Movies Online

Four Exquisite Shorts and One Comedy: Watch SXSW 2010 Bumpers


SXSW 2010You never know what you might get with film festival bumpers -- the very short films that appear before each fest screening to promote the festival. The problem is, you have to watch the things all week long. You might end up with a horrible earworm that infiltrates your dreams for days, or a slickly done ad from a sponsor that is annoying the second time, much less the twenty-second.

The best experience is for a festival to have multiple bumpers -- Fantastic Fest has so many that you rarely see one more than twice -- which should be short, interesting as films rather than as ads and perhaps even quotable. By the end of the fest, people are going to be shouting back at the ads a la Rocky Horror. The SXSW 2008 Burger Hut ads were great for audience participation (I still hear people quoting the Glengarry Glen Ross spoof), for example.

This year's SXSW Film Festival bumpers were generally not quotable -- most were almost silent -- but I never grew tired of them. Four of the five were directed by David Lowery, who brought his feature St. Nick to SXSW last year. Lowery, who hails from the DFW area, also was director of photography for two features at this year's fest, Audrey the Trainwreck and Lovers of Hate.

Austin's 'Hell On Wheels' Free Online and Live This Weekend


Hell on WheelsHell on Wheels, Bob Ray's documentary about the evolution of Austin roller derby, is now available online for free at SnagFilms ... or check it out below the jump. To learn more about the film, read Jette's review on Cinematical from the film's premiere during SXSW 2007.

We've been remiss in not pointing this out to you sooner, but according to the Texas Rollergirls website, the 2009 championship is on Sunday at the Playland Skate Center, so it seems like the perfect time to highlight a very Austin doc, with a very Austin style event.

So watch Hell on Wheels, then go experience roller derby in person as the Hotrod Honeys take on the Hustlers for first place, and the Hell Marys and Honky Tonk Heartbreakers battle it out for third.

Slackery News Tidbits of the Undead

Emily Hagins and her wonderfully helpful Mom, Megan Hagins by Ian on FlickrIt's not a big week for Austin film news -- most of the movie news this week is coming out of Comic-Con in San Diego. Mike Judge will be there, showing clips from his upcoming movie Extract, and Robert Rodriguez will show footage from his family-friendly film Shorts, which has an Austin premiere in August. In addition, the documentary Zombie Girl, about how horror filmmaker Emily Hagins shot her first feature at age 12, will screen at Comic-Con, with Emily and her mom Megan (shown at right) in attendance.

But I do have a few tidbits to share:

  • Alamo Drafthouse has a new blog to track progress on The Highball, the new games/entertainment spot they're planning to open in time for Fantastic Fest this year. One of the bloggers is Afsheen, who gave us such wonderful photos and stories about the renovation and reopening of Alamo Ritz.
  • Austin Movie Blog sifted through Filmmaker Magazine's list of "25 New Faces of Independent Film" and found a local connection: animator Geoff Marslett.
  • If you didn't read Marc Savlov's article on Austin microcinema in last week's Austin Chronicle, you may be missing info about some of the best "small" film series/fests in town.

Slackery News Tidbits: True Confessions


burger bedWould you like to learn the secret about how I find all the Slackery News Tidbits? Sure, some of them come from press releases I receive and articles I find, but most of them -- okay, I'll confess. I find most of them by reading Twitter posts. Someone links to a cool article or news, I mark the post as a favorite, and then periodically I dig through my favorites and create a list like the one below.

Now you're all thinking that you'll never read Slackery News Tidbits again because you can just check Twitter ... but the first item on the list isn't from Twitter, it's from a press-release email and is news you may not know yet. It's not even on the fest's website yet. So see, you have to keep reading.

  • Austin Film Festival has just announced that Ron Howard will be attending this year's screenwriters conference and film fest. AFF is presenting Howard with the Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking Award, and will also be a featured speaker during the conference. Which films will they show that he's been involved with? Hoping for Splash and Night Shift, myself.

Machete-Hacked Slackery News Tidbits

Danny Trejo, by Jeff Balke on Flickr

Yes, the title is cheesy this morning. But how else was I going to get a Machete reference in there? And I'll use any excuse to post a photo of Danny Trejo, like the one above. It's from the 2007 Grindhouse premiere, but it's still relevant, as you'll see below. There's other news from Austin and surrounding areas as well.

  • While at Cinevegas last week, Danny Trejo told James Wallace from the blog Gordon and the Whale that shooting on Machete, Robert Rodriguez's movie based on a fake trailer in Grindhouse, will start in about five weeks. I wonder if they'll do any location shooting around Austin? [via Cinematical]
  • The latest on the Austin Studios proposed sub-lease to Soundcheck Austin: An open letter to the Austin film community from Richard Linklater that explains the situation clearly and calmly. Check it out.

Austin Filmmaker in Netflix ‘Find Your Voice’ Competition


Natural SelectionAn Austin-based filmmaker has made it to the semifinals of the Netflix Find Your Voice film competition sponsored by Netflix and Film Independent.

Robbie Pickering is eligible to win $350,000 to make his feature film Natural Selection. If he wins, Pickering is hoping to shoot the movie in Texas. The premise is that a barren housewife discovers her husband has been making deposits at a sperm bank for nearly 25 years. If that doesn't sound like an Austin sort of weird, I don't know what would.

For more information about Pickering and the competition, and to watch a clip from his film, go to the Netflix Find Your Voice website. You can vote for him there.

Syndicate content