Short Cuts

When the folks at Warner Bros. talk about their Contact in Austin, they're talking about the advance benefit screening of their new movie on Thursday, July 10 at the Paramount Theatre. Contact is the new Jodie Foster-Matthew McConaughey movie about an astronomer who receives humankind's first message from an extraterrestrial source. Based on the bestseller by Carl Sagan, Contact is also directed by Forrest Gump's Robert Zemeckis and is expected to be one of the hottest films of the summer. This special Austin screening is being presented by Contact's executive producer Lynda Obst, Matthew McConaughey (in town filming The Newton Boys), and Newton Boys' director Richard Linklater to benefit the Austin Film Society's (AFS) Texas Filmmakers' Production Fund (TFPF) and the Austin Circle of Theatres' (ACOT) Aus-Tix/The Box Office. Tickets for the 7pm screening on Thursday are $20 and can be purchased by calling 469-SHOW. (The $30 tickets, which included admittance to a post-screening party, are already sold out.) However, Host Sponsorships are still available for $100. The $100 donation includes priority reserved seating, admittance to the after-screening party, and an invitation to a VIP reception for Matthew McConaughey and Lynda Obst, hosted by Ethan Hawke, Dwight Yoakam, Skeet Ulrich, Vincent D'Onofrio, Richard Linklater, and Don Craven. Host sponsorships need to be purchased directly from either the AFS (322-0145) or ACOT (454-TIXS), so be aware that you'll be selecting your charity when you make the call. All tickets are now on sale; for more info, see the ad on p.47...

The Southwest Alternate Media Project (SWAMP) -- a longtime supporter of independent filmmaking and other new media endeavors whose services have suffered the trickle-down effects of government slashes in arts funding -- has reinstituted for the first time in eight years a series of summer workshops. Topics range from intensives on documentary and Super-8 filmmaking to introductions to Chinese cinema, the Internet, and "the business of film." Although all the workshops take place on SWAMP's home turf of Houston, they're scheduled in convenient evening or weekend afternoon time slots that are amenable to a Texas-size commute. For info or schedules call 713/522-8592, or peruse the complete listings and descriptions at SWAMP's website: http://www.swamp.org/releases.html ...

So many screenings, so little time: In addition to the regularly changing double bills at the Paramount -- Klaatu barada nikto!! The aliens from The Day the Earth Stood Still land there this week (July 8-9) along with Sergio Leone's spaghetti Western epic The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (July 6) -- this week offers numerous other nifty revivals beginning with the Alamo Drafthouse's midnight screenings of Tod Browning's inimitable 1932 film Freaks (Thurs.-Sat.); the Texas Union Theatre's week-long screening of Italian cult director Mario Bava's rarely shown 1968 oddity of super-criminal psychedelia Danger: Diabolik (see "Showtimes," p.63 for daily times); and the AFS Summer Free-for-All screening of Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky's haunting Nostalghia (Tue. July 8, 7pm, Union Theatre).

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