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Win 'Crazy Heart' on DVD


Crazy Heart

I love giving stuff away, especially nice new things that people might actually want. Fortunately, Slackerwood has something to give away this week -- a Crazy Heart DVD. Want a chance at winning it? The details (and fine print) are available after the jump.

If you don't know anything about Crazy Heart, check out my DVD review, or Debbie's review from the film's theatrical release. Jeff Bridges won an Oscar for his performance as Bad Blake, a Texas singer-songwriter on the decline. Local musician Ryan Bingham also won an Oscar for the song he co-wrote with T-Bone Burnett for the film, "The Weary Kind." Fans of Texas music should definitely take a look at this movie, even though it wasn't actually shot in Texas (I believe New Mexico doubled for Houston).

If you want a chance at winning the Crazy Heart DVD, leave a comment on this entry about the following: 

Introducing the Austin Film News Mega-Feed


Monster Truck Show by tink tracy on FlickrIf you were paying close attention to Slackerwood last week, you may have noticed something new in the left sidebar. If you hadn't ... well, that's why I'm telling you now. Slackerwood has created the amazing and awesome Austin Film News Mega-Feed. You have to imagine monster-truck-show echo effects whenever I say it, it is that awesome.

Like many things about Slackerwood, the Austin Film News Mega-Feed (echo, echo) was born out of sheer lazy slackerhood. I was complaining to Chip, who not only performs great technical feats on Slackerwood but also is my husband and often tolerates me fussing about stuff, that I was tired of rewriting the same news items every other local outlet publishes, especially if a) I'm later than they are and b) I have nothing new to say. I sighed and wished that I could just publish one big conglomerate news feed of all these news items on Slackerwood and not have to worry about reporting on every single little bit of news, so I can focus on finding interesting news that isn't available everywhere else.

Chip nodded and sympathized .... and went to his computer and created the Austin Film News Mega-Feed, possibly out of a sense of community, but I suspect also so he wouldn't have to hear me whine anymore. Look over in the left sidebar (you may need to scroll down a bit) and you can see all the headlines from major sources of film-related news in Austin, like the Austin Chronicle's Picture in Picture blog, the Statesman's Austin Movie Blog, and Austinist. We've also added RSS feeds of blogs from local film festivals and theaters.

Announcing the 'Goats' Pass Winners


Men Who Stare at GoatsWe held a couple of giveaways on Twitter last night and this morning for passes to a preview screening of The Men Who Stare at Goats on Thursday night, and had a great response. Thanks to everyone who helped retweet and promote the giveaways.

If your Twitter username is on the list of winners after the jump, contact me ASAP with your actual name, so I can put it on the list and avoid imposters. If you didn't win, the movie opens on Friday in Austin and we'll post a review on Slackerwood. We will also retweet the "secret password" for getting one of a limited number of reserved seats for the screening, so keep following Slackerwood on Twitter.

Introducing the Slackerwood Event Calendar


SXSW 2007: Grindhouse double-featureIf you heard our most recent podcast (go listen!) or have been paying attention to the changes in the sidebars on this site, you may have noticed that Slackerwood now has an Event Calendar. If you didn't notice ... well, that's why I'm writing this.

We're hoping to include as many local film-related events as possible in the Event Calendar: movies, meetings, festivals, classes, and special events. You can view a list of the events that are just about to happen in the right sidebar, or check out a whole month's worth at a glance.

Please let us know what you think in the comments. Also, I hope you'll contact us if you are hosting or involved with an event you'd like us to include.

Thanks again to Chip Rosenthal, our website developer, who recently installed and configured the Event Calendar as well as our Amazon Store, the marquee graphic in the left sidebar and for those of us writing for this site, a nifty text editor so we can write faster and bring you more, better articles.

Are You Following Austin Film Twitterers?


Austin Film on TwitterLast year, I compiled a list of Austin film-related organizations and film geeks who had Twitter accounts, which turned out to be very popular. I realized last week that the old list is out of date; many new people and groups have started using Twitter to share news and chat. A lot of those tweets are about Austin film.

As a result, I've created a page on Slackerwood to keep track of all the Austin film-related Twitter accounts, whether they're individuals who talk about lots of other things too, or news feeds. Check it out. You'll find a permanent link to the page in the left sidebar. If you think of someone I've missed, just let me know and I'll update the page.

Share Your SXSW Film Venue Advice



This week, I've been working on updating the annual Slackerwood Guide to SXSW Film Festival Venues for 2009. It's a fun project -- trying to figure out where the best free wireless might be near Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar (nothing nearer than Flipnotics), where to eat non-fast-food near the Paramount (the Driskill 1880 cafe has a good soup and salad), and so forth. The guide has been surprisingly popular in the past couple of years so I want to make it as helpful as possible.

This year, I'm asking for help ahead of time, so I don't miss anything. Check out the 2008 venue guide. What's missing? What's changed? Please post your advice in the comments section.

I already know about two big changes SXSW has made this year -- one happy, one somewhat sad. The happy news: SXSW will provide a shuttle service during the first part of the film festival (the conference dates) that badgeholders can use to get from ACC and the Paramount to Alamo South. So I don't feel as compelled to do my yearly "Please don't try to walk from ACC to Alamo South!" plea. (Every year, someone finds me and tells me that I was right.) SXSW will be using three screens at Alamo South this year, so it'll be hard to avoid the venue, not that you'd want to.

The kind-of-sad news: Dobie Theater is no longer a SXSW venue. This makes sense, because it's not downtown and it's a smaller theater. And I can't say I'll miss it too much, because I'm short and it's difficult to find a seat where I can see the screen properly in the Egyptian theater (shown above) without twisting my neck. On the other hand, parking was available and I do love the theater decor. Dobie and the Arbor used to be the theaters where you'd find a lot of Austinites during SXSW, and had a better chance of getting a seat if you had a film pass instead of a badge. Instead, I wonder if the locals will prefer Alamo South, which has free parking and is far away from the SXSW Music crowds.

Introducing the Slackerwood Podcasting Adventure


Chris and Jette at Weird Wednesday, courtesy of Blake

A couple of weeks ago, Chris Holland suggested that we might want to start doing a podcast for Slackerwood. We could set up a regularly scheduled time to record the podcast, talk about as much Austin film stuff as we liked in 20 minutes, and have a lot of fun.

We recorded the first podcast last week, and here it is for your listening pleasure. We're planning to do this around every two weeks, more or less, and we're hoping to include some guests -- filmmakers, local festival organizers, maybe even other film writers. Chris does the audio editing and other heavy lifting -- my job is to chat with Chris about movies in coherent if not witty ways, and try not to babble.

Special thanks should go to my husband Chip, who worked Drupal magic to set up a separate RSS feed for the podcast, and tinkered with other behind-the-scenes things to the website to make it easy for me to upload and post the podcasts.

Let us know what you think about the podcast, and if there are topics you'd like to see covered in future podcasts. Austin's fall film-festival season is nearly upon us, so I expect we'll cover a lot of that in the next month or two.

[Photo credit: Blake Ethridge of Cinema Is Dope ... the only photo I could find of Chris and me together, and also taken after one of the few times I've been able to go to Weird Wednesday. Thanks, Blake!]

See you next Wednesday


Where I am this week: Moving Image Institute in Film Criticism and Feature Writing, in New York. No bluebonnets, but lots of bagels. I'll be back next week (really Tuesday night, not Wednesday, but I couldn't resist the stupid film joke). In the meantime, visit some of these fabulous sites for your Austin film news.

Start blogging now for Monday's Alamo Blog-a-Thon


I've already received a couple of links and an entry to post here for Monday's Alamo Downtown Blog-a-Thon. You don't actually have t­o write or even post your entry on Monday; you've got all weekend to think of your best stories about Alamo Drafthouse Downtown. I've got nearly 10 years worth of stories, from the first time I went to Alamo to that weird night with Russ Meyer to my first date with my husband ... and tons of p­hotos, which I could post here all summer long. (I may do that. Hmmm.)

You can post an entry for the blog-a-thon to your own blog and email me with the link (jette [at] celluloideyes [dot] com), or post the link in the comments section of the Alamo Blog-a-Thon entry when I open it for comments on Monday. Or if you have no blog, send me an email message with your story (and your name) and I'll post it here on Monday. If you've got photos, you can post them to Flickr and tag them with "alamoblogathon" and I'll link to that too.

I'm looking forward to reading and sharing lots of Alamo Downtown stories on Monday. If you can't wait until then, our local papers have some articles you can enjoy. Austin360 (the Statesman's website) has an article by John DeFore about the history of Alamo and plans for the new location at the Ritz; check out the sidebar for links to some other cool material, including a bunch of old in-house trailers that Matthew Odam has found (including the Ann Richards one, which I adore). Over at the Austin Chronicle, Marc Savlov shares some great Alamo anecdotes. (Thanks to Matt Dentler for the links.)

One more link for today: If you're looking for a really big chunk of memorabilia from Alamo that's also useful, check out the Alamo Downtown Kitchen Garage Sale. Now's the chance to get that kegerator you've always wanted.

Slackerwood: There can be only one


My News from Slackerwood post for Cinematical is now available online and you can read all about the many exciting film events going on in Austin next week. (And that's not even all of them.)

The above-linked entry is the last News from Slackerwood column for Cinematical. The column is being discontinued -- Cinematical no longer has any other regional columns, so it doesn't quite fit in the site. I'll continue to post any notable news about Austin there, of course, including local festival coverage.

I started writing News from Slackerwood almost exactly a year ago. (There are 52 entries posted to the site and I never skipped a week.) Before News from Slackerwood, I used to post Movies This Week for Celluloid Eyes. I started that weekly Austin film roundup in July 2004 after Omar stopped writing his Movies This Week. So I've been writing weekly Austin film roundups for more than two years.

The good news is that instead of rushing around to churn out a weekly column about Austin screenings, I'll post as much info here as I can -- so will Chris and any other fellow bloggers we might recruit. Consider this site an ongoing, extended Movies This Week, News from Slackerwood, or whatever you want to call it. It's the only place where I'm likely to use the term "Slackerwood" anymore, anyway.

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