Jette Kernion's blog

Austin Film Festival 2012: Our Coverage


Updated November 6, 2012.

The Slackerwood team has been all over Austin Film Festival this year. Here's our coverage, including guides, reviews, interviews and features.

Slackerwood, AFS and Blue Starlite Bring 'Cinema Six' to Austin


Cinema Six

I'm so happy to be able to tell you that Slackerwood is coordinating with Blue Starlite Urban Drive-In to host the Austin premiere of the Central Texas-shot indie comedy Cinema Six later this month.

The movie will screen on Friday, November 30 at 8 pm at the Blue Starlite setup at Austin Studios. Cinema Six co-writer/director Mark Potts will be attending the event, and I'm willing to bet other local cast and crew will be there as well.

We're giving away several tickets at the end of this article. Keep reading.

If you missed the giveaway, buy tickets now through the Blue Starlite website, either to drive in with your car and watch the movie, or to walk-in with your blanket or lawn chair and watch it that way. It's going to be the end of November in Austin, so it might be chilly (like 60 degrees, brrrr!) if you're walking in -- I suggest the lawn chair AND the blanket.

AFF Review: Mr. Cao Goes to Washington


Mr. Cao Goes to Washington

I couldn't think of a more fitting movie for this Election Day than Mr. Cao Goes to Washington, and my only regret is that I can't urge you to watch it right now. The documentary screened at Austin Film Festival last month, and PBS will broadcast it in January, but in the meantime you'll have to watch Butter or The Candidate instead. (Or Idiocracy, but I digress.)

The subject of Mr. Cao Goes to Washington is Anh "Joseph" Cao, a Republican who won a U.S. Congress seat in 2008 for Louisiana's Second Congressional District, which includes most of New Orleans district and which had elected Democrats for more than a century. Cao was running against the incumbent, William Jefferson, whom I will refer to as a politician in the very oldest traditions of Louisiana politics. Cao's victory was considered an upset, which tells you even more about why the oldest traditions of Louisiana politics are still around. (I used to live there, so I get to say that.)

Want Passes to 'Silver Linings Playbook' Preview?


Silver Linings PlaybookSlackerwood is giving you the chance to watch the movie Silver Linings Playbook next week, before it opens in Austin ... at no cost. The latest film from David O. Russell (Three Kings, The Fighter) will have a preview screening on Monday, November 12, at 7 pm at Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar. We have a limited number of admit-two "e-tickets" to give away -- keep reading for details on how to get one yourself.

After the jump, you'll find a promotional code and a link to the Gofobo website where you can enter the code to get an admit-two pass. This is a first-come, first-served pass and seating is not guaranteed. If you've been to preview screenings, you know that often more tickets are given out than there are seats, so you'll want to arrive early to stake out a good spot in line. This can be especially true at Drafthouse preview screenings.

Silver Linings Playbook, which won the marquee feature audience award at Austin Film Festival last month, will open in local theaters on Nov. 16. Austin-American Statesman critic Charles Ealy caught it at AFF and wrote, "It looks like this might be one of those rare, great romantic comedies."

Bradley Cooper plays a teacher who moves back in with his parents after experiencing marital troubles. Robert De Niro, Julia Stiles, Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Tucker also star. Several of us at Slackerwood are definitely looking forward to seeing this one. J.C. saw it at AFF too and tells me that "It's a really wonderful film. Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper have amazing onscreen chemistry. It's also great to see Robert De Niro in a good role again."

Are you ready to redeem your ticket?

Movies This Week: November 2-8, 2012


Brooklyn Castle 

It's my birthday today, which means naturally I'm looking at movie listings for tonight and tomorrow. Should I finally see Argo, convince my husband to watch Cloud Atlas with me or give Wreck-It Ralph a chance? After reading Chale's Austin Polish Film Festival previews (parts one and two), I'm tempted to spend the weekend at The Marchesa. Otherwise, tonight's an unusually poor night for special screenings unless I want to go to a Dumb and Dumber quote-along, and considering I walked out of that movie when I saw it in a theater I'll pass. Besides, my husband keeps promising he's taking me to a fancy dinner at McDonald's.

On Saturday and Sunday, Alamo Ritz brings back its 70mm series with Cleopatra, that gorgeous flop with Elizabeth Taylor in the title role. And while I'm not a big cocktail girl, I do dearly love A Fish Called Wanda, which Alamo is showing as part of their Cinema Cocktail series on Sunday and Wednesday at the Slaughter theater. Slaughter is also screening Network on Tuesday (appropriately) and Thursday.

Austin Film Society is hosting three movies from Houston filmmaker Jonathan Caouette, who'll be in Austin to present them. On Monday, you can see Tarnation and All Tomorrow's Parties, and on Wednesday, Walk Away Renee preceded by his short All Flowers in Time.

Of course Tuesday's Election Day, and I'm planning to spend it the same way I did in 2004 and 2008: watching a delightful comedy from the 30s or 40s as part of an AFS Essential Cinema series. This time it's Cluny Brown, the last in the series on later Ernst Lubitsch films. It's way more enjoyable than fussing around the TV looking at early polling results and also nicely escapist.

Movies We've Seen:

Brooklyn Castle -- I saw this documentary at Dallas International Film Festival this year and can't urge you enough to check it out. It's about a Brooklyn middle school where the kids all think playing chess is pretty cool, and how that affects the school and the students. And it's also a strong argument for funding schools' extracurricular activities. You can bring your kids, too. (Arbor)

Flight -- The latest Robert Zemeckis movie, starring Denzel Washington, is a thriller about -- no wait, it's a drama about alcoholism. Elizabeth fell for the trailer's bait-and-switch and says in her review, "the melodrama and forced emotion of it all just left me cold." (wide)

AFF 2012 Photos: The Red Carpet Experience


James Franco at AFF

A number of well known faces appeared around Austin Film Festival this year. While some stars walked the red carpet for movies such as It's a Disaster, Silver Linings Playbook and Jayne Mansfield's Car, others happily wandered around the festival, sat in panels and watched movies. Fortunately we had a couple of intrepid photographers covering the AFF red carpet events who captured some lovely photos for those of you who happened not to inadvertantly sit next to James Franco -- pictured above before the screening of Francophrenia -- or his General Hospital co-star Steve Burton. Many thanks again to Molly Dinkins and Dick De Jong for the photos below.

Let's start with Andrea Riseborough, the British actress in Austin for the film Shadow Dancer. She's also been in W.E., Made in Dagenham and Never Let Me Go.

AFF 2012 Dispatch: Superheroes, Disaster and New Orleans Politics


Julia Stiles and America Ferrera

I had an excellent Saturday at Austin Film Festival, with three good movies and a bit of a party. I even found downtown parking on a UT home football game day for $7, at St. David's.

I got downtown later than I wanted to see Pictures of Superheroes at Alamo Drafthouse Ritz. I like to get to Ritz super-early during AFF because it's such a popular venue. In fact I'd thought about seeing Hyde Park on Hudson earlier in the day and realized it would draw such a crowd at Ritz that I'd have to get there 90 minutes early, and I was simply too lazy at that hour of the morning.

At any rate, I found my miraculously affordable parking (since I'd be down there until midnight, it was cheaper than a meter) and made it to Ritz in plenty of time to get a good seat for the movie. I ended up next to AFS staffer Ryan Long, but the theater was full of local filmmakers and film community people and I'd have been amazed if I hadn't sat near anyone I knew.

AFF 2012 Interview: Don Swaynos, 'Pictures of Superheroes'


Don Swaynos and Chris Doubek

I admit I couldn't help but be excited about a movie that was primarily shot in my neighborhood, although you couldn't tell from watching Pictures of Superheroes. Much of the film takes place in a house where filmmaker Don Swaynos was living at the time, which is several blocks away from my own home. You wouldn't know it without his telling you, though.

I saw Pictures of Superheroes on Saturday at its world premiere, and afterward, emailed Swaynos a few questions about the movie. The answers are below. Don't worry, they're not spoilery. I liked the movie very much and encourage you all to see it at Austin Film Festival tonight at 7 pm at the Texas State Theater in the Bob Bullock Texas History Museum. Swaynos and probably some other cast/crew will be there and you too can ask him questions. Check out Debbie's review for more details.

Slackerwood: Can you give us the 25-word summary/pitch of the film?

Don Swaynos: Maybe. After being fired and broken-up with on the same day, Marie, a maid (Kerri Lendo), ends up being hired by an overworked businessman, Eric (Shannon McCormick), who is so busy he's forgotten he has a roommate, Joe (John Merriman). Things get weirder and weirder from there. It's not about superheroes.

AFF 2012 Interview: Will Moore, 'Satellite of Love'


Will Moore, Satellite of Love

I saw Satellite of Love at Dallas International Film Festival earlier this year, and it was easily the loveliest movie I caught at the fest. It's set primarily in a vineyard, and the opening sequence takes place at a fair with some gorgeous shots on a Ferris wheel. In addition, the film is a poignant look at the complexity of intimate relationships, with excellent performances from Zachary Knighton and Nathan Phillips in particular. I reviewed the movie and wondered when we'd get to see it here in Austin.

Fortunately, Satellite of Love is in the Austin Film Festival lineup, and you have one more chance to see it -- tonight at 7 pm at the Rollins Theater at the Long Center. What were you planning to do tonight? Don't do that, see this movie instead. It really shines on a big screen, and director/co-writer Will James Moore will be there.

I interviewed Moore via email about the movie -- his responses are below.

Slackerwood: Can you give us the 25-word summary/pitch of the film?

Will Moore: Catherine is married to Blake, a restaurant-owning workaholic, and from the outset it is easy to see that there is a lack of passion in their relationship. Worldly musician Samuel, a former lover of Catherine and best friend to Blake, invites the couple to a vineyard for a week to make up for his absence at their wedding.

AFF 2012 Dispatch: Film and Food and The Perils of Romance


AFF Film and Food by Jack Plunkett

I'm very fond of Austin Film Festival and this year, a little sad that I'm not able to spend as much time at the fest as I'd like. Still, I've had nothing but good AFF experiences so far. Here are a few highlights from the first couple of days.

First of all, if you are going to do AFF and you can afford the tickets, the Film and Food Party is the best way ever to kick off the fest-ivities, especially if you have an adventurous eater with you, especially especially if she helps encourage you to not eat all the heavy-duty pork dishes so you don't feel too terribly stuffed.

I even bid in the silent auction this year, being lured by a signed Star Trek script as a potential way to score major Awesome Wife points, although I got outbid on that one and decided that after a certain price point, you can't decimate the household budget and still be Awesome Wife. Hopefully I got points for trying. I also was outbid on the signed Spy Kids poster, which is probably a good thing because my house is in a state of movie poster overload. You can see the poster above with the gentleman who signed it, honorary Film and Food chair (and local filmmaker, natch) Robert Rodriguez.

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