The Archivists Are in Town: Free Movies for All!


Nothing Sacred

I can't be the only one thrilled to hear the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) is holding its 2011 conference in Austin this week. If you're not thrilled, you don't know what this means: Fascinating and well-restored movies screening at the Paramount, all free to the public. The last time AMIA held its annual conference here was 2005, and for me it was as though the circus was in town. In fact I was tempted to run away with them and become an archivist myself, except a) I don't want to go back to school, b) I don't think I'd be good at it and c) it's not a profession with many job opportunities in Austin. (As opposed to film criticism? Well ...)

The fun kicks off tonight at Alamo Drafthouse Ritz, with the AMIA "Reels of Steel" competition at 11:30 pm. Film buffs and archivists will be bringing all kinds of rare and interesting film and video clips from their personal collections to screen. Admission is free and first-come, first served.

More free movies are screening all day long on Saturday, November 19 at the Paramount -- you could get down there early and stay all day, paying only for parking and a meal or two. At 9 am, they'll show Nicholas Ray's 1976 film We Can't Go Home Again. At 10:45, the 1966 film Passages from James Joyce's Finnegans Wake. Grab some lunch and go back for a collection of home movies from around America at 1 pm. Then at 3 pm, you can see a restored version of the 1977 documentary Word is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives.

aGLIFF 2011: Quick Snaps, the Majestic Bummy Version



If you haven't been attending the 24th Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival (aGLIFF), you're missing out. Mike and Don will have more dispatches soon, but in the meantime, check out some of the folks in attendance.

In the above photo, Skot Tulk, former Executive Director of aGLIFF; filmmaker Monte Patterson, director of the powerful short Caught; and aGLIFF programmer Frank Hai take a moment between the fun Mangus! screening and the Majestic Dance Party at the Paramount. 

'Slacker 2011' Premieres at the Paramount


Slacker 2011 marquee

The movie Slacker 2011 premiered last week to a sold-out crowd at the historic Paramount Theatre. The festivities included a red carpet set out front for the many filmmakers and actors involved in the remake. The screening was set to start at 7 pm, but the introduction by two of the movie's producers, Alamo Drafthouse programmer Daniel Metz and Brian Poyser from Austin Film Society, actually began closer to 7:30.  

The duo thanked all the people who helped make the film. Austin's mayor Lee Leffingwell made a proclamation, then Richard Linklater came onstage to express his excitement to see the remake of his film Slacker, as well as introduce cast members from the original 1991 film who were in attendance.  

You can read Don's review of the film here; the audience at the Paramount loved the movie. There were a couple of spots where the film projection paused and stuttered. Still, this couldn't ruin the feeling of bonhomie in the room. There was a general burst of excitement as the last scene popped up on the screen.

Young Filmmakers Remake Classic Film Scenes


Untitled by Michael McCauslin on Flickr

With temperatures hitting triple digits for a record number of days in a row, a great summer escape in Austin has always been the annual Paramount Theatre Summer Classics Film Series. The Paramount often features something special for the classic film series, whether manicures before Breakfast at Tiffany's or live camels at Lawrence of Arabia.

This year, local non-profit organization Austin School of Film has teamed up with the Paramount Theatre to introduce the Kids and Classic Films Competition. Youth nationwide are invited to remake scenes from classic movies such as Aliens, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Godzilla, Psycho, Red Dawn, Some Like it Hot and others screened during the Paramount Summer Classics Film Series. $500 in cash and prizes will be awarded and a screening of the young filmmakers' final remade scenes will be held at the Paramount Theatre on September 20. What better way for young filmmakers to experience classic cinema?

Paramount Update: P.S. Party and Summer Film Schedule


projectorLast Thursday, the Paramount Theatre threw a party to celebrate the theater's upcoming summer film series -- although the series schedule wasn't announced at the time. This will be the Paramount's 36th summer movie series.

Anyone who RSVP'd online for "P.S. -- A Paramount/Stateside Affair" received a nifty badge at sign-in (at the newly re-opened State Theatre) with discount offers on the back. I imagine I'll use my ticket discount for more than a few of the upcoming summer classics at the downtown theater.

Drinks poured freely, a DJ spun music from the mezzanine of the Paramount, and the Paramount's projector room was open for tours ... as you can see from the photo on the right. Hundreds of people turned out for the party, which hopefully will become an annual event.

Below are some of my photos from the shindig, and more photos of the event can be found on the Paramount's Facebook page.

On Monday, P.S. party attendees received a special preview -- a link to a PDF of the Paramount summer film schedule.

There's a little something for everyone this summer at the Paramount. Which movies on the schedule are you planning to see?

SXSW Quick Snaps: Theaters at Night, Big and Bright


State and Paramount

The Slackerwood staff is slowly recuperating from SXSW Film Festival, although we're still posting plenty of reviews. Keep an eye on Slackerwood this week for reviews of Austin movies playing SXSW as well as other films we caught, an interview or two and of course plenty of photos.

To kick off the week, I thought I'd share my second-favorite photo of the fest: with both the State and Paramount Theatres serving as SXSW Film venues this week, they lit up the Austin night in an especially festive way. For those who are interested, I took this photo just before My Sucky Teen Romance premiered at the Paramount. (My favorite photo? The one topping this entry, no question about it.)

Feel free to share links to any SXSW Film photos on Flickr or elsewhere that you like. My own best SXSW photos are now publicly viewable in a Flickr set.

SXSW 2011: Day Six


Light day, schedule wise. I was going to see two screenings, but only ended up making the world premiere of The Beaver. I really do want to see The Innkeepers, but with a three-hour gap and a less-than-pleasant experience as an audience member, I wasn't up for dealing with crowds for three more hours.

The Beaver is the story of a man (Mel Gibson) coping with major depression through a puppet. Screenwriter Kyle Killen is an Austinite, and his "quirky" script topped the Black List, which showcases the best unproduced screenplays.  Director and co-star Jodie Foster and actor Anton Yelchin came to town for the screening, with Foster flying in from the Paris set of her latest film, Carnage. Deflecting the issue of scandals surrounding Gibson, Foster focused on the film and the script.  Jette interviewed Killen for SXSWorld magazine, so pick up a copy to read more about him; you can find them at ACC, and conveniently just outside the Vimeo theater.

Quick Snaps: Going Local with My Movie Tree


Paramount tree ornament

Some people have a Christmas tree, some don't. At my house, we have a movie tree that happens to be on display in December and January. It is pink and sparkly and just about all the ornaments on it are related to movies in some way. (It helps that movies have been made about SpongeBob, The Simpsons and now even Yogi Bear.) Every year I like to buy a new ornament or two. Last year, I went crazy on Etsy and eBay. It's a little tricky because the ornaments can't be too big ... it's a small tree.

This year, I have only bought one ornament so far, but I am very proud of it. I was stumbling around on the Paramount Theatre's website, to see which holiday movies were playing this month, and found out that the Paramount sells Christmas ornaments. They aren't cheap, but they are really lovely ... even the box the above ornament arrived in is lovely. The ornament in the above photo portrays the Paramount's stage and fire curtain. You also can get an ornament designed to look like one of the theater's chandeliers, but I went for the one that obviously looks like the Paramount. Now I have something related to Austin film on my movie tree.

Does anyone else know of any Austin-related, movie-related tree ornamentation? I wouldn't mind buying something from Mondo Tees, for example, but I don't remember seeing anything holiday-ish the last time I was there.

After the jump, you can see my whole movie tree. The film wrapped around the base is a trailer for Bride and Prejudice that I bought at a Mondo Tees clearance sale. That's not real popcorn, either -- I'm too lazy for that. The fact that it is in front of a print from, yes, the Paramount is entirely coincidental.

Photo Essay: 'Predators' Red Carpet

A note from Jette: I'd like to introduce you all to our newest Slackerwood contributor, Paul Gandersman. Paul is an amazing photographer who attended the Predators red carpet and world premiere. My own red-carpet photography skills have come a long way since my first experience with them, but Paul's photos leave mine in the shade. He captured some great photos of Predators producers Robert Rodriguez and Elizabeth Avellan, director Nimrod Antal and star Adrien Brody. In addition, red carpet appearances included a couple of actors from previous Troublemaker Studios films who Joe O'Connell tells us are about to star in blacktino, a movie produced by Avellan (that I'd love to hear more about): Daryl Sabara (Spy Kids, World's Greatest Dad) and Jeff Fahey (Planet Terror).

I'm posting these photos without any descriptions in between them -- I think they stand on their own very well. For those of you needing a hint, you can mouse over the photos themselves. Enjoy.

Austin Lands World Premiere of 'Predators'


Robert RodriguezThe Troublemaker Studios-produced summer action blockbuster Predators will have its world premiere here in Austin, at -- where else? -- The Paramount. Austin Film Society is hosting the gala event on Wednesday, July 7 at 8 pm. Tickets go on sale this Thursday at noon via the Paramount website.

No word yet on which cast and crew will be there, but a red carpet is planned so we know some celebrity-spotting will be happening. I assume we'll see director Nimrod Antal there as well as Austin producers Robert Rodriguez and Elizabeth Avellan. I'm hoping for Danny Trejo, myself.

You may remember that Fox hosted some sneak peeks at bits of Predators during SXSW this year: Rod Paddock gave us the scoop on the extremely popular "first look" event, and I was up bright and early the next morning for a press conference (where I took the picture of Rodriguez at right).

Predators was shot here in Austin (as well as in Hawaii), but I don't think any of it was shot outside of Troublemaker Studios, so we may not see any recognizable landmarks in the film. After all, it is primarily set on the Predator planet, so far as I can tell. Although I'm not normally a big summer action-film lover, I liked what I saw at the SXSW preview and the cast is a very interesting combination: Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Alice Braga and -- the man who probably steals the film -- Laurence Fishburne.

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