Short Cuts

The smell of sawdust is one of my most stimulating recollections of the SXSW.97 Film Festival and Conference. It was so abundant and so full of promise, an intoxicating signal of new things emerging downtown. Two new film facilities debuted during that week. The Austin Film Center, a new post-production facility, held the conference's opening-night party there and despite the operation still being under construction, it's where Richard Linklater's team is presently assembling The Newton Boys dailies while it's still being shot. The other place was a new screening venue called the Alamo Drafthouse Theater that was still so cavernous and raw back in March when it was rushed into service, but so obviously rich with potential. Two months later, this new concept in moviegoing is ready for its grand opening. The idea is "dinner, drinks, and a movie." The independent movie house will be showing an assortment of films along with serving a menu that includes pizza, sandwiches, salads, appetizers, desserts, coffees, beer, and wine. The auditorium is outfitted with a table in front of every seat. The grand opening of the Alamo Drafthouse Theater, located at 409 Colorado (between Miguel's La Bodega and Gilligan's) is this Saturday, May 24. The first feature, Raising Arizona, begins at 9pm (seating at 8:30), followed by a midnight screening (seating at 11:30) of This is Spinal Tap. In between the shows, there will be acoustic music by the band Panic Choir. For more info call 867-1839 or peruse the menu and other goodies on their website: http://www.drafthouse.com... "

The Documentary Experience" is the topic of this month's AIVF Austin Salon (Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers). Panelists include this year's Peabody Award winner Paul Stekler (Vote for Me: Politics in America), Karen Koker (Chicano associate producer), SXSW documentary award winner Don Howard (Letter From Waco), and Tara Veneruso (Janis Joplin Slept Here). Because of the holiday, the meeting will be held on Tuesday (instead of the usual Monday) May 27, 8pm at the Electric Lounge. Meetings are free and open to the public. One extra good reason to attend this salon is to take the opportunity to say a personal good-bye to Tara Veneruso, who is departing Austin at the end of May. Because the industrious Veneruso has had her hand in so many filmmaking and video projects over the years, as well as co-hosting AM15's Check This Action and being an organizer of the AIVF Austin Salons, her absence will be widely felt. We wish her well in her future endeavors and in the meantime know that we can stay in touch via her Flaming Angels website at http://www.internetv.com/faf...

Welcome to the world Racer Maximiliano Rodriguez Avellán, whose parents - Robert Rodriguez and Elizabeth Avellán - sent his birth announcement (illustrated by Robert) to the office this week. Racer was born on April 16 and joins his older brother Jet...

This week's Austin Film Society Femmes Fatales series screening presents a newly restored print of Billy Wilder's Sunset Blvd. Showtimes are Wed., May 28 at 7:30pm and Sat. May 31 at 12 noon at the Dobie. The infamous Bloody Mama repeats at noon on Sat. May 24.

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The Conrans will 'Captain' 'Princess of Mars'; plus, Linklater headed for 'Bad News'

Marc Savlov, Sept. 17, 2004

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Short Cuts
Invest in the fests!

Marc Savlov, Sept. 3, 2004

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