Jette Kernion's blog

Local Bruce Campbell Fans, Get Ready


Update, 10/6: Tickets to a third show, at midnight, were also added ... and all three shows have sold out. We sure love us some Bruce Campbell here in Austin.

Update, 10/4: Alamo has scheduled a second screening at 10 pm on the same evening. Tickets will go on sale online on Monday, October 6, at 3 pm.

Update, 10/3, 3:15 pm: It appears that the tickets sold out in under 5 minutes. Wow.

I probably shouldn't be telling you this, because it only increases the number of people who will be trying to get tickets. If I end up not getting into the event, I can only blame myself.

Alamo at the Ritz is screening the film My Name is Bruce on Sunday, October 26. The director and star of the movie, Bruce Campbell, will be in attendance. If you don't know who Bruce Campbell is, this may not be the best movie to introduce you to the actor -- go rent Evil Dead 2 or Army of Darkness instead. (Or go to Hulu and watch some episodes of Burn Notice.) But I know some of you are out there making little happy squealing noises, and I won't mention you by name because some of us may feel we're a little too old to get squeaky over actors coming to town. Ahem. See? I'm not making any squeaky noises whatsoever, at least not where any of you can see.

My Name is Bruce is about a town that is terrorized by a monster of some sort, and the townspeople decide that they should get Ash from the Evil Dead movies to fight the creature. So they track down Bruce Campbell, the actor, and get him involved. Reviews have supposedly been mixed but I am not reading any because I do not want to lose my enthusiasm for this film, despite the fact that I figure if I sat through The Man with the Screaming Brain and did not find it unentertaining, I will probably enjoy watching this film even if it's not spectacular.

Tickets go on sale online on Friday, October 3 -- tomorrow -- at 3 pm. My husband is threatening to bring a container of yogurt to the screening and asking Mr. Campbell to sign it. We'll see.

Meanwhile, if you are such a diehard Bruce Campbell fan that you can't wait until October 26, check out tonight's free Terror Thursday screening of Mindwarp at midnight at Alamo Ritz. If I didn't have to get up at the crack of dawn on Friday, I'd be there.

B-Side to Premiere 'Crawford' on Hulu


Crawford, the documentaryHave you seen Crawford, the documentary about the town where George W. Bush bought a ranch before becoming President? The film, directed by local filmmaker David Modigliani, screened earlier this year at SXSW. You can read my review from the festival, and I also interviewed Modigliani about the documentary.

Now you have the chance to see the film -- even if you don't live in Austin. B-Side Entertainment bought the distribution rights for Crawford, and plans to release the documentary by premiering it on on Tuesday, October 7. This is the first time a feature-length film will have its premiere on Hulu. I don't have details yet on exactly how this will work, but I know that some TV shows and films are available for limited times only on Hulu, so my guess is that the movie can be streamed from the website just for Tuesday. In the meantime, if you visit the Hulu page for Crawford, you can watch a trailer.

After its Hulu premiere, Crawford will be available on the B-Side site for download, streaming, or to purchase on DVD. This is a fairly non-partisan documentary, so if you want to have a politics-themed movie night before the upcoming election, you can watch it with both your liberal and conservative friends and relatives.

Movies This Week: Between Festivals

Fantastic Fest is finally over, and Austin Film Festival is still a few weeks away. Now's the time for local film-fest geeks to catch up on the mainstream movies they've been missing (pssst ... go see Burn After Reading). Or maybe it's time to look beyond the film festivals and find all kinds of interesting events occurring in the next week or so. Here are a few screenings you might not want to miss.

  • Austin Film Society is going outdoors at just the right time of year. On Wednesday, you can watch Dirt Road to Psychedelia for free at Republic Square Park -- live music at 7 pm, movie starts at 8 pm. This documentary about Austin during the 1960s and 1970s sounds like lots of fun.
  • In fact, why not make a night of it on Wednesday? After you finish your movie in the park, head over to Alamo at the Ritz at 9:30 pm for a free double-feature from 1960s exploitation filmmaker Joe Sarno: Abigail Lesley is Back and All the Sins of Sodom. Sarno will actually be at the screenings, too.

Free Fantastic Fest Films Tonight


Just a quick FYI -- three popular films from Fantastic Fest this year are having encore screenings tonight at Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar. Anyone can see these films for free; you don't need a Fantastic Fest badge, just get there before the theater fills up. Here's the Sunday-night schedule:

4:05 pm -- Let the Right One In
7:00 pm -- Chocolate
10:00 pm -- Donkey Punch

I saw Let the Right One In last week and would absolutely recommend it -- it wasn't too gory for me. The title seems ill-fitting to this suspenseful and almost sweet horror film from Sweden about pre-teen love and vampirism. The writer/director of Cloverfield was just signed to do an American remake -- it's going to be difficult to capture the delicate relationships in the original film. I didn't get to see Chocolate -- it kept playing at midnight on evenings when I was too tired to stick around -- but hope to catch it at some point, if not tonight.

Quick Snaps: Elizabeth Avellan Can Chug


Elizabeth Avellan

At the Fantastic Fest awards ceremony, every winner who is present has to chug a beer from their beer-stein award. If the winner isn't there, the awards presenter has to chug ... or else find a willing audience member to help them out. One presenter (not me) found help from Elizabeth Avellan, a local film producer and co-founder of Troublemaker Studios. She attended the ceremony because she was a producer on the Chilean superhero film Santos, which had its U.S. premiere at Fantastic Fest.

Ms. Avellan is a woman of many talents, but I didn't realize that one of them was the ability to chug a mug of Miller High Life. I am now even more impressed.

I haven't had time to post many details about my Fantastic Fest experience here, but (shameless self-promotion alert) you can read my thoughts on the first half of the festival in an article I wrote for The Circuit, Variety's film-festival blog. I've got tons of photos and some good stories, as well as movies to recommend, so keep checking back.

Austin Film Festival to Open with 'W.'


Austin Film Festival has announced a number of its top films in the 2008 festival lineup, and the Austin American-Statesman has the full story. The biggest news is the opening-night film, which is perfect for a fest here in the capital of Texas: W., Oliver Stone's biography of George W. Bush. The Paramount (where I'm certain the film will screen) is only a short walk from the State Capitol, after all.

The festival also announced that some filmmakers will be in town for AFF with their movies: Charlie Kaufman (who seems perfect for a fest that focuses on screenwriters) with Synecdoche, New York; and Kelly Reinhart (Old Joy) with Wendy and Lucy.

The article also mentions that local filmmaker Spencer Parsons' film I'll Come Running will play the festival, which I've been looking forward to seeing since it had been scheduled for SXSW earlier in the year, but didn't screen there.

Check out the article for a more complete listing -- tons of cool stuff. AFF is still offering badges and passes for the festival, which runs from October 16-23.

Quick Snaps: The Paramount is Shy


Asterisks on the Paramount marquee

I wasn't planning to take a picture of the Paramount Theatre's marquee last night when I got to the theater for the opening-night Fantastic Fest festivities. But as I walked by, I saw the asterisks and couldn't resist. The historic, venerable Austin theater apparently felt reticent about posting the word "SEX" on its front facade, although "PORNO" was considered okay. What can I say, I was amused.

I'm wondering if the Paramount has previously used asterisks for words on its marquee -- does anyone know? Or were they simply feeling a bit awkward about the whole "air sex" concept? Seeing the Air Sex Championships last night on the stage of the Paramount, I might understand, a little. I've posted an example photo from the event after the jump.

Fantastic Fest: Last-Minute News and Info


Some useful information for out-of-towners and a few weird news items that both festgoers and other Austin film fans might find enjoyable:

  • The best place for Fantastic Fest news and updates is naturally the Fantastic Fest blog. If you're going to the fest, keep an eye on the blog to find out about last-minute additions and changes of all kinds. They've also got some general Austin info for out-of-towners.
  • Fantastic Fest required that badgeholders take "shaky face" photos of themselves for their badges this year -- you shake your head around with your face muscles slack and get someone to snap your photo. The results can look grotesque, unless you're a compulsive giggler (me). has posted a gallery of all the Fantastic Fest "shaky face" badge photos for your entertainment. If you're familiar with the Austin film scene, you'll get a kick out of seeing bizarre versions of Alamo staff and regulars, Austin Film Society staff, local film critics and writers, and other normally recognizable faces. (Yes, that's mine on the right ... the least smiley of the batch we shot at home.) I especially like film writer Jay Slater's photo at #60.
  • If you didn't get a Fantastic Fest badge this year and you still want to see some of the films, Austinist offers The Non-Badgeholders Guide to Fantastic Fest.
  • Local arts blog Kill the Critic has posted an entry about picks and pans for Fantastic Fest films and events this year. Other fest previews at Austin360, Austin Chronicle, Twitch, and Film Threat.

Photos Galore: 'Surfer, Dude' Premiere at the Paramount

Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves

Photos of Matthew McConaughey, even when he's wearing a shirt, never do grow old, do they? Of course not. That's why I knew you wouldn't mind waiting for me to put together this little photo essay from the Surfer, Dude premiere.

The thing to realize about red-carpet events is that they truly can be a circus, but that this is not always a bad thing. Some people go to giant malls on the day after Thanksgiving, some people go to Mardi Gras in the French Quarter, and some of us go to red-carpet events. I have to wonder -- if they get this crowded and chaotic in Austin, how is it in New York or LA? Or perhaps in those big cities they're a lot more blase about it. This event was called a "green carpet" but it was as red-carpet-y as we get in Central Texas.

I arrived at the Paramount and was assigned a spot not far from the door into the theater, next to Cole and Bobby, who write for (natch) Cole and Bobby at the Movies, as well as Study Breaks magazine. We were joined shortly thereafter by Statesman arts and entertainment editor Michael Barnes, who positioned himself right next to the door, so he could do some short interviews for his Out and About column and blog. This was great for me because I could take photos while the guys were interviewing people.

Austin Movie News, Briefly (Fantastic Fest-Free Edition)

Zoe Bell at Grindhouse premiere in Austin, April 2007For those of you who want a break from our Fantastic Fest coverage (which has only just begun, to channel The Carpenters slightly), here's a round-up of other film news and events around Austin:

  • Catch the documentary Please Vote for Me on Wednesday night at 7 pm at Alamo Ritz, as part of the Austin Film Society's Texas Doc Tour. Doc Tour screenings often sell out in advance; get tickets on the AFS website. [via Austinist]
  • You might spot celebrities in Austin from the production of Whip It during the next week -- keep an eye out for Ellen Page, Drew Barrymore, Juliette Lewis, and other cast members. My big question: Will there be Zoe Bell (shown at right)? [via the Statesman's Out and About blog]
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