Short Cuts

Earlier this month, the Austin Cinemaker Co-op, an organization of filmmakers and film enthusiasts dedicated to the support of personal filmmaking and the creation of a network of "low-fidelity" filmmakers, hosted two sell-out showcases at their spring festival, The Fool Monty, which featured 24 in-camera edited Super-8 films by local filmmakers. As a follow-up activity, the Co-op will host a free workshop for all Fool Monty filmmakers and Co-op members on Saturday, April 18, 2-6:30pm, at the Co-op offices (906 E. Fifth St., Suite 106). Guest speakers will be present and filmmakers will be able to view and discuss their films with them. Regular meetings are held the last Sunday of every month at the Co-op office at 7pm; meetings are open to the public. For more info call 236-8877 or e-mail

Another regular showcase that has proven itself to be wildly popular is the monthly Texas Documentary Tour. Austin filmgoers' enthusiasm and hunger for new documentary experiences is amazing and practically unparalleled. That being the case, it should be noted that another local film series, Funhouse Cinema (which has recently started back up after a winter hiatus), this week presents an infrequently screened documentary gem: Salesman (1969) by David and Albert Maysles. The movie is a technically inventive and sociologically penetrating cinema vérité look at the routine of four door-to-door Bible salesman. Any of you who might have seen Daniel Harris' Slamdance 1997 winner, The Bible and Gun Club, along the festival trail (it played here last year at SXSW Film 1997 and has recently been picked up for distribution), will want to see Salesman...

because Salesman is the real deal -- a fascinating study by American documentary pioneers. Documentary fans should regularly check out the Funhouse Cinema schedule as filmmaker/programmer Bill Daniel's passion and eclectic knowledge of the documentary art form is regularly expressed in his scheduling. Funhouse Cinema screens every Monday, 8 & 10:30pm, at the Ritz Lounge; Salesman shows this Monday, April 20. For more info call 708-1717...

Are you human? Yes? Well, in that case, filmmaker Mike Judge may be looking for you. The creator of TV's Beavis and Butt-head and King of the Hill and the Christmas 1996 runaway theatrical success, Beavis and Butt-head Do America, will be directing his first live-action feature next month here in Austin. Toward that end, Judge has issued an open casting call for extras on his Twentieth Century Fox-produced film, Office Space. All ages and looks are needed, although they're primarily looking for adults; all positions are paid. If interested, come Monday, April 20 to the Hampton Inn South (off Ben White, just east of I-35), between 10am and 7pm. Bring a current, non-returnable photograph with you. And good luck...

Ain't language a grand thing? I mean, the way it evolves and shape-shifts (or is that morphs?) through time. One day a word connotes one thing and then, bam!!, it rams up against an iceberg and all of a sudden the word implies something else. For the last several decades, when one described something as being "titanic" in scope the implication was that of colossal disaster. Now the seemingly limitless box-office potential created by the movie has restored the positive implications of the colossal T word. Already, when we hear the word titanic, we now conjure images of an epic success story rather than an epic disaster. Nothing about the word has changed, only our inferences. And Godzilla is waiting around the corner to remind us: Size Matters.

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More Short Cuts
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Marc Savlov, Sept. 17, 2004

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Invest in the fests!

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