Short Cuts

Whoosh... the holidays must be over. One sure sign is that activity in the film community is suddenly picking up again after the temporary quiet spell that allowed everyone to travel about visiting friends and family, spend time in movie theatres catching up on the overwhelming barrage of end-of-the-year releases, and/or stay home curled up in front of the VCR hearth trying to shore up on everything that was missed throughout the year. Well, kiss those carefree days good-bye. Things are heating up again as events in the upcoming week prove...

A truly unique screening is planned for Saturday night, 8pm at the Paramount when the 1926 silent film spectacular Ben-Hur will be accorded the real Golden Age of Cinema treatment. This monumental epic will be presented with a live musical accompaniment by members of the Austin Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gillian Anderson, who is an expert in silent film score restoration. Notable for its exciting action sequences of chariot races and sea battles, the film is a thrilling classic. Call 472-5470 for more info or call 469-SHOW to charge tickets...

Not stopping for breath following the sublime madness of the Quentin Tarantino Film Fest, the Austin Film Society (AFS) is starting up two new film series this week. Beginning Tuesday, Jan. 27, and for the four subsequent Tuesdays, the John Cassavetes Film Series will screen at 7pm in the Union Theatre. Admission is free. Cassavetes was one of the great role models of independent filmmaking and independent thinking; he sought in his films a naked honesty that few others have ever even approached. Then, beginning on Thursday, Jan. 29 and continuing weekly through March 5, the AFS hosts a new series devoted to Film Noir. Each film will be introduced by a guest presenter from the film community. The Film Noir series screens every Thursday at 7pm and repeats on Saturday at noon (although only the Thursday screenings will have guest presenters), at the Dobie Theatre. Admission is $5; $3.50 for AFS members. For more about the two AFS series and the Ben-Hur screening, see the stories in this week's "Screens"...

The Cinemaker Coop, a group dedicated to Super-8 filmmaking, holds its regular monthly meeting Sunday, Jan. 25, 7pm, at 906 E. Fifth St., Suite 106. Barna Kantor is also conducting several Super-8 workshops. For more info call 236-8877...

The monthly Austin salon of the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF) meets this Monday, Jan. 26, 8pm, at the Electric Lounge. Call 708-1962 for more info...

Anyone who would like to own a copy of Alan Berliner's film Nobody's Business, which was this month's popular presentation by the Texas Documentary Tour, may purchase a video copy for $39.95 by calling Milestone at 800/603-1104...

The Austin Film Festival has announced that the deadline for submission to the 1998 screenplay competition is May 1. For more info call 800/310-FEST...

A goodly number of Austin residents have spent portions of the past week in the mountains of Utah at the Sundance Film Festival and its various related offshoots. I'll render a report myself in an upcoming issue, but until then I wanted to recognize a couple of local projects that hope to grab a few moments of spotlight during those days. Writer-director Robert Byington's film Olympia will screen as the closing night film of Slamdance, the notorious festival that has sprung up as an alternative to Sundance. Also, the new Flixtour traveling film exhibition of independent filmmakers and their films kicks off at Sundance, and selected for inclusion is Austin filmmaker Tom LeGros' Guinea Men. Find out more about the Flixtour Independent Film Series at http://www.flixtour.com

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

Marc Savlov, Sept. 17, 2004

Short Cuts
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Invest in the fests!

Marc Savlov, Sept. 3, 2004

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