Short Cuts

Action Alert: Scheduled to occur just about the time you're picking up this issue is a hurriedly scheduled event known as the Texas Union Massacre. To commemorate the passing of the Texas Union Film Program on its final day of regular operation, students and Austinites will unite at 5pm on Thursday, Dec. 11 outside the theatre entrance on 24th and Guadalupe to bid farewell. From there, the organizers plan to lead a processional mourning/candlelight parade that will be led by a live, ritualistic film shoot that will record the occasion. The day of mourning and anger coincidentally falls on the birthday of Internet film personality Harry Knowles, who has been taking the Union's demise especially hard and whose amusing plea for birthday swag on his website (http://www.aint-it-cool-news.com) has set enviable new standards in the category of shameless self-promotion. Join Knowles and other concerned filmgoers for this event that's destined to give new meaning to the term "critical mass"...

As year's end approaches, various film programs around town are also winding down (but unlike the Texas Union, these programs are only on temporary hiatus). This week marks 1997's final program in the Funhouse Cinema series, the unique underground film series programmed by Bill Daniel. Appropriately, this concluding program with touring filmmakers Martha Colburn and James Schneider extends over two nights. On Monday evening, works by the two Baltimore/D.C.-area filmmakers will screen at 8 & 10:30pm at the Ritz Lounge. Colburn's work is described as hyper-kinetic Super-8 animation, and Schneider's as experimental documentaries. Colburn and Schneider's Austin visit will continue on Tuesday evening when they will be present for a workshop at 9pm in Studio 4-D of UT's CMB building to discuss their film methods and touring experiences. Both Funhouse events are co-presentations of the Austin Film Society (AFS), Cinemaker Co-op, the UT RTF Dept., the CAGE, and the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF). For more info, call 708-1717. Also look in this week's "Film Listings" for the year's final offerings in the AFS series on the "American Avant-Garde" and "Musicals"...

There's no time like the present to be a member of the Austin Film Society what with the upcoming Jackie Brown benefit screening for the AFS that features writer-director Quentin Tarantino in attendance. Tickets for the Saturday, Dec. 20 screening will remain on sale to AFS members only through Friday, Dec. 12. Call 322-1045 between 12-4pm to purchase the $25 tickets. Should any tickets remain after that, they will go on sale to the public at noon on Monday, Dec. 15 by calling the same phone number during the same hours as above. Joining Tarantino for a Q&A following the film will be Austin filmmakers Richard Linklater, Mike Judge, and Robert Rodriguez. Tarantino adapted the film from the novel Rum Punch by Elmore Leonard and it stars Pam Grier, Robert Forster, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Bridget Fonda, and Michael Keaton. The Jackie Brown benefit screening is presented by Origin Systems, Liberty Bank, Act III/Presidio, A Band Apart, Miramax Films, The Austin Chronicle, and the AFS.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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