Features editor Kate Messer approached me about a month ago saying that she wanted to do a special prom feature. The plan was for Sarah Hepola to go undercover to two local high school proms and write about them. I pointed out that if the idea was to ridicule the high school students this wasn't worth doing. It would be something else, I was assured. Sarah went to the proms, and she has written something else. Meditation as much as reportage, her report is in this issue with lots of photos by the wondrous Mary Sledd.
The Legislature continues to beat up on our town, local control being a good idea for every place and entity except Austin. Somehow, wanting to regulate water quality and control environmental impact has become a leftie-inspired idea. It would be nice if there could be one clear development rule, unchanging through time, but development's impact is complicated and evolving. Especially admirable are the local developers who count on the qualities of the city of Austin to continue to attract new residents at the same time they verbally beat up on the city before legislators.
We get two tickets to a special The Phantom Menace screening. Harry Knowles writes on his Aint-it-cool-news Web site that people who accept press passes have gone over to the Dark Side. He writes this while taking a break from the tent he and Jay, his dad, have set up on the line at the Metropolitan Theatre waiting to see the film. Harry writes about the beauty and the mystery of the line, the zen pleasures of being camped out with the other crazies. He describes a moment where his dad has fallen asleep, sitting on a chair, and Harry, looking out the tent's window, sees a rainbow. He writes about how he will take that moment into the movie with him and it will always be part of the way he sees The Phantom Menace -- that rainbow.
We see the line, off to the side, when we pull up at the theatre -- we've decided to chance crossing over to the Dark Side. I've picked up my son from his piano lesson, raced across town to pick up Film editor Marjorie Baumgarten. Then we head down I-35 to the Metropolitan. Marc Savlov is saving us seats. I suspect that this adds insult to injury. Not only are we not going to wait on line, we're barely going to wait in the theatre. We miss the turn for the theatre and get lost. It is threatening to storm. We get there. A very funny introduction goes on for a while. There are Statesman staff members all over the theatre. I want to ask them how their all-Star Wars, all-the-time issue is coming, but I don't.
Then the movie. Afterward, we plan to visit Harry and the gang (and we know there will be a gang) in the line. But when we leave, there is thunder and lightning and, on a school night, it is best to get home quickly and safely. The storm never happens; we could have visited Harry.
No review here. Go see it for yourself. This is a film you bring your own baggage to. Some people will bring storms and others rainbows.