The Austin Chronicle

https://www.austinchronicle.com/screens/1999-02-26/521458/

Short Cuts

By Marjorie Baumgarten, February 26, 1999, Screens

That squishy splat noise you hear in the distance is the sound of the town's collective eyeballs crunching under the weight of all the tempting and worthwhile movies that are out there to see right now. I'm getting very close to uttering words I never thought I'd hear coming out of my mouth: Too much. Now, mind you, I haven't said those words yet, it's just that there must be a limit to how much two eyeballs can absorb. Right? Well, we're about to find out over the coming weeks. For starters, the number of screens in this town has increased overnight by 14 with the opening of Regal Cinema's Metropolitan 14 at I-35 and Stassney Lane (right across from Cinemark's Tinseltown South). It's billed as a state-of-the-art, all-stadium-seating theatre featuring seats with retractable cupholder armrests, advanced ticketing, and all the bells and whistles new multiplexes now boast. On top of that, there are special screenings and festivals galore scheduled in addition to the half-dozen or so regular theatrical releases we have opening locally every week. Check out those special screening areas in the Film Listings for more details, but here are some of the highlights. QTIII, the Quentin Tarantino-hosted film festival, continues through Saturday at the Alamo Drafthouse...

The African Students Association at UT is sponsoring a free, six-day African Film Festival at the Texas Union, March 1-6...

The Golden Arm Trio is debuting the Golden Arm Film Project in which film and video-makers have contributed works to accompany each of the songs on their album. This cross-breeding of disciplines showcases on Thursday, March 4 at the Alamo, the same night that a couple of locally made films, Rhinos and "Crosswalk," screen...

Next Friday, March 5, the Dobie kicks off a four-week-long Chow Yun-Fat Festival, while this week Dobie is the first theatre in the country to try outBabe: Pig in the City as a midnight movie...

And speaking of Babe: Pig in the City, let a big thumbs-down go on the record in regard to the death of Gene Siskel, a critic who dared to place the pig movie at the very top of his 1998 Top Ten List. Siskel's love for movies was always evident, his passion was informed and ardent. His career paralleled the rise of the profession of movie criticism and his honesty and plain-spokenness touched a true chord in American life. Siskel and Roger Ebert's popularity helped make it possible for so many of the rest of us to find work in this field. It is because of them, in large measure, that I no longer have to go through contortions explaining to others what I do for a living. So it is with gratitude and fondness that I say farewell...

Not only are there lots and lots of movies opening up, there's a spooky synchronicity to their appearance. Why, for instance, do four movies that have numbers as their first words all open on the same day? 200 Cigarettes, 8 MM, Eight Days a Week, and The 24 Hour Woman. I suppose it would take numerology or a statistician to figure it out, but while they're at it they might also figure out why some weeks half of what opens begins with a particular letter of the alphabet. Have I been mucking around too long in the database here? Gee, the alternative might be to go out and catch a few movies. Hey, the SXSW Film Festival is just around the corner. There's another 160 or so titles to see.

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