Short Cuts

As part of Texas Writers Month, eight well-known local screenwriters and filmmakers will present a program of stories and anecdotes about their experiences in Hollywood. The All-Star Screenwriters panels will take place Saturday, May 22, 1-5pm, at the Scottish Rite Temple (207 W. 18th); admission is $25. It is presented by the Austin Writers' League and the Texas Writers Project. The first panel will be moderated by Texas Writers Project chair Cary L. Roberts and will feature Sarah Bird (Virgin of the Rodeo), Richard Linklater (Slacker), Tim McCanlies (Dancer, TX, Pop. 81), and Bill Wittliff (Lonesome Dove). Robert Draper, author of Hadrian's Walls, will moderate the second panel which will feature Stephen Harrigan (The Memoirs of Cleopatra), Tasca Shadix (The Book of Stars), Jesse Sublett (The Killer Storm), and Lawrence Wright (God's Favorite). For more info call 499-8914, send e-mail to awl@writersleague.org, or visit http://writersleague.org...

It's hard to keep track of all the comings and goings of Austin movie theatres these days. The bad news is that with the recent closing of the Showplace 6, our town's number of dollar houses is down to one: the Wells Branch Discount Cinema. But here's the good news. A new state-of-the-art theatre opens on Friday, May 28 in the Barton Creek Square Mall. The General Cinema theatre will add to the chain's local presence; its other theatres here are the Highland 10 and the Great Hills 8. (General Cinemas is also the chain chosen to be partners in the planned Sundance Cinema arthouse theatres -- although Austin is not expected to get one of these.) This new General Cinema Barton Creek Square theatre will have 14 screens, all with stadium seating, love seats, and THX and digital sound. In advance of the opening, the theatre will host Free Movie Days from Saturday, May 22 -- Tuesday, May 25, during which time General Cinema will donate $1 to the following local charities for every person who sees a movie there: Any Baby Can,CASA of Travis County, and the Simon Youth Foundation. While new theatres are always welcome (though we have to wonder at what point we'll reach critical mass), the only problem I see arising from this new facility is the confusion it's bound to cause with the other nearby theatre: the Cinemark Barton Creek. The name similarities will force us to always use the chains' ID when referring to the theatres or come up with some new snappy nicknames. My suggestion box is open...

What do mad dogs, Englishmen, and the 98th most powerful person in Hollywood (as deemed by the current issue of Premiere magazine) have in common? None of them know enough to come in out of the rain. But who is the 98th most powerful person in Hollywood? Why, Harry Knowles, of course. For the advance-screening reports gathered by his Ain't It Cool News spy network (http://www.aint-it-cool-news.com), Knowles has been recognized by the magazine's listmakers as being "officially disdained" but "read by everyone in town." So you'd think a powerful guy like that would know enough to come in out of the rain. But where was he during last Monday night's downpour that flooded streets and knocked out power? Ultimate fanboy that he is, Knowles was hovering in the Tentooine City outside the Metropolitan counting down the hoursto the Star Wars launch. From the sound of his ecstatic posts on the site, he has never been happier than at that soggy moment -- it was Knowles' idea of the total movie experience.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

All-star Screenwriters, Texas Writers' Month, Sarah Bird, Richard Linklater, Tim Mccanlies, Bill Wittliff, Stephen Harrigan, Tasca Shadix, Jesse Sublett, Lawrence, Cary L. Roberts, General Cinema Barton Creek Square Theatre, Cinemark Barton Creek Theatre, Harry Knowles, Movie, Marge Baumgarten

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