Jette Kernion's blog

What Would You Show at the Paramount?

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SXSW 2009 at the Paramount

The Paramount Theatre is holding a raffle right now to benefit the theater's youth outreach program. The website doesn't say what the deadline is for buying raffle tickets, but they're announcing the winner on September 23, so I assume it's shortly before that date.

The winner gets to hold a private film night at the Paramount and invite anyone they want -- up to 1,100 audience members total. The website says you can show "the movie of your choice" but it also says restrictions apply, which probably means No Porn, although you'll have to win to find that out for sure. You can't charge admission for the event, either.

Quick Snaps: '500 Days' at SXSW

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500 Days at SXSW by J. Kernion

On Friday, the romantic comedy (500) Days of Summer opens here in Austin, at Arbor and Alamo South. But this isn't the first time the movie has screened in town -- it was the closing-night film for SXSW 2009. I managed to take a few photos that evening. Everyone wanted to get a shot of the two stars, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, pictured above.

Slackerwood will be posting a group review of the film on Friday, so come back tomorrow and find out what we thought of it. And after the jump, I've got a couple more photos from the SXSW screening.

Slackery News Tidbits of the Undead

Emily Hagins and her wonderfully helpful Mom, Megan Hagins by Ian on FlickrIt's not a big week for Austin film news -- most of the movie news this week is coming out of Comic-Con in San Diego. Mike Judge will be there, showing clips from his upcoming movie Extract, and Robert Rodriguez will show footage from his family-friendly film Shorts, which has an Austin premiere in August. In addition, the documentary Zombie Girl, about how horror filmmaker Emily Hagins shot her first feature at age 12, will screen at Comic-Con, with Emily and her mom Megan (shown at right) in attendance.

But I do have a few tidbits to share:

  • Alamo Drafthouse has a new blog to track progress on The Highball, the new games/entertainment spot they're planning to open in time for Fantastic Fest this year. One of the bloggers is Afsheen, who gave us such wonderful photos and stories about the renovation and reopening of Alamo Ritz.
  • Austin Movie Blog sifted through Filmmaker Magazine's list of "25 New Faces of Independent Film" and found a local connection: animator Geoff Marslett.
  • If you didn't read Marc Savlov's article on Austin microcinema in last week's Austin Chronicle, you may be missing info about some of the best "small" film series/fests in town.

Stuntman/Author Gary Kent at BookPeople

Gary Kent Book Signing by J. Kernion, on Flickr

See, sometimes I go to events that aren't in movie theaters, or where movies aren't shown. Last Wednesday, stuntman/actor/filmmaker and now author Gary Kent had a book signing at BookPeople, where he read from his book Shadows & Light: Journeys with Outlaws in Revolutionary Hollywood.

Kent, who now lives in Austin, has appeared at Alamo Drafthouse events for films in which he's worked on -- The Girls from Thunder Strip and recently Psych-Out. Besides Psych-Out, he's done stunts for other Richard Rush films such as Hell's Angels on Wheels, The Savage Seven, and Freebie and the Bean. You may remember Anne Heller's 2007 article for Slackerwood about The Pyramid, which Kent wrote and directed. More recently, he was stunt coordinator for Bubba Ho-Tep.

Free Movies at BookWoman in July

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BookWomanAustin has so many free movie options -- we wrote up a whole guide to free summer films, after all -- that you wouldn't think the city had room for more. But a new source for free films this summer has appeared on the scene -- BookWoman, on N. Lamar near 2222, has launched "An Evening for the Ladies Film Series" on Fridays at 7:30 pm this month.

The series actually started July 10, but here's the info on the other three films for July:

Friday, July 17: She Likes Girls, Vol. 3 -- A 2007 collection of lesbian-themed short films from filmmakers such as Guinevere Turner, Julie Goldman, Cassandra Nicolaou and Tina Scorzafava.

Friday, July 24: Women in Love -- In this 2005 film, Karen Everett creates a documentary about her own love life and her circle of friends, as she reaches age 40.

Friday, July 31: The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love -- The title says it all in this romantic 1995 film from writer/director Maria Maggenti.

Slackery News Tidbits: True Confessions

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burger bedWould you like to learn the secret about how I find all the Slackery News Tidbits? Sure, some of them come from press releases I receive and articles I find, but most of them -- okay, I'll confess. I find most of them by reading Twitter posts. Someone links to a cool article or news, I mark the post as a favorite, and then periodically I dig through my favorites and create a list like the one below.

Now you're all thinking that you'll never read Slackery News Tidbits again because you can just check Twitter ... but the first item on the list isn't from Twitter, it's from a press-release email and is news you may not know yet. It's not even on the fest's website yet. So see, you have to keep reading.

  • Austin Film Festival has just announced that Ron Howard will be attending this year's screenwriters conference and film fest. AFF is presenting Howard with the Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking Award, and will also be a featured speaker during the conference. Which films will they show that he's been involved with? Hoping for Splash and Night Shift, myself.

Mike White Must Looove Austin

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Writer/director/actor Mike White obviously wants to spend some quality time in the Central Texas area this fall. Fantastic Fest has just announced via Twitter that the Year of the Dog writer-director will be in town for the fest's opening-night film, Gentlemen Broncos, in which he has a role (and is a producer). He'll be joining the film's writer-director Jared Hess and actor Jemaine Clement.

But wait, there's more. White will return to Austin less than a month later for Austin Film Festival ... or maybe he'll hang out here the whole time, who knows? AFF has posted a fun interview with him that covers screenwriting, film fests, and other topics. No word yet on whether AFF will show any of White's films during the fest -- his screenwriting credits also include The School of Rock, The Good Girl, Nacho Libre and several episodes of Freaks and Geeks. Fortunately, both festivals are at the right time of year for Austin, weather-wise.

Quick Snaps: Waiting for Fantastic Fest News

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 Awards

Fantastic Fest is announcing its first round of 2009 films at 10 am, and the organizers been working festgoers on Twitter into a frenzy with rumors of "bombshell announcement" and "huge news." In fact, they like Twitter so much that it will be the first place the announcements are posted.

If you use Twitter and want the very first heads-up on Fantastic Fest 2009 news, now would be the perfect time to start following @fantasticfest. If you aren't interested in Twitter, don't worry -- Jenn Brown will be keeping an eye on the news, and she'll post the titles and info here on Slackerwood as soon as possible.

While we're talking about Fantastic Fest, filmmakers take note: the deadline for submitting your films to the fest is this Friday, July 17.

The above photo is from Fantastic Fest 2008 -- Tim League preparing to announce the awards while a sister act pre-show plays onscreen. I've posted a second photo after the jump from the 2008 opening-night World Air Sex Championship, in memory not only of last year's fest but a recent political announcement. Enjoy!

How Young Is Too Young to Watch Movies in Theaters?

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Shrek at Alamo South, by Jette Kernion

On Twitter today, Marla Erwin (@marlaerwin) was annoyed with Alamo Drafthouse. She wanted to take her kids to see Ice Age 3D at Alamo Village this weekend, but some of her little ones are under 6 years old. And at Alamo Drafthouse, children under 6 are not allowed at the theater, even for matinees of kids' movies, except at weekday Baby Day screenings.

Marla ended up taking her family to see the movie at what she called a "mall chain" theater in town. She likes Alamo so she wasn't happy about this, and wants the local chain to consider changing their policy for children's movies.

Triple-Digit Slackery News Tidbits

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Funniest Filmmaker in AustinIt's too hot for film news, isn't it? It's too hot for just about anything except sitting in the air conditioning and watching movies. And yet, some of you have the energy to make movies in this weather, which brings us to some of this week's local movie news:

  • Austin Film Festival is co-sponsoring the Funniest Filmmaker in Austin series for the fourth year. Send them your short film (under 5 minutes) by August 10, and all films will be screened the following week. The winning film will be screened at AFF this year, and the winner also receives two AFF producers badges for the 2009 fest. There's no entrance fee, so why not take a chance?
  • Another great chance: SXSW is still accepting panel submissions for the 2010 Film, Interactive, and Music conferences until 11:59 pm tomorrow night.
  • BookPeople is hosting a book signing next Wednesday, July 15 at 7 pm for stuntman Gary Kent's book Shadows & Light: Journeys With Outlaws in Revolutionary Hollywood. As if that's not cool enough, special guests that evening include "entrepreneur/philanthropist/stuntman Rex Cumming (Walker, Texas Ranger); actor/stuntman Bob Ivy (Bubba Ho-Tep, Phantasm); writer/director Don Jones (Lethal Pursuit, The Forest); producer/author Michael MacFarland (The Pyramid, The Ultimate Joy); and iconic director/actor/stunt legend Chuck Bail (The Stuntman, Freebie and The Bean, Beastmaster)." (Thanks to Lars for the heads-up.)
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