by Jen Scoville

Of all the panel discussions planned for the upcoming South by Southwest Multimedia/Interactive Festival, there's one that's sure to get its audience hot under the collar. The Future of Sex, whose five speakers include A Touch of Latex fanzine founder Lily Burana, co-founder of FutureSex magazine Richard Kadrey, director of UT's Interactive Media Lab and trans-gender theory expert Sandy Stone, and co-founder of Mondo 2000 R.U. Sirius, will be moderated by Austin writer and online columnist Spike Gillespie, who knows a little bit about the subject herself. Other panel topics among the 40+ scheduled include The Future of Animation, Leisure 2000, Techno-Spirituality, and Online Publishing. An added bonus this year is a new Trade Show policy that allows the general business community and the non-registered public to browse the many booths displaying cutting-edge and interactive technologies for $25 a day. Passes can be purchased on site at the Austin Convention Center during the days of the event, March 8-11. The SXSW Film Festival and Conference has just confirmed a special world premiere screening for Saturday, March 15 of Still Breathing, a dramatic romance directed by Jim Robinson, starring Brendan Fraser (Encino Man) and Joanna Going (Wyatt Earp) who will also be in attendance. Junior Brown gets his first screen credit here as well. For SXSW registration information call 467-7979, or visit the official SXSW website at Hong Kong film fans take note: The Texas Union Theatre is showing acclaimed director Tsui Hark's The Blade, a reworking of the 1967 One Armed Swordsman in which a young man, adopted and raised by a master saber maker, sets out to kill the bandit who brutally slew his father. And at the Sunday, February 16 showing (7pm), Tsui himself will be in attendance for a Q&A. Known for a prolific filmography of action-packed movies with superb choreography, the famous director and UT graduate has been in Texas shooting Once Upon a Time in China VI, the sixth feature episode in a series began in 1990. Tsui Hark's first American-made film, Double Team, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dennis Rodman, and Mickey Rourke is due out in April... Here's an online serial to which Austinites should relate: the continuing saga of Chiphead Harry (that's computer chip and tortilla chip), the recently deceased billionaire CEO of Ligent Technology and beloved figurehead of the hacker community who croaked after downing his usual double espresso. "Only two people really think Chip was murdered," the intro reads, "slacker espresso salesman Adam Avery, and YOU." Explore the motives of notorious bioengineering firm Helix, and ambitious real estate baron Joe Bob Mayfield. And what is the Austin Times-Herald reporter digging up? Launched last week, a new episode appears daily at The Austin Writers' League (AWL) is co-sponsoring an intensive weekend screen-writing seminar, Screenwriting for Hollywood: From Concept to Sale, with Michael Hauge, February 22-23 at St. Edward's University. Hauge is an L.A.-based producer, script consultant, and the author of Writing Screenplays That Sell. Tuition is $195 ($175 for AWL members). To register, call 800/522-0772 x2448.

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