Jette Kernion's blog

Hellion Sundance Chronicles #2 and #3: Filmmakers Just Want to Have Fun

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When local producer Kelly Williams asked me about sending Slackerwood some links to video episodes the Hellion crew would shoot for the Austin film's Sundance premiere, I thought this would be a wonderful way to share tips for filmmakers about the smartest, savviest ways to bring your movie to a film festival. I thought we'd get a glimpse of the real fest experience from the filmmakers' perspective.

And it turns out that yes, we are getting a glimpse of the fest experience from the filmmakers' perspective, and it is unbelievably goofy. In a good way. Here are the second and third episodes in the "Hellion Sundance Chronicles," and while one of them might be a What Not To Do lesson, they're definitely fun to watch. And short, which is what I like best in online videos.

In episode #2, Hellion executive producer Farah White arrives in Park City and, er, is introduced to the fest environment by director Kat Candler.

Hellion Sundance Chronicles #1: Local Filmmakers Prep for Fest

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As Don mentioned last week, one of the Austin shorts going to Park City, Utah for the Sundance Film Festival is Hellion, directed by Kat Candler. Candler and producer Kelly Williams are at Sundance right now (Williams is also on a Slamdance jury). They've decided to shoot an episodic series of short videos about their adventures in Park City, which they'll be sending us this week to share with you.

Here's "Hellion Sundance Chronicles #1," in which the filmmakers are still in Austin, preparing to bring Hellion to a major film festival. It's less than two minutes long ... enjoy!

2011 in Review: The Slackerwood Top Ten

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Tapas for The Skin I Live In

So this year, we at Slackerwood decided it would be fun to create an aggregated Top Ten Movies of 2011 list. Nearly all our regular contributors submitted lists, then I assigned points and tabulated the results and, well, here we are.

What I don't like about this aggregated list is that it doesn't reflect the amazing range of selections from our contributors this year. In several cases, you could look at two of the lists and find no movies in common. So along with the Top Ten list itself, I've added a few interesting statistics about the choices we made this year.

Individual lists aren't included here -- you can read all our 2011 in Review articles to find out exactly which movies our contributors liked. Also, I want to explain what "2011" means for the purpose of this list. I asked that contributors include either films that had a U.S. release in 2011, or that played a local film fest in 2011 but do not yet have U.S. distribution. This means our lists could include movies like Albert Nobbs, which played Austin Film Festival 2011 but won't open in Austin until later this month; as-yet-undistributed AFF selection You Hurt My Feelings; and Japanese film A Boy and His Samurai, a Fantastic Fest 2011 favorite that hasn't yet been released in America.

And now, the list:

Slackery News Tidbits, January 16

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The week has barely started and already we have some great Austin film news to share.

  • Congratulations this morning to Austin filmmaker Heather Courtney. Her documentary Where Soldiers Come From, which premiered at SXSW 2011 (my review), won the Truer Than Fiction award at the Film Independent grant award and nominees brunch on Saturday. Courtney gets a $25,000 grant as part of the award. Take Shelter, directed by Austinite Jeff Nichols, was also honored on Saturday -- producer Sophia Lin won the Piaget Producers Award. Local post-production Stuck On On must be pleased ... they worked on both these movies.
  • The Austin-shot feature Holy Hell, which Jenn reviewed at Austin Film Festival in 2009, is finally available for you to watch, but not in one of the traditional ways. Austinist reports that the movie has been edited and repackaged into episodic chapters that you can watch on an iPad. The first 15-minute "chapter" is free, then you pay a dollar for each subsequent chapter. I don't have an iPad, but if any of you do and can try this out, let us know how the experience works for you.
  • I can't believe I didn't mention this earlier, but the funniest movie I saw at Fantastic Fest last year now has U.S. distribution. Juan of the Dead (aka Juan de los Muertos), the Cuban zombie flick, will be released via video-on-demand/online streaming by Focus Worldwide, the VOD arm of Focus Features. This isn't theatrical distribution, but it means we'll at least be able to watch the movie again. The release date hasn't yet been announced. While we wait, read Rod's review.

2011 in Review: All Our Picks (So Far)

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Here's a handy list of all our "2011 in Review" columns featuring top-ten lists, favorite photos, don't-miss films and other contributors' selections from last year's movies. We'll update this list as more features are posted.

SXSW Brings 'Woods' and Whedon to Austin

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The Cabin in the Woods

It's that time again ... we finally get to find out what will open the SXSW Film Festival this year. And like Kick-Ass two years ago, it looks like this opening-night movie will pack in the fanboys and fangirls: The Cabin in the Woods, directed by Drew Goddard and written by Goddard and Joss Whedon, who will be in Austin for the screening. The fest has also announced a few other movie selections and conference events.

The SXSW screening will be the world premiere for The Cabin in the Woods, although it unofficially screened in Austin already -- it was the worst-kept secret and supposedly a big favorite at a certain private local movie marathon in December. Mike saw it and says, "Cabin In The Woods is going to turn the world of horror upside down and shake it to see what falls out. It will change your entire perspective."

In addition to attending the opening-night premiere, Whedon will participate in one of the SXSW Film Conference's one-on-one "conversation" panels on Saturday, March 10.

Filmmaker Lena Dunham, who brought Tiny Furniture to SXSW 2010, will also be participating in a panel this year. She's been working on a TV series called Girls, and will discuss the show with several of her production team members and producer Judd Apatow. Austin filmmaker/actor Alex Karpovsky (who was in Tiny Furniture) will moderate the panel. Dunham will also host a sneak preview of three episodes of Girls, which premieres on HBO in April.

Review: Carnage

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Carnage

Will these two couples ever part, I wondered? Will the hosts finally close the door behind their guests? The characters tease us by lingering at the door jamb, even stepping into the hall and pushing the elevator button. But if you know Carnage is based on a stage play, Yasmina Reza's God of Carnage (which just finished a run at Zach Scott), you figure most of them can't travel too far away. Perhaps they'll leave and return later ... or on the other hand, the four of them could be trapped in the same room forever, evoking shades of No Exit.

The suspense about this situation is only part of the tense and occasionally comic interaction that infuses Carnage with more energy and humor than you might expect from a stage-based, occasionally stagy adaptation. End-of-year "award bait" dramas aren't usually quite this funny, although the twisted humor takes awhile to get going. It's not at all what I would have predicted from a film directed by Roman Polanski starring Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz and even the often-amusing John C. Reilly.

Classic and New Comedies at the Paramount This Month

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Love and Death

Just in time to break up the dark days of winter -- which in Austin apparently means 70 degrees and sunny, not that I'm complaining at all -- the Paramount Theatre is screening some classic and new funny movies in its Winter Comedy Series this month. The films range from Will Ferrell vehicles to Richard Pryor stand-up; Woody Allen to Eddie Murphy; and a certain locally shot favorite. The week-long series runs from January 22-29.

The movies are being shown in double features, and one ticket can get you into both films in one night. If you have a Paramount Film Fan membership, you can get a discount on ticket prices, online or at the box office.

The lineup is detailed below.

Slackery News Tidbits, January 6

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Here's the latest Austin film news:

  • IndieWIRE has kicked off its interview series "Meet the 2012 Sundance Filmmakers" with a pair of Austin filmmakers you might already know: Nathan and David Zellner. The interview has some interesting tidbits about their feature film Kid-Thing, which will premiere at the fest later this month.
  • Local filmmaker/instructor Geoff Marslett's animated movie Mars, which played SXSW in 2010, is now available on Netflix Watch Instantly. Read Jenn's review and her interview with Marslett about the film. Reactions to the movie, now that it's more widely available, inspired a thoughtful blog entry about indie films from Hipstercrite, aka Lauren Modery, Marslett's writing (Loves Her Gun) and romantic partner.
  • SXSW Film Festival is trying a new method for selecting its encore screenings this year: input from you. This Tugg page has a list of past SXSW award winners that the fest may show again this year; you can select one or more and no, you don't have to register to vote or anything annoying like that. Selections include Thunder Soul, Incendiary: The Willingham Case and Marwencol (and now you know how I voted).
  • Two other local film festivals are ready for you to send them your movies for consideration in their lineup. Fantastic Fest is now accepting film entries for the 2012 festival, which takes place September 20-27 this year. Austin Film Festival is open for submissions for films as well as screenplays for their fest, running October 18-25.

2011 in Review: Jette's Favorite Photos

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SXSW Film Festival 2011

Here are some of my favorite photos that I took at Austin film events and festivals in 2011. You can click the photos to find out more about each subject or event.

Oh, and apart from the picture with Elmo at the top, these are not vanity photos ... so don't think this is going to be All About Me. The photos cover a variety of interesting and notable people, from Marc Savlov to Dominic Monaghan; from the Bellflower car to Jack Black ... and more.

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