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City Hall Hustle: Involuntary Blood Drive
Council creates new jail blood policy ... then raises its own eyebrows
News Column  October 10, 2008, by Wells Dunbar


12 Years a Slave
Brutal yet elegant, Steve McQueen's latest is a beautifully rendered punch to the gut about the most shameful chapter in American history.
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Film Review  November 1, 2013, by Steve Davis
"...Brutal yet elegant, 12 Years a Slave is a beautifully rendered punch to the gut about the most shameful chapter in American history. Based on the 1853 memoir of Solomon Northup – an educated freeman from Saratoga, New York, who endured a nightmare of involuntary servitude after being kidnapped – this is no Tarantino revenge fantasy in which the oppressed ultimately prevails over his oppressors..."

Mental Health Care Meltdown
The mental health care system for Austin and Travis County is increasingly overwhelmed, with no relief in sight.
News Story  December 20, 2002, by Jordan Smith
"..."Half the people that wind up in [the Austin State Hospital] are totally new to us," says Van Norman. "The first contact they have [with the mental health system] is at ASH on an involuntary commitment by the police."..."

Humans Being Human
Bad behavior in Ruben Östlund's observational kinda-comedies
Screens Story  January 22, 2015, by Kimberley Jones
"...To continue the laboratory metaphor: Östlund's earlier films, Play (2011) and Involuntary (2008), observe, even more explicitly, humans during life's most mundane moments and also under duress. These studies can almost seem like one-way mirrors on lab rats moving in and out of frame, reacting (usually badly) to outside stimuli...."

Postmarks
Righteous readers respond to recent rape reportage, and our Best of Austin issue garners a kudo or two.
Columns  October 19, 2001
"...What confuses the discussion is that the analysis of both the DWI and the alleged rape includes claims by the defendant that the state of her admitted intoxication was involuntary rather than voluntary...."

Maudie
A Canadian folk artist falls for a fishmonger
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Film Review  July 14, 2017, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Born with a crippling form of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, Lewis also struggled to hold a paintbrush in her gnarled hands, an affliction that grew worse with age. Mocked by children and shunned by the community for being an unwed mother of a baby she didn’t keep, Lewis was an involuntary loner, and her family circumstances were also difficult..."

Welcome to Me
Kristen Wiig stars in this odd comedy about a mentally unbalanced woman
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Film Review  May 8, 2015, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...The film stars Kristen Wiig, who switched over to making films after concluding a popular stint as a longtime regular on Saturday Night Live, where she created a stable of peculiar characters whose lack of social affect was matched by their inappropriate enthusiasm. With Alice Klieg (the “me” in Welcome to Me), Wiig has etched another unforgettable character, despite sometimes feeling as though watching Alice is akin to the involuntary compulsion to watch a train wreck in motion...."

Court Rules Judge Didn't Have Right to Forcibly Medicate Death Row Inmate
Keller says any competency is good enough for death
DAILY News  September 11, 2013, by Jordan Smith
"...After years of medication Staley was again found competent and set for execution in May 2012; again, his defense contested. In it's ruling today, the CCA agreed that the evidence "conclusively shows that medication was critical to restoring [Staley's] competency and that, but for the involuntary-medication order, [Staley] would not have been compliant in taking his medication as prescribed," reads the opinion by Judge Elsa Alcala, and joined by Judges Tom Price, Paul Womack, Cheryl Johnson, and Cathy Cochran...."

The Bourne Ultimatum
The third film in this series is the best one yet about the rogue CIA spook with the memory of a goldfish.
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Film Review  August 3, 2007, by Josh Rosenblatt
"...By this point, he tops the CIA’s most-wanted list by a mile, and even just the sight of an Algerian meter maid is enough to send him into paroxysms of paranoia that usually result in his tossing about roomfuls of hiply dressed secret agents like they were sacks of potatoes. To add insult to this inconvenience, Bourne is plagued by memories of hooded interrogations involving involuntary headfirst dips into water tanks and cursed by a complete lack of memory of anything else: He doesn’t know his real name; he can’t remember why he is where he is or why he does what he does..."

License to Wed
A couple seeks connubial advice from a celibate with an affinity for Popeye impressions.
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Film Review  July 6, 2007, by Josh Rosenblatt
"...Luckily the movie focuses on Krasinski, who makes the most out of a thankless role and a by-the-numbers script that revolves mainly around his getting hit in the crotch and suffering undeserved public humiliation. Outnumbered and out of his depth, Krasinski grants Ben some dignity in his feeble struggle against the forces mounting against him – his in-laws, the reverend, his sudden involuntary chastity – by using the same self-defense weapon he’s mastered as the ineffectual and lovelorn Jim on The Office: the ironic comic aside..."

1408
Even though 1408 is one of the best Stephen King adaptations ever, this movie belongs to star John Cusack and director Mikael Håfström all the way.
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Film Review  June 22, 2007, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...The movie appeals to an old-fashioned sense of horror, a psychologically based creep-out that again differs from the current horror trend of randomly occurring torture porn. And I guarantee that you will never again be able to hear Karen Carpenter croon “We’ve Only Just Begun” – one of the film’s signature motifs – without letting loose an involuntary shudder of fear...."

Elliot Jaspin's 'Euphemism Generator'
News Story  March 16, 2007
"...When his editors objected to his use of the phrase "racial cleansing" to describe the expulsion of African-Americans from their communities, reporter Elliot Jaspin sardonically created a "euphemism generator," allowing editors to pick words from different categories to develop a palatable replacement, such as "involuntary African-American relocation."Euphemism GeneratorDirections: Just pick one word or phrase from each column!..."

The Master of Disguise
Dana Carvey is a good comic, a great mimic, and maybe even a “master of disguise.” But he's no filmmaker, as The Master of Disguise so painfully proves. The film...

Film Review  August 2, 2002, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...All that back history is merely a lead-in to saying that The Master of Disguise is not even half as good as any of the movies mentioned above. Indulge me in this spoiler, which is also the movie's most audibly successful laugh-getter and a recurring gag throughout: Every time the villain (Spiner) laughs his hideously villainous laugh, he also lets fly an involuntary fart..."

Love Stinks
An “unromantic comedy” of deep marital paranoia, Love Stinks may spell relief for men whose bowels shake at the sight of baby booties, wedding rings, and SUVs. For the rest...
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Film Review  September 10, 1999, by Sarah Hepola
"...Stewart is a cartoonish actor, who is to rubberfaced grimace as Hugh Grant is to blustering stammer, and it's difficult to buy him as a romantic lead. His spastic visage is so prone to pucker and furrow that it almost looks involuntary, as if he's passing something internally..."

The Other Sister
From Benny & Joon to Angel Baby to Forrest Gump and beyond, there has been no shortage of recent movies addressing the implications of (non-platonic) love among the mentally disabled....
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Film Review  February 26, 1999, by Russell Smith
"...Lewis plays Carla, a mildly retarded rich girl who's back with her family after spending most of her teen years at a school for “special” kids. This involuntary banishment was the doing of her neurotic, over-protective mother, Elizabeth (Keaton) who ramrodded the decision past strong objections from her husband (Skerritt) and two other daughters..."

Stephen King's Thinner
Another Halloween, another Stephen King adaptation. This time out, it's more precisely a Richard Bachman (the pseudonym under which King's book was originally published) novel that's being adapted, but the...
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Film Review  November 1, 1996, by Marc Savlov
"...Halleck is at first overjoyed. As his friends say, he finally seems to have found a diet “that works.” It works even better than Richard Simmons could have dreamed and, before long, Halleck is an emaciated, walking skeleton, while the town's judge and sheriff (both of whom helped him weasel out of the charge of involuntary manslaughter in the Gypsy woman's death) are simultaneously facing their own hideous curses..."

SXSW Panel Recap: Absurdity Sells: The Value of Playful Events
Keeping things weird for community, art, and profit
DAILY SXSW  March 13, 2018, by Tucker Whatley
"...“Laughter is involuntary,” said DeDomenici. “If you can make someone laugh, you break down their natural defenses and they’re much more willing to engage in any underlying message behind my work.” [image-2]..."

Wes Anderson Brings Isle of Dogs to SXSW
Plus Midnighters bring the gore, and Alita party
DAILY SXSW  February 7, 2018, by Richard Whittaker
"..."Guilt" (Mexico) D: Moisés Aisemberg "Guilt" is a direct window into the undeniable violence experienced by children today and the involuntary repression that they must undergo within a society that tolerates abuse. (World Premiere)..."

Listening Outside the Lines
Kevin Curtin spends four days on the fringes
Music Column  February 1, 2018, by Kevin Curtin
"...Seventy listeners flooded the tiny room for the talented triad, which enraptured them for a 45-minute sonic odyssey that found Cameron plucking, bowing, and remixing a ghostly variation of a gutbucket as Ostrar stun-gunned guitar strings with an electromagnet, and Håker Flaten bent space and time with long explorative solos that snapped back in heavy jazz walks. When the final note faded, the audience remained hushed until an involuntary response broke the silence...."

How Austin Handles Mental Health Emergencies
Police, EMS, and Integral Care work together to serve people in psychiatric crisis
News Story  December 14, 2017, by Sarah Marloff
"...There are less than a dozen facilities like the Herman Center in Texas, and it's the county's first and only non-hospital setting that takes folks on emergency detention. Aside from those, Herman can also accept voluntary referrals from the mobile crisis teams and Integral Care's outpatient clinic Psy­chi­at­ric Emergency Services, as well as voluntary and involuntary emergency room transfers..."

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