Short Cuts

by Jen Scoville

What's cooking besides turkey dinner this holiday week? Movies, movies, movies. Though the beefed-up film season now officially starts somewhere around Halloween, the noticeable glut from now through Christmastime is about to be unleashed. Be sure to check out Chronicle film editor Marjorie Baumgarten's preview of seasonal releases in "Screens," and choose your servings wisely from the cinematic smorgasbord to avoid Hollywood heartburn and indie-gestion...

Among the things I'm thankful for is the Austin Film Society, whose newest screening series Gangsters and Outlaws kicked off last Wednesday. This week, (Wednesday, December 4, 7:30pm, Dobie Theatre) the bad-guy feature is Raoul Walsh's grim 1947 western Pursued, starring Robert Mitchum as a vengeful son out to find his father's killers. Pursued will screen a second time on the following Saturday at noon. The final installment of Satyajit Ray's Apu Trilogy is showing on Tuesday, November 3, 8pm at the Union Theatre. The World of Apu (1959) follows the now-adult Apu trying to make it as a writer in Calcutta when events force him to return to the Bengal village of his heritage. The AFS Fall Free Cinema Series, The Masterworks of Satyajit Ray, will continue to present the brand-new 35mm re-released prints of the accomplished Indian filmmaker's works through February 4...

Image and Identity, the program of video by and about African-American women at the Austin Museum of Art's downtown location continues on Tuesday, December 3, 7:30pm, with three shorts: English videographer Maureen Blackwood's Perfect Image? (1988), a piece that exposes stereotypical images of black women and explores how they view themselves and each other; Gay Griffin and Michelle Parkerson's A Litany of Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde (1995), a portrait of poet Audre Lorde and the socially and politically oriented visions visited in her writings; and Leah Gilliam's Now Pretend (1992), an experimental investigation of race issues using language, personal memories, and the 1959 text of Black Like Me. Only one more installment of the series remains; admission is $4...

Connect 5, a low-budget, independent feature project written, produced, and directed by Austinites John Bryant, Jay Duplass, and Andrew Fisher of Tough Love Productions finished shooting at the end of last month and is about to go into post-production in December. Connect 5 is the story of what happens when the lives of a disillusioned tanning salon employee, a gang, an intellectual, a grandmother and her tenant, and a reuniting father and son become intertwined "when an incarnate evil comes to town." An early 1997 release is expected...

Earlier this fall, Humanoid Grannies From the Deep, a short 16mm horror spoof co-written and directed by UT alumni Jeff Stolhand (writer/director Seeking the Cafe Bob), Merle Bertrand, and Todd Spencer was awarded first place at the Sony Pictures ImageWorks Film Festival. The writers recently completed a feature-length script based on the short.

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