Short Cuts

by Jen Scoville

Film programming is an important part of every respectable museum calendar, and our Austin Museum of Art (AMOA) is no exception. Though I wasn't around for the early days of quixotic outdoor screenings in Laguna Gloria's amphitheatre -- on a big white screen overlooking the water -- AMOA's involvement in the PBS series The Territory (currently running on KLRU) has made alternative works about as accessible as they can be, while also reinforcing the museum's dedication to film as an art form. In this town, where alternative and rare film events are apt to occur almost every night of the week, the need for AMOA to focus on the medium is arguable; the passion of film lovers, however, is not. AMOA seems to be getting more aggressive about curating film events, perhaps due to the video screening facilities at the newly opened downtown AMOA location. Tonight, Thursday, November 7, AMOA is hosting a special screening of the recent film Basquiat, in conjunction with the exhibition Two Cents: Works on Paper by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Poetry by Kevin Young, on view at the Laguna Gloria site through January 5. Visiting from New York to attend the screening (7:30pm at the Dobie) will be writer/director/producer Michael Holman, a longtime friend of the artist and the author of the original story that Julian Schnabel adapted for the film. A Q&A will follow; tickets are $5 at the Dobie box office. Look in this section next week for the announcement of another museum-sponsored film/video event... Austin Free-Net (along with partners Digital Arts and SER-Jobs for Progress, Inc.) continues their mission to wire the city for cyber access, this time with the co-founding of the East Austin Media Lab (EAML), which is celebrating its grand opening Saturday, November 9, 10am-1pm at Our Lady's Family Center on Sixth & Chicon where it is housed. By supplying computers with Internet access to kids and providing the training for them to create their own multimedia on the Web, EAML hopes to turn a basic Internet access center into a full multimedia development lab where the artistic ability of East Austin youth will be explored through technology. A trained, volunteer staff will be teaching the kids how to use the hardware and software; computer access will be available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 6:30-9pm, and Saturdays from 9:30am-12noon. With increased funding, EAML hopes to offer regular seminars and guest presentations to the kids. For more information call Free-Net director Sue Beckwith at 326-9084 or visit the website at: http:/www. austinfree.net/... Nerdstock III, a benefit concert for EFF-Austin, local spiritual brethren to the national cyber-rights organization, The Electronic Frontiers Foundation, and MAIN (Metropolitan Austin Interactive Network), the organization dedicated to getting non-profit agencies up on the Web, is happening on Wed. Nov. 13 at La Zona Rosa. Check the ad on p.37 for the musical line-up and more details... Don't miss AFS's Powell/Pressburger series film selection for this week (Tue., 8pm, Union Theatre): Peeping Tom, Michael Powell's solo, career-stunting horror flick about a bizarre killer who photographs women as they watch their own murder in his camera lens.

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