Page Two

Page Two
I keep trying to write something about the Bloch Cancer Memorial Park, about how sometimes less is more, how one of the best things about Austin is that it says no so intelligently (though this is frequently portrayed as one of its most puzzling idiosyncratic characteristics). But I know I'll end up saying something along the lines of there being many millionaires, and, unfortunately, lots of terrible diseases and worthy causes. There really is very limited urban green space and it is foolish, not honorable, to give that over for any reason.

I believe that is not very diplomatic and that it would have to take a whole lot of time and space to explain exactly what I mean. I'd also have to drag out the same old arguments and prop up the same unsightly stories. This just doesn't seem right as we approach the Thanksgiving season. You know -- more turkeys on the table and less discussed in conversation.

And if the current pace wasn't frenetic enough around here, this year for the first time the Chronicle will publish both during Christmas week and New Year's week. Since both holidays fall on a Wednesday, we are still working out the exact details of the schedule. Still, this year there will be 52 issues of the Chronicle instead of 51, as has been the tradition since we went weekly. Since the paper is free, in effect, we are extending all your subscriptions by one issue. Call it the staff's holiday season present to you.

As I mentioned last week, South by Southwest season is upon us. The SXSW offices, just across the field from the Chronicle (though the two are separate corporations) is overflowing with stacks of mail, with CDs and tapes in the Music Festival Office and stacks of videos in the Film and Multimedia/Interactive Festival office. For all three events (occurring March 7-16, 1997) the next registration deadline is Monday, December 2 (for more information, call 467-7979. There is much excitement at SXSW, which should offer a wide variety of pleasant surprises and fun this March.

The Film Conference and Festival, which I work most closely on, is coming along exceedingly well, with such independent filmmakers as Kevin Smith (Clerks, Chasing Amy), Richard Linklater (subUrbia), Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky (Brothers Keeper, Paradise Lost: Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills), and George Ratliff (Purgatory County, Plutonium Circus). Joining such distribution/exhibition/industry legends as Michael Barker (Sony Picture Classics co-president), author John Pierson (Spike, Mike, Slackers & Dykes), producer John Sloss (John Sayles, Richard Linklater, Whit Stillman), and Eamonn Bowles (Miramax). More importantly, the conference has become a gathering place for independent filmmakers from around the country committed to making their own films on their own terms. (A note: Nick Barbaro and I are actively involved with SXSW).

As we go into this holiday season, our family here at the Chronicle wishes your family, our readers, well. The paper has been growing, thanks to an extraordinary effort by the staff, and I think we'll all enjoy a few days off.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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