Daily Screens
SXSW 08 Gets Bloody
Good news for gore fans and insomniacs (that may be a tautology): Six horror films will be getting their world premier as part of the returning 'Round Midnight stand at South by Southwest.

Last year's 'Round Midnight saw early screenings of Severance, zom-com Fido, the Peter Jackson-sanctioned Black Sheep and the U.S. debut (whoops, make that regional) of the amazing The Signal, which may be the most innovative and artful horror movie since David Cronenberg went legit, and gets a broad release on Feb. 22. Then there was the U.S. debut of New York-based were-rat shocker Mulberry Street, and the world premiere of Borderland (based loosely on the bizarre and horrific 1989 murder of Mark Kilroy in Matamoros, Mexico. The UT student was sacrificed by a drug gang as part of a religious ceremony.) Post-SXSW, both films were picked up for the After Dark Horrorfest (the one-week only nation-wide horror festival): now, as part of the 8 Films To Die For, both get a DVD release on March 18.

This all comes after the world debut at SXSW 2006 of post-modern slashermentary Behind the Mask: The Leslie Vernon Story, which has become a cult classic. So not a bad blood-stained record, really.

5:34PM Tue. Feb. 12, 2008, Richard Whittaker Read More | Comment »

Instant Replay
Can't wait for Michel Gondry's new Jack Black-Mos Def comedy Be Kind Rewind? Well, the Alamo Drafthouse is here to whet your appetite. Their new-ish competition arm, Filmmaking Frenzy, is hosting the Rewind Kindly competition, in which any schmo with a camera can remake his or her favorite films, DIY-style. Submissions are up online now for your viewing and voting pleasure. You'll have to register first, but what's a few seconds filling out online forms when you can waste a whole work day watching the likes of Bambi retold in four minutes of fart jokes and awkward birthing scenes?

(Thanks to the Chronicle's Mike B. for alerting us -- you can check out his hi-larious T2 redo here.)

10:57AM Mon. Feb. 11, 2008, Kimberley Jones Read More | Comment »

Start Engines, Open Wallets
So you've seen the lineup for SXSW Film, and you wanna make sure you're first in line for the latest Joe Swanberg? Best way to do that is get yourself a film pass before they sell out (guaranteed). SXSW Film Passes go on sale at Waterloo Video tomorrow. They're $70 each – which is actually a ridiculously small amount if you do the math: nine days of film, as many movies a day as you can cram... like we said, you do the math.

3:06PM Fri. Feb. 8, 2008, Kimberley Jones Read More | Comment »

At the Altar of the Archival
Longtime Austin serious-cine devotees all have their Texas Union Theater stories. I don't have many, unfortunately – a long-forgotten Adrienne Shelly film; a scratched print of Breathless with white subtitles that washed out completely in the white-sheet bedroom scene, leaving nothing but Belmondo and Seberg, smoking, making sexy eyes; a pre-restoration screening of Bertolucci's The Conformist that completely undid me (that dance! those dames! that wooded shootout!).

1:10PM Thu. Feb. 7, 2008, Kimberley Jones Read More | Comment »

For a Limited Time Only: Sharks
One of the great things about cinema in Austin are the goodly number of documentaries that get a big-screen outing. The downside is that, like any limited release, documentaries pretty much depend on these rare screenings to determine their future, and it's all-too-easy to forget that they won't be around for as long as a big-budget extravaganza. So, no pressure.

Take Sharkwater (Favorably reviewed this week by our own Marc Savlov.) Director Rob Stewart does have a habit of sticking himself in front of the camera as much as he does the sharks (hey, it worked for Jacques Cousteau.) But he also binds together the threads of a story of the culinary arts, ecology, big business, international politics, activism, and gangsterism to show how shark fin soup might actually destroy the world.

10:24PM Sun. Feb. 3, 2008, Richard Whittaker Read More | Comment »

Grimly and the Ghouls
Sometimes it can take some time after a film festival to wade through everything picked up at the vendor tables. But Cannibal Flesh Riot!, the debut mini-feature by director-writer Gris Grimly has turned out to be one of more wonderfully gruesome acquisitions from last month's Fangoria Weekend of Horrors. A tribute to 50's drive-in horror, Ray Harryhausen and psycho-billy music, it's the black-and-white tale of two redneck flesh-eating ghouls and their unfortunate final visit to the graveyard.

The movie, best described as Tex Avery's Evil Dead, is an object lesson for filmmaking hopefuls in turning $6,000 into a fun little calling card. Mixing hyped-up live action, stop-motion, green screen, and a dash of CGI, it proves how available technology has become for film-makers.

Grimly (who counts Neil Gaiman as a fan and collaborator) is best known for his artwork for some of the more delightfully gothic kids books, like vampire romance Boris and Bella, and his own Wicked Nursery Rhymes. "I’m not necessarily a children’s book illustrator," he explained, "as much as I like monsters and horror.”

1:37PM Sun. Feb. 3, 2008, Richard Whittaker Read More | Comment »

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We love us some Ira Glass, the bespectacled narrator of This American Life who's fast becoming a one-(wonderfully geeky)man media empire. Ira and his show have already conquered radio and TV (and mugwear...); now they're toying with taking on theatres.

This from the latest TAL e-newsletter:
"We're planning a This American Life stage show that would be filmed and sent live — live! — via satellite to movie theaters across the country. It would include Ira performing a radio piece, never-before-seen stories and outtakes from the second season of our TV series, audience Q&A, and more."

Sounds intriguing. They're looking for input on how to pull it all off. Take a short survey here.

12:37PM Tue. Jan. 29, 2008, Kimberley Jones Read More | Comment »

A Good Day for Channing Tatum Fans
Over at Step Up sensation Channing Tatum's official website, Channing Tatum Unwrapped ("Channing Tatum is a gift. Let's unwrap him!"), they sneaked some news we've been sitting on (scooped by a fansite! foiled again!), news that happens to involve a certain Channing Tatum (seriously, it's just fun to say his name) and a certain film that shot here in Austin a while back. Kimberly Peirce's Stop Loss, starring Ryan Phillippe and (you guessed it) Channing Tatum, will screen at the South by Southwest Film Festival in March. (CT fans are already giddy over a previously announced SXSW berth for another film the Tates appears in, Stuart Townsend's Battle in Seattle). SXSW Film won't release the official lineup until February, but be sure to check out our print and web edition of the paper on Feb. 1; columnist Joe O'Connell's going to leak a few more titles... that is, unless we're not scooped first by Jamie Bell's Blogspot...

11:46AM Tue. Jan. 29, 2008, Kimberley Jones Read More | Comment »

How's Your News?
The news from Sundance just keeps getting better and better for locals: In addition to terrific reviews for Margaret Brown's The Order of Myths and a distribution deal for former Austinites the Duplass brothers' Baghead, Katrina doc Trouble the Water, which was shot by local dynamo PJ Raval, won the Grand Jury Prize for documentary. Nice work, team. Now come home already.

6:09PM Sun. Jan. 27, 2008, Kimberley Jones Read More | Comment »

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