Jette Kernion's blog

KLRU to Air Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards

Thomas Haden Church

This Thursday, May 28, KLRU is going to broadcast highlights from the 2009 Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards from 8 to 9 pm. And if you miss that date, you can catch the broadcast again on KLRU-2 on Wednesday, June 3 at 9 pm. The awards originally took place on March 12, right before SXSW started.

Thomas Haden Church (pictured above) was a wonderfully amusing emcee, and I hope that none of his jokes were considered unsuitable for nighttime public television. More photos from the event are after the jump.

Your Turn: Favorite Paramount Stories

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Air S** at the Paramount

It's Memorial Day, and what a gorgeous day it is. A perfect day to be outside. Yet we'll probably all be in theaters anyway -- or maybe the Mondo Tees rummage sale over at Alamo South Lamar. At any rate, I'm taking the day off from writing.

So it's your turn. Please take a minute and post to the comments section of this entry. Share your favorite story or amusing anecdote about a memorable experience you've had at the Paramount Theatre here in Austin. Movie-related stories are best, but anything entertaining related to the historic theater is welcome.

I've already told my favorite Paramount story, about the time I saw Ann Richards at a screening of Blood Simple during Austin Film Festival. Surely you all can top that? Let's hear 'em. And if you've already written your story elsewhere, as I did, feel free to post a link -- links to photos are fine, too.

2009 Guide to Austin Summer Film Camps

Son of Rambow

You may think Austin has plenty of filmmakers, actors and crew in town now ... but just you wait another dozen years or so, and we'll be even more packed. That is, if you're judging by the number of summer day camps for kids interested in making movies. The camps cover everything from screenwriting to acting to claymation. At the end of many of them, your children attend a screening of the movie they helped make, or bring home a DVD to hold their own private screening party. All I ever brought home from summer camp were lanyards and painted rocks, so I'm envious.

Here's a list of all the summer movie-related camps and classes in the Austin area that I could find. The descriptions are pretty much verbatim from press releases or websites, since I haven't attended any of these camps personally. Sadly, they're for kids and not adults, although you'll find a couple of options for grownups at the end of the list. At least we can all go to the free summer movies, regardless of age.

Slackery News Tidbits: DVD Gossip, a New Fest and Shaky Seats

Check out the latest movie news from Austin and Central Texas:

  • Kelly Williams at Austin Film Festival has written a lovely remembrance of Bud Shrake that also contains an exciting piece of news: Before he died, Shrake had recorded a commentary track for an upcoming DVD release of Kid Blue. You know we'll keep you posted when more info becomes available.
  • More on Shrake: the Austin Chronicle has republished Louis Black's excellent interview from 1985 with the Texas author and screenwriter.
  • Galaxy Highland is installing "motion-enhanced seats" -- about 20 in one theater -- in time for Terminator Salvation to open this weekend. Austin Movie Blog tells us that tickets for these seats will cost about $8 more. My first thought was that such seating will make it even harder to get through a long movie without a bathroom break; a colleague of mine noted that vibrating seats might be more appropriate to certain other genres of film.

Quick Snaps: Echoes of 'Grindhouse'

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Movie Set 3, from JimNtexas

I've heard people argue that Grindhouse, which was shot in Austin, was so overhyped and underattended that it actually crippled the local film production industry in some way. I'm not sure I agree with that -- I think that better film incentives in other states was a much bigger factor. I admit I wish that Grindhouse had been made with a much lower budget, rather like the Masters of Horror series on Showtime, and then it might have built more of a cult following instead of ending up a box-office flop. But we'll never know.

I do know this: I use my SXSW Film 2007 canvas bag, the one with the Grindhouse picture splashed on it, as a grocery bag. And every time a cashier under 40 sees it, they grin at the bag or tell me how they loved Planet Terror, or they can't wait for Quentin Tarantino to make another film. (Then I cheer them up by telling them about Inglourious Basterds -- my inner film geek wants to see it, but my inner grammar geek HATES the title.) There are still a lot of fans of this movie, and filmmakers Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, here in town.

Slackery (and Sad) News Tidbits

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The happy news:

  • The Austin Public Library has started a Reel Independents series this summer, with foreign films screening every month at both the St. John and Ruiz libraries. Free movies!
  • The Harry Ransom Center has posted a video showing how they catalogued the new Robert De Niro collection.
  • The Two-week Turnaround Tour filmmaking project will be in Austin from May 15-28 and they're looking for local filmmakers to help. They plan to write, shoot, and screen a short film during their time here.

Linklater's Baseball Doc Gets Alamo Screening, DVD Release

Linklater at Paramount

It's been about a year since Austin Film Society premiered Inning by Inning, Richard Linklater's documentary about Texas Longhorns baseball coach Augie Garrido, at the Paramount. I wrote about the movie for Cinematical. I'm not a baseball fan, but the profile of Garrido was fascinating. The film played on ESPN a few times, but we haven't heard much about it since.

Fortunately, Inning by Inning will be released on DVD on June 2. To promote the DVD release, Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar will show the film on Monday, June 1. Linklater will be at the screening and will hold a Q&A afterwards. The tickets aren't yet on sale. I hope this is the non-bleeped-out-for-TV version, because some of Garrido's cussing is almost lyrical.

The DVD apparently includes not only Inning by Inning, but a separate documentary about the Longhorn team's 2006 season called A Game of Adversity. I believe this documentary is directed by Inning by Inning producer Brian Franklin, shown above with Linklater. The DVD also has a 60-minute "feature" called Extra Innings with Augie. This is going to be a real treat for Longhorn baseball fans.

[Photo credit: Austin Film Society. Used with permission.]

Paramount: Summer Film Series, New Film Fan Benefits

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Paramount's summer movies begin

The Paramount Theatre has just released its 2009 schedule for the Summer Film Series, which has been going on for how long? 34 years, according to the website. I remember seeing MASH there in the summer of 1994, even though I had such a bad cold I could barely speak. I had never seen an unedited version of the movie, nor seen it in a theater, and I pretty much forgot about my cold for 2 hours. The print was pink from old age, but that didn't matter.

Over the years, the summer film series has grown bigger and more varied, and the quality of the prints has improved greatly. But they still start every year with Casablanca in late May, and reserve Labor Day weekend for Gone with the Wind.

Some of this year's highlights are a special screening of Buster Keaton's The General with music by Guy Forsyth; a double-feature of Chaplin's City Lights and Modern Times; Hal Ashby's 1970 film The Landlord, which isn't on DVD yet; and the little-seen Frank Capra film American Madness from 1932.

Rodriguez Reveals His Next Projects at Film Incentives Bill Signing

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Film incentive bill signing

Yesterday, I headed over to Troublemaker Studios to attend the bill signing for House Bill 873, which improves the incentives that film, video, and game productions receive when they work in Texas. Troublemaker had set up a studio for the event, which was packed with locals who work in the film industry and a few politicians. I suspect some people not only wanted to see the signing but also get a peek at even a bit of Troublemaker Studios, and the event area was nicely dressed with some cars used in Robert Rodriguez's films. Yes, I've got photos after the jump.

Rep. Dawnna Dukes of Austin introduced the bill in the legislature this session, and spoke at the event along with Bob Hudgins, director of the Texas Film Commission. Gov. Perry was confident that the incentives would help bring enough film production to Texas to give the economy a huge boost.

Quick Snaps: Robert Rodriguez, Troublemaker

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Robert Rodriguez

I'm still working on an article about today's signing of the film-incentives bill, which took place at Troublemaker Studios. But while I'm slaving away, here's a photo of Robert Rodriguez taken at the event. I really like this one. I've got more good photos that I'll post with the article.

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