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Kickstart Your Weekend With James Benning and Richard Linklater

Two visionary filmmakers, one documentary

By Monica Riese, 2:34PM, Fri. May. 24, 2013


James Benning (l) and Richard Linklater
Via Kickstarter

There's this guy … a filmmaker, a small-time local guy … you might've heard of. Richard Linklater? Yeah, dude is busy.

This spring alone, he's been the subject of at least three new books. In April, he curated an Austin Film Society series featuring films by James Benning. His latest feature, Before Midnight, opens in theatres tomorrow. He's matching funds in the AFS's fundraising campaign to upgrade the Marchesa Hall & Theatre on Middle Fiskville Road. He and the cast of Dazed and Confused celebrated their 20th anniversary with a screening in March, and just yesterday, he suggested in a Q&A on social news site Reddit that the long awaited "spiritual sequel" to the coming-of-age film might be in the works as early as this fall.

Oh, and he's been in the middle of a lawsuit all the while, suing his insurance company for losses he sustained during the 2011 Bastrop wildfires.

In the midst of all that, he's agreed to be featured in a forthcoming documentary by Chicago filmmaker Gabe Klinger, Cinema, de notre tempes: James Benning and Richard Linklater. The project, which shot in Austin in April, aims to provide a window to the friendship between the two very unique filmmakers, now 20-plus years strong. Despite having different approaches to filmmaking and being from different generations, the two have bonded over a love of cinema and baseball.

(We'd forgive you for mixing up this with another film project about a long-running friendship or the multiyear friendship we covered this week in our feature.)

In any case, Klinger's documentary, now with the blessing of producer André Labarthe) still has some costs to cover: editing, color-correcting, catering, paying crew salaries, etc. It's raised $17,710 of its $25,000 goal and has a little over two weeks to go, but it's an all or nothing campaign, so get in now or get ready to pout when 197 backers get their money back. You've got until June 8 to make a donation, by which point we're sure Linklater will have done approximately 15 other projects.


Kickstart Your Weekend is a series intended to showcase Texas film and tech projects that are crowdfunding their way to a goal, be it distribution, a prototype, or production costs. If you have a project that we should know about, email us at filmflam@austinchronicle.com.

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