but I am enjoying many aspects of the Sundance Film Festival from the comforts of home (you can too!). Today's vicarious living involves the Texas Party, hosted by the Austin Film Society and Texas Monthly at the height of Sundance festgoing. The party celebrated the number of Lone Star films at this year's Park City fest.

AFS Marketing and Events Coordinator Austin Culp and other photographers to be named later [update: Ryan Long and Chris Cortez] took a number of photos at the event, and I'm amused because if I showed you the photos and didn't tell you where they were taken, you would have assumed it was a filmmaker party here in Austin. Former and current Austinites and Texans were everywhere ... well, admittedly they did seem to be everywhere at Sundance in general this year.

I'm not sure why actor/filmmaker Jonny Mars and producer Kelly Williams appear to be sparring in the above photo. I'll let them tell me sometime. They were at the party shortly before departing for the premiere of Black Metal, which Debbie has detailed in her Sunday dispatch.

I've included more of my favorites below. If that's not enough for you, check out the Texas Party photo set from the event.

Experience Sundance 2013 Without Leaving Your Couch


Sundance 2013 logoI didn't go to Park City for the Sundance Film Festival this year. I know I'm missing lots of good movies, but on the other hand, it was 70 degrees in Austin yesterday, while Sundance festgoers are dealing with single-digit and even negative-number temperatures. I'm too delicate a flower for that kind of weather.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways in which we in Austin (or anywhere) can have a taste of the Sundance experience from the comfort of our homes. Before you enjoy the videos below, if you want an authentic Sundance experience you could crank up the air conditioning, put on some thermal underwear, and consume only power bars and coffee. If you want to simulate the press-and-industry experience, you might get a jerky friend to sit next to you and play with their smartphone the whole time, but I think that's going too far.

  • The Screening Room -- Sundance has posted a dozen of the shorts from the 2013 festival on YouTube, at no cost to you. Debbie has already mentioned that Austin short film Black Metal is one of them, which I watched the other day and can't recommend enough. But there are also 11 other short films, and that's an enjoyable evening right there.
  • Focus Forward Films -- Focus Forward is a series of three-minute shorts that are screening at a number of film festivals, including Sundance 2013. You can also watch them online from the project's website. Filmmakers include Morgan Spurlock, Albert Mayles, Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern, Steve James, and Alex Gibney. There are 30 total, which is another 90-minute slot of entertaining shorts.

Review: Rust and Bone


Rust and Bone

The characters in Rust and Bone, the latest film from Jacques Audiard (A Prophet) truly are down to the bone -- they border on primal at times. Add powerhouse leads like Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts and you get an intense experience that's so vivid it's hard to look away, but often so painful it's hard to keep watching. I kept watching, and Rust and Bone ended up being one of my favorite films of 2012.

The movie focuses first on a father and his son: Ali (Schoenaerts) travels with five-year-old Sam to Antibes, a coastal French town, to live with Ali's sister and her husband. Ali finds work as a bouncer and ends up taking Stephanie (Cotillard) back to her home after she's been attacked in the nightclub. Slowly, the movie expands its focus to include Stephanie, who trains killer whales fearlessly in a Sea World-type setting.

But Ali and Stephanie don't really cross paths again until after Stephanie's life has been turned upside-down. Their intense and strange relationship, including the ways it affects Ali's son, is the heart of Rust and Bone.

SXSW 2013: Six Degrees of Texas Connections


Matthew McConaughey, Bernie red carpet


On Tuesday afternoon, SXSW announced the opening-night movie and several world premieres for its 2013 film festival, as well as some additional Film Conference sessions.

The big local connection is that "A Conversation with Matthew McConaughey" has been added to the SXSW Film Conference lineup. The Austin actor appeared in four films last year, including Killer Joe and the Central Texas-shot Bernie, both of which screened at SXSW 2012. I notice there's no moderator announced for that panel yet -- SXSW, feel free to call me. I would be happy to volunteer my services.

The full lineup will almost certainly offer some promising local films, but so far there's no Frost Bank Tower in the mix. I view this as a challenge. Let's find out what other Austin and Texas connections I can tease out of the movies and other panels announced yesterday. This is Slackerwood -- we can always find something.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (opening-night film) -- This comedy about superstar magicians stars Steve Buscemi, Steve Carell, Jim Carrey and Olivia Wilde. Damn. All I have is that Carrey was in I Love You Phillip Morris, which is based on a book by a Houston reporter (Steve McVicker) and is partially set in Texas. I've got to do better than this.

Texas Film Hall of Fame 2013 Honorees Announced


Texas Film Hall of Fame AwardsSome very familiar faces, whom you might not realize are Texas natives, are among this year's Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards recipients. In addition, a quintessential Austin film will be honored that evening: Dazed and Confused. At a press conference this morning, Austin Film Society Associate Artistic Director Holly Herrick announced the honorees: Stephen Tobolowsky, Robin Wright, Henry Thomas and Annette O'Toole. In addition, actress Julie Hagerty will attend the event to present Tobolowsky's award.

Parker Posey will also be there, to accept the Star of Texas Award for Dazed and Confused. "And I think we may have the director there as well. We'll see," joked Herrick. Richard Linklater, who directed the film and co-founded AFS, was sitting in the front row of the press conference at the time.

Linklater attended the conference to talk about where the funds raised by Texas Film Hall of Fame event go: the Texas Filmmakers Production Fund and to AFS educational programs. The gala is the primary fundraising event for AFS.

This year's awards ceremony will take place on Thursday, March 7 -- the night before SXSW begins.The event is returning to Austin Studios (yay parking!) and will take place in Studio 7. Tickets and tables for the gala and awards dinner are currently on sale via the AFS website. In addition, an after-party will overlap with the awards, and after-party-only tickets will be available for $30 (two for $50) if the gala tickets aren't in your price range.

All Our 2012 Holiday Favorites


Updated December 28, 2012.

We've really enjoyed writing and publishing guest Holiday Favorites this year. If you're looking for something different to watch during the holiday season (or any time), here are our (and their) suggestions.

Movies This Week: December 28, 2012 - January 3, 2013


My Neighbor Totoro

I'm not even sure why I'm writing a Movies This Week for a week that has no new movies opening in Austin, so far as I can tell.

Oh, yes, I know why: Because this IS Austin, and there are plenty of special screenings and events. All the ones I could find this week are at Alamo Drafthouse -- feel free to leave a comment or let me know if non-Alamo special screenings are happening within the week.

Alamo Kids' Camp, revived for the winter holidays, is showing the dubbed version of My Neighbor Totoro for free daily at 10 am, from Saturday through Thursday, at the Lake Creek location. And Sunday through Thursday, Alamo South Lamar will screen the dubbed Castle in the Sky, also for free. These movies are first-come, first-served. Hop on the catbus and head over.

For a less family-friendly option, Alamo Ritz has weekend screenings of Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.

Holiday Favorites 2012: Bob Byington, 'Bad Santa'


Bad Santa

Welcome to Holiday Favorites, a series in which Slackerwood contributors and our friends talk about the movies we watch during the holiday season, holiday-related or otherwise.

Austin filmmaker Bob Byington brings us today's Holiday Favorites. Byington's unique comedies include Harmony and Me and [RSO] Registered Sex Offender. His most recent film, Somebody Up There Likes Me, premiered at SXSW 2012 (Don's review), will be released in theaters in February 2013 ... we hear it will open in Austin on February 22 at Violet Crown, and will keep you posted. Here's what Byington has to say about his favorite movie at this time of year:

The first time I saw Bad Santa it didn't play for me, and like some of my other favorite movies, the second viewing went really well.

The chemistry between the kid (Brett Kelly) and Billy Bob Thornton is great. And the scene where Billy Bob talks about how hitting a kid gave him the strength to go on living -- there's nothing like that.

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