Jette Kernion's blog

Zappa, Nudists, and The King


This week's News from Slackerwood at Cinematical is now live. I'm still deciding whether to go to the Preston Sturges double-feature at The Paramount -- Hail the Conquering Hero isn't on DVD yet in this country, so I at least should see that one. Besides, I haven't yet been to a summer movie at the Paramount this year. The Sturges double-feature isn't one of their usual tried-and-true crowd pleasers, so I feel like maybe I should support the films if I want to see more programming along those lines.

I neglected to mention some of the free movies showing during the day this week as part of "kids club" series at various theaters: Lakeline is showing March of the Penguins (which doesn't strike me as a children's movie, at all) Tuesday-Thursday at 10 am; Westgate is showing Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit, also Tuesday-Thursday at 10 am.

Cavite in Austin: Special screenings with John Pierson

The thriller Cavite opens in Austin this Friday as part of the ongoing AFS@Dobie collaboration, in which little-known films get a week-long (or longer) run at Dobie Theatre. Check the Austin Film Society site for more information about the film.

John Pierson, who wrote Spike, Mike, Slackers & Dykes and now teaches at UT, will be discussing the indie film's distribution before the Friday and Saturday night screenings. Pierson and his producing class at UT worked to get distribution for Cavite. Pierson is never a dull speaker and has excellent insights about independent film distribution and other aspects of the film industry. If you're planning to see Cavite, go when he'll be there.

Updated: This week's Austin Chronicle includes an essay by Brian Clark, a member of Pierson's class, describing the way the class worked on securing distribution for Cavite.

[via Austin Movie Blog]

Luke Savisky show at HRC


If you're not going to the big Clerks II premiere at the Paramount on Thursday night, a fun alternative might be visual artist Luke Savisky's presentation at the Harry Ransom Center. Savisky will show D/x, billed as a "live projection piece using multiple projectors," as well as some of his other experimental film work, and will hold a short Q and A. Matt Dentler has posted a description of the event directly from Savisky. The event starts at 7 pm and appears to have free admission. (Thanks to Matt for the heads-up!)

Scanner first, Safety Last


This week's News from Slackerwood at Cinematical covers a bunch of upcoming Austin screenings and film events.

I did forget to include this month's Texas Documentary Tour screening, next Wednesday night at Alamo Downtown: Stolen, about an art-theft mystery. Campbell Scott provides some voiceovers for the film. Producer/director Rebecca Dreyfus will hold a Q&A after the screening. You can buy tickets for the screening through the Austin Film Society site.

Act now: Free screening of Monster House next week


Ain't It Cool News is sponsoring a free preview screening in Austin of Monster House on Monday, July 10, although they haven't yet finalized the details on time and place. (Tim League is involved, so that does narrow the venue possibilities somewhat.) I was feeling disinclined to see the film until I noticed the cast includes Steve Buscemi, Catherine O'Hara, and Fred Willard. Plus, you know, FREE.

Visit the AICN site for details on how to sign up for the Monster House admission list. You must be on the list to get into the screening, so do it now if you're at all interested. And if you see any AICN folks at the screening, wish them a happy anniversary ... the site turned 10 years old yesterday.

[via Matt Dentler's Blog]

Free Marx brothers movies this month


I love free movies. And free Marx brothers movies? Hard to top that. The San Antonio Street Cafe, a kosher cafe near the UT campus, has been showing Marx brothers films every Wednesday night at 8 pm, and will continue to show double features through August 2. This week features two of the best: Duck Soup and A Night at the Opera. The cafe is offering all kinds of wacky discounts and free extras: this week, special guests will be on hand to make soup and to perform covers of opera music. We own most of the Marx brothers' movies on DVD, but these films truly spring to life with an audience.

[via GreenCine Daily]

Forget Snakes on a Plane ... I'm waiting for Penguins on a Harley


Snakes on a PlaneApparently the Alamo Drafthouse doesn't feel like Snakes on a Plane is quite sufficient. The theater chain wants to encourage other movies with animals trapped on vehicles, wreaking havoc. So they've started a contest: Blanks on a Blank.

Anyone can register a team to make a short film -- you don't have to live in Austin. When you register, the site randomly selects an animal and a vehicle for you. You could end up with Hippos on a Big Wheel, Hyenas on an SUV, or Ants on a Log. After you're assigned an animal and vehicle, it's up to your team to make a 3-5 minute short based on the premise before August 3.

As the shorts are submitted, they'll be posted to the Blanks on a Blank site, so everyone can enjoy Penguins on a Harley. The best shorts will be shown before Alamo's midnight screening of Snakes on a Plane on August 17, with prizes to be awarded to the top entries. Alamo will also host a "Best of Austin" night featuring local submissions.

I'd be tempted to enter, but I'm not sure I could do any better than Cat on a Couch or maybe Cockroach on a Toilet (based on a scary real-life incident in our house earlier this week).

My favorite rule for this contest: "All films must contain the line of dialogue '(your randomly chosen animal) on a motherfucking (your randomly chosen vehicle).'"

Patriotism swells in the heart of the American bear


The above title is a quote from a movie playing in more than one Austin theater this week. I know some of you will guess it immediately. Check out this week's News from Slackerwood column at Cinematical if you can't figure it out.

Three years ago, on the July 4 holiday weekend, I went on a first date with this guy I liked to see a special screening of "banned cartoons" at Alamo Downtown. Or maybe it wasn't a date. I was never quite sure. Anyway, that guy and I got married last month.

So you can see why I'm fond of going to the movies on the July 4 holiday weekend, and why I'm sorry there aren't more choices in Austin this year. We still haven't seen An Inconvenient Truth, and there may be a couple of other movies at the Arbor we could stand to see (if we can put up with the commercials beforehand). Otherwise we'll just have to go buy a grill, or something.

Gretchen wins big at LAFF


Congratulations to Austin filmmaker Steve Collins, who won the Target Filmmaker Award at the Los Angeles Film Festival for his feature Gretchen. IndieWIRE has the details on the award, including a photo of Collins accepting from Virginia Madsen.

Collins' response to the win? "Thank you very much. I'll go shop at Target now!"

I saw Gretchen during its premiere at SXSW earlier this year, and reviewed it for Cinematical. I hope the movie plays in Austin again soon. A few people have asked me how it compares to Welcome to the Dollhouse, which is also about a teenage loser girl, and my embarrassed reply is that I haven't yet seen Welcome to the Dollhouse. I know, I know.

Assassins, Goonies, and Sex Addicts

My weekly News from Slackerwood entry is up at Cinematical. Nothing amazing is going on this week, no crazy Rolling Roadshow events with live music or live wrestling in nacho cheese, but there's a good selection of movies if you aren't in the mood for this year's summer blockbusters. I'm hoping to see An Inconvenient Truth this weekend, although it's been a rough week so maybe I'll need to find something funnier. (I meant to link to that video of the Alamo guys wrestling in nacho cheese, but now I can't find it. If you know where it is, please post the URL in a comment. Otherwise check back this weekend.)
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