Quick Snaps: Paramount Theatre Sound Check


Paramount Theater Sound Check, by Visualist Images on Flickr

I'm pleased to be back in Austin after an unexpected out-of-town trip, but I'm still catching up on stuff. In the meantime, enjoy this especially lovely photo of The Paramount. After the jump, I've got another one for you -- from the onstage musicians' point of view.

Both photos were taken by John Rogers, and I found them on Flickr, where he posts as Visualist Images. Thank you, John, for licensing them under Creative Commons so I can share them here. Please check out his whole Austin, Texas set because it is full of great pictures from local events, as well as fresh takes on familiar landmarks.

Quick Snaps (and Video): Adam West and 'Batman' in Austin


The dynamic duo with friends by austintexgov on Flickr

I was sorry to miss the City of Austin's "Night of the Bat" festivities a couple of weekends ago. Among the events celebrating bats and their ties to local history and culture, the Paramount screened the 1966 camp classic Batman. Back in 1966, the film had a gala world premiere at the Paramount. Texas Archive of the Moving Image showed footage of local interviews with the cast of Batman from that premiere, which you can watch online.

To add to the "Night of the Bat" fun, Adam West showed up and, I am told, fascinated the audience with a variety of tales from his Batman days. You can see West in the above photo (do I need to tell you he's second from the right?) with Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell and a couple of masked crusaders. We've got more photos after the jump, including the Batmobile.

See 'Batman' and Other Winged Creatures at Night of the Bat


Night of the Bat Logo

Every summer night, hundreds of people gather to see the world's largest urban bat colony emerge from under the Congress Avenue Bridge in downtown Austin. Approximately 1.5 million Mexican freetail bats reside in this mostly female colony, until early June when each one gives birth to a single pup. On their nightly flight out from under the bridge, the Austin bats eat from 10,000 to 20,000 pounds of insects, including agricultural pests. Recognizing the benefits of these gentle animals, the City of Austin has adopted the bat as its official animal, and is hosting its first ever city-sponsored family event "Night of the Bat" to celebrate these furry and fanged flyers.

Night of the Bat kicks off on Sunday, June 6 at 2 pm with a matinee screening of the original classic film Batman (1966), featuring the Batmobile and special guest and original Batman Adam West, who will introduce the film and host a Q&A. Batman made its world premiere at the Paramount Theatre forty years ago -- and a few months after the TV series debut. As a child of the '60s I watched re-runs of Batman religiously, although I thought that Batman was overly bossy towards quasi-hearthrob Robin. Hard to believe that Adam West is 81 years old, and still making appearances -- so don't miss this chance!

Quick Snaps: Double-Theater Double Feature


Ball of Fire

I realize you all are looking at the above photo and thinking, "Those double-features on the Paramount marquee are in no way unusual. Jette, did someone spike your oatmeal?" Hang on, and I'll tell you the whole story, with another photo to give you a hint after the jump.

It was August 2006. I loved the movie Ball of Fire and wanted to see it at the Paramount. I didn't feel a need to see His Girl Friday again, though. I was in a double-feature mood, but not for that double feature. I knew what I wanted to see instead. So I skipped the August 1 screening -- which it turned out Quentin Tarantino attended, as many people reported later -- and set my sights for the evening of Wednesday, August 2.

SXSW Quick Snaps: 'Lemmy' and Motorhead at the Paramount



I confess that the movie Lemmy was a pleasant surprise for me at SXSW. You'd think I would learn my lesson -- just because you aren't familiar with or aren't fond of a certain type of music, or musician, that doesn't mean you won't like a documentary about it/them. One of my favorite music documentaries is The Devil and Daniel Johnston but you won't find any of Johnston's albums in my house. I was assigned to review Lemmy for Cinematical and wasn't terribly enthusiastic, not being a big Motorhead fan, but as you can see from my review, I liked the documentary very much and found Lemmy to be a quite fascinating subject.

After Lemmy played the Paramount, filmmakers Greg Olliver and Wes Orshoski appeared onstage for a Q&A. They were shortly joined by Lemmy himself, who is even more entertaining in person than he is in the movie. And near the end of the Q&A, the rest of Motorhead walked up from their seats in the audience and joined the group onstage, as you can see from the above photo. No one wanted to leave -- it was a fun and lively Q&A.

I've got a photo of Olliver and Orshoski after the jump. No news yet on when we'll get a chance to see Lemmy again, but I'll keep you posted.

Austin Theaters Support 'Eat Local Week'


Fresh Poster

Two of Austin's most-loved theaters are showing their support for the community with special screenings during Edible Austin Eat Local Week. Kicking off December 5, this week provides opportunities for Central Texans to explore and celebrate the abundance of local food by eating out and shopping at participating area restaurants and markets. Money raised by participating businesses will go towards YouthLaunch's Urban Roots, a youth development program that uses sustainable agriculture to effect change for 14- to 18-year-olds, and to nourish East Austin residents who have limited access to healthy foods.

On Saturday, December 5, the Paramount Theatre presents a special screening of the powerful and inspiring food documentary Fresh, which has been compared to the eye-opening Food, Inc. Joel Salatin, who is featured in the film, will join Fresh director/producer Ana Sofia Joanes for an audience Q&A after the screening. Ticket prices are $15, $25 and $100. The limited $100 tickets include reserved seating and admission to a pre-screening reception with Joanes, Salatin and other featured guests in the State Theatre lobby. The reception will feature Austin's top chefs preparing locally sourced food tastings and local beverages. The event will also provide opportunities to meet and connect with many of Austin's local food nonprofit and support groups. Tickets are on sale now.

Slackery News Tidbits, Nov. 19

TXFHOF 2009 119Here are a few news items related to Austin films and filmmaking from this week. Well, I say "a few," but once I started digging them up, it's actually been a pretty busy week! The news includes updates on local filmmakers' projects, awards, casting news, and other useful info.

  • Austin company B-Side Entertainment has just announced that Sundance Film Festival will use the company's scheduling engine for its 2010 online film guide. If you're going to Sundance next year, you'll get to use the very helpful Schedule Genius program to fit all the movies you want to see into the most efficient time possible. B-Side also powers the film guides for local festivals Fantastic Fest, Austin Film Festival, Austin Asian American Film Festival and aGLIFF, and provides an unofficial guide for SXSW.
  • Bad news for local filmmaker Richard Linklater (pictured at right): As part of Miramax's big cost-cutting drive this month, they have put his romantic comedy Liars (A to E) on hold. Movieline reports that Linklater doesn't have another project currently in the works yet, although we suspect it won't be long before he's his usual busy self. [via Austin Movie Blog]
  • Speaking of Linklater, Austin Film Society would like you to know that tickets are still available to the Austin gala screening of his latest film, Me and Orson Welles, on Monday, November 30 at the Paramount. Linklater will be in attendance along with two of the film's stars, Zac Efron and Christian McKay.

AFF09 Daily Dispatch: Day Eight


Austin Film Festival soared into the skies with the closing-might film Up in the Air, which included a rousing intro and Q&A by Jason Reitman. Yeah, there were other films, but I was in a mood for a major release that night. Plus, it was only a few blocks away from the closing night part at Annie's Cafe.

Before the film, Jette and I had a quick dinner at Parkside Cafe.  She knows I wasn't exaggerating about how great the food was. Service was just as good this time, and the chef even came out to check on us. I don't know if that happens all the time, but maybe it was the fact I ordered the marrow. Whatever the case, he and his team make really good food. 

Up in the Air is a solid, funny film, in the haha only serious kind of way.  The aerial shots alone are worth it, but watching Vera Farmiga and George Clooney is a guilty pleasure, they have such great chemistry.  Reitman was a hoot, almost Kevin Smith-esque in his energy and jokes, but without the profanity. Or toilet jokes. 

Quick Snaps: Grave Robbery at the Paramount, AFF 2008



I took the above picture at Austin Film Festival 2008, without knowing who it was or which film was being promoted. I was working the opening-night film's red carpet and suddenly, down the block came these guys carrying a coffin. Naturally I shot a photo or two.

During the recording of Slackerwood Podcast #15 late last week, Chris Holland and AFF Film Program Director Kelly Williams discussed the feature Simmons on Vinyl, one of the selections for this year's festival. One of them joked that "This year, Mark Potts and Cole Selix won't be lugging a coffin around, like they did for The Stanton Family Grave Robbery last year." Eureka!

So the guys in this photo are almost certainly Potts, Selix and Kevin Costello, who co-wrote The Stanton Family Grave Robbery and brought it to AFF along with their coffin. Simmons on Vinyl is directed by Potts and co-written by Potts and Selix. I wonder what kind of prop they'll carry around AFF this year?

P.S. Slackerwood Podcast #15 is on its way -- it's still being edited. It'll be well worth the short wait.

Fantastic Fest Rolls Out the Undead Carpet at the Paramount


Dead Carpet

This year's Fantastic Fest has featured several gala events that brought all kinds of people to the historic Paramount Theater. Last Friday, Zombieland was the featured premiere. Moviegoers could be "zombified" by makeup artists from Eerie Industries, which also assists with the special effects for Zombie Manor, a haunted adventure in Arlington. Zombie Manor brought along some of their star zombies, who walked the red carpet before the living celebrities arrived. Director Ruben Fleischer and co-stars Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg and Emma Stone were in attendance for the special screening. The event was open to the public as well as Fantastic Fest attendees.

The horror comedy Zombieland focuses on two men -- Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) and Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) -- who have found a way to survive a world overrun by zombies. I saw a press screening earlier in the week, and had to resist referencing Columbus's "Zombie Rules" afterwards.

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